Ridding Your Life of Idols
” And God spake all these words, saying, Thou shalt have no other gods before me ” (Exodus 20:1, 3).
What is it that has your attention? Where are you spending your money, your time and your talent? Most of us would be very quick to say that we don’t live in idolatry. After all, that is a sin and we have learned of the bondage the Egyptians endured because of their idolatry. Yet, a close examination of our lives reveals a very different story.
Let’s do some simple math to get a clear perspective of the time we spend. The week holds 10,080 minutes for us. This translates into 168 hours. Thinking about just our reasonable service (Romans 12:1), we, as children of God, “owe” 16.8 hours to God for the week. Now, let’s see how we are doing in giving to God that which is rightfully His. For most people their church offers Sunday School on Sunday morning (1-hour), Sunday Worship on Sunday morning (1-hour), Sunday evening service (1 ½ hours) and a midweek service (1-hour). So, by attending church each time the doors are open we accumulate 4 ½ hours given to God. But, surprisingly, many of us can’t find the time or motivation to make it to every one of the opportunities of worship that our church affords us. It seems that there just isn’t enough time to go to church 2 times in one day and Sunday school is “just for kids” and besides it is too early in the morning. Well, “midweek service is great, but I have worked hard all day and just don’t have the energy to make it to church.” Besides it being our “reasonable service” what about the words of the writer of Hebrews, ” Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Now my friend, if the day was ever approaching, it is now.
Now let’s see, where else do we make up the time for God and Jesus? Since each day holds 24 hours, our reasonable service to God is 2.4 hours. So, what does a typical day hold for us? For many of us we are rushed the whole day long. We have children to care for, elderly parents to care for, jobs to perform, homes to prepare, meals to fix and a whole host of other daily activities that eat at our time. Not to mention sleep. For some sleep is an elusive dream but for others it is definitely elevated to “god” in their life. Only you know where sleep fits into your mind and heart. Surely the body needs it but God has created us and knows exactly how much time we need to get everything done (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: “) and He has decided that it is 24 hours in one day! The Bible says, ” Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth ” (II Timothy 2:15). This is a commandment and not a suggestion. So, are you studying the Bible every day? Do you remember the exhortation in Ephesians 6:11, ” Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil “? For some of us, we just get up, get busy, and get out the door without ever spending time in God’s Holy Word or even praying. Then we wonder why we can’t get anything done and why our days seem to spin without a purpose.
What about prayer? The Bible says, ” Pray without ceasing ” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Now, granted it is impractical to live 24 hours a day or even the 2.4 hours you “owe” to God with your head bent and your knees knelt in prayer. But, prayer is an attitude of the heart. And if you are in right standing, your life focused on God and enjoying life in the center of His will, then and only then, can your every thought be a prayer. But besides this, we are to ” come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need ” (Hebrews 4:16). God not only wants us to pray, He expects us to pray. Do you realize that Jesus the Son of God is praying for you, ” I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9). ” Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). How much more then should you pray?
These are but a few of the principles found in the Bible regarding how we should conduct our daily lives. Now let’s contrast these principles with how we really live our lives. How do you spend your time? How much TV do you watch pouring mindless junk and sometimes even filth into your brain and soul? What about reading? How much more time do you spend reading secular material instead of God’s Holy Word? Consider your entertainment. Does it point you to God or draw you away from it? Where are you going for your answers? Are you trying every self-help book on the market or consulting the Holy Book? Where are you investing your dollars? Are you giving them back to God and putting them to use in His kingdom? A lot can be said about you by examining where you spend your money and how you spend your time. Could those examining your life find Jesus at the end of their examination?
I leave you with this final thought. If you were given $86,400 with the stipulation that it must be spent by midnight or you would lose it forever, what would you do? It is my thought that you would find yourself at the stroke of midnight with very little money left, and reasons and a purpose for every dollar spent. My friend, today you are given 86,400 seconds and at the stroke of midnight every second wasted is gone forever. How will you spend this precious time that you can never regain? Spend it for God! ” But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: ” (Matthew 6:20).