“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
2:00 am. The house was quiet. Nothing moved except the figures on the screen before him. He needed this. It filled him, met his need like nothing else could. Regardless of how crazy the day or how cranky the wife, he knew where he could go to feel better. Here, before this flickering throne, he could be anyone he wanted to be. His online servants cavorted before him, performing for his pleasure and satisfaction. He was well-respected, a leader, considered a godly man by everyone. But this was where he found comfort, value, and identity. Only he and God knew his dark secret: this was where he really worshiped.
When the Lord commanded humanity to have no other gods before Him, he was not referring to placement, as in first, second, third. He meant that He wants to see nothing in our lives that meets our deep heart needs except Him alone. Whatever we run to in order to have those needs met is our functional god. But we defend our idols: “My wife isn’t meeting my needs, so porn is OK.” “My kids are my life, so God understands if I don’t trust Him with them.” “My reputation is everything, so lying on social media helps me keep it.” Idols don’t have to be sin habits. They can be God’s gifts that have become more important to us than He is. In order to identify our idols, we can ask ourselves this: WHAT DO I PURSUE, SACRIFICE FOR, AND RUN TO FOR COMFORT?
Whatever we cannot lay on the altar before God, IS our god. What idols reign in your life?