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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

American Idol

American Idol is a hugely popular show in America. There are similar shows in other countries, as well. Millions of people watch the show each season rooting for their favorite talent. But, my post isn't about American Idol, the TV show. It couldn't be, because I've never seen it! I wouldn't have a clue what to write! No, my post is really about "idols" in America, as well as other countries all over the world.

Idolatry, the worshipping of idols, has been around for thousands of years. Throughout the Old Testament, we read of the people worshipping golden images, the false gods, Baal and Molech, and about the worship of Asherah, using a carved or molten Asherah pole.

The first and second commandments of the "Ten Commandments" speak about idolatry:

And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:1-6
Of course, we know that the Ten Commandments were part of the Old Covenant with Israel verses the New Covenant with Christians, but we can still learn from them about how God wants us to live. Plus,
all but one (Sabbath - Colossians 2:16-17) of those principals of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21

Nowadays, most people probably do not have carved or golden images around their houses that are worshipped, but idolatry is still alive and well, even today. It may even be present in your life...and in mine. Placing things/people before God at times, makes those things idols in our lives.

How can we tell what might be an idol in our life? By looking at what we allow to take us away from our relationship with God. Ask yourself these questions: What takes me away from Him? What takes me away from worshipping Him? Whatever is in that place is an idol. It is becoming what you worship.

Some thoughts about idolatry:
1. You can tell what you worship by looking at how you spend your time.
2. You can tell what you worship by how you use your money.
3. You can tell what you worship by analyzing what you think about the most.
4. You can tell what you worship by the looking at the entertainment in which you choose to spend your time and money.
5. You can tell what you worship by looking at how you use your talents.

Idols today come in many shapes and sizes. Quite possibly the biggest idol today is the idol of self. Making ourselves an idol takes our focus and our worship away from God and away from Jesus. The one who idolizes self may say these things:

1. I will do what I want to do...no matter what!
2. I'll do it my way and will do what I have to do to get my way!
3. I am the only one that matters.
4. It feels good to me, so it's okay.
5. It seems right to me, so it must be right.
6. If it makes me happy, it's okay.

But, this type of thinking is far from what God's Word teaches. Mark 8:34 says, "Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.""

Getting rid of idols in our life may be hard. It will only happen if we take a long, hard look at ourselves and be honest with what we see. We may not like what we see after looking deep inside. We may see too much of self. We may see problems with other things being put before God. We may see idols. But, just as some of the idols of the Bible were destroyed, the idols in our life can be destroyed, as well. With the help of God, we can get rid of them!

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