Thursday, February 8, 2024 by Doreen Wennberg
You have probably heard the phrase, “More in 24.” It’s become popular as several Pastors have laid hold of this expression. It begs the question, “More of what?”
I need more faith, trust, and grace most days. But love is something I always need more of, maybe you do too?
In a previous post on Loving Others, I wrote, “The Bible teaches that the source of all love is God. Through Him and by His Spirit in us, we can love others. While that may not always be easy—the believer is equipped by the Holy Spirit to love others.” (Romans 5:5 (ESV).
But then I started thinking, what about God? How can I love God more?
I was reminded of the reply Jesus gave to the Pharisees when questioned. He said, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” He went on to say, “This is the greatest commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38).
What does that look like in our everyday life? Is God first? We can all probably raise our hand and say, we’ve chosen something over God—I know I can. That is called an idol. And it’s something that God hates.
In Bible times idols were literal objects the people worshiped instead of God. Baker’s Biblical Dictionary states that “The most prevalent form of idolatry in biblical times was the worship of images or idols that represented or were thought to embody various pagan deities.”
Today in our modern culture, idols take on many forms. The things we prioritize over God like: money, material possessions, entertainment, relationships, and social media. And those are just a few.
An idol is anything that has more importance than God.
And God said, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller writes, “The Bible tells us that the human heart is an ‘idol-factory,’ taking good things and making them into idols that drive us.
So, what do we do?
Tear Down Your Idols
The Bible teaches that when the LORD God brought Israel into the land they would possess, they were to drive out the seven nations that were there—all of the “Ites.” The Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites were the nations God would deliver over to Israel (Deut 7:1).
God commanded Israel to destroy these nations and not to intermarry with them. “For they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods” (Deut. 7:2-4). Israel was instructed in Deuteronomy 7:5, “This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire.”
These idols were already in the land, and there was good reason that they were to destroy them. God knows the tendency of the human heart. God knew they would easily become comfortable serving other gods—and modern culture is no different.
John’s instructions to Christians are: “Dear Children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1 John 5:21 NLT).
We are so prone to wander away from our first Love. (Rev. 2:4 NASB).
So, how do we tear down our idols? After all, they are not wooden idols we can burn.
Acknowledge, Confess, and Surrender to God
Pray and ask God to reveal anything you have allowed to take the place of God in your life as more important than him. The thing that consumes you and has priority over God—it’s on the throne he is not.
Confess that idol before the Lord and surrender yourself to the Lord.
Prayer is powerful, and God has given us weapons to fight the strongholds idolatry has in our lives.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5NIV).
How can we love God more?
The very act of tearing down our idols takes us off the throne and puts God back on it. It sets us up for the kind of success God wants—obedience. When we love God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind—we will obey him.
We come before you and bow low to honor you. We ask you to show us where we have placed anything before you. We confess that idol and right now tear it off its throne. We give you back first place because you alone are worthy. We surrender to your Lordship over us. We love you and want our lives to honor you. ~In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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