A VERSE AT A TIME
TOPIC: DESTROY YOUR IDOLS
TEXT: EZEKIEL 14:1-11
KEY VERSE: “Therefore, warn them that the Lord God says: ‘Repent and destroy your idols, and stop worshiping them in your hearts. I the Lord will personally punish everyone, whether people of Israel or the foreigners living among you, who rejects me for idols and then comes to a prophet to ask for my help and advice. Ezekiel 14:6(TLB)
Christians can engage in idolatry, which is the act of worshipping something or someone other than God as if it were God. It is common for people to love someone or something so much that they place it above God in their lives. Worship is an extreme form of love that involves showing adoration and devotion. Some believers demonstrate this extreme love for their religious leaders and celebrities. They prioritise what these people want and say over what God wants, and their devotion is geared towards events organised by these people instead of spending time with God.
To worship something is to make it the most important thing in your life, to the point where it takes precedence over everything else. However, God is the only one who deserves that position. People can also make their possessions idols by magnifying them and giving them more attention than God and others. God’s first commandment as the people crossed to the promised land says:
Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one; and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; Deuteronomy 6:4-6(CJB)
Worship is not just about outward expressions but also about the state of our hearts. Jesus emphasised this in his teachings, noting that true worship comes from the heart and is not just about outward actions. God sees and knows our hearts and is interested in the sincerity of our worship. It’s crucial to ensure that our love and devotion are directed towards God alone and that we always put Him first in our lives.
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship of me is useless,
because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’ Matthew 15:8-9
In our text in Ezekiel, the Lord condemns believers who come seeking him, yet their hearts are full of idols. The consequence is grievous because the Lord promises to answer them according to their idols.
“Therefore, warn them that the Lord God says: ‘Repent and destroy your idols, and stop worshipping them in your hearts. I, the Lord, will personally punish everyone, whether people of Israel or the foreigners living among you, who rejects me for idols and then comes to a prophet to ask for my help and advice.
Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart]. 1 John 5:21(AMP)
In our pursuits in the New Year, let us rid our hearts of any devotion to anything or anyone above God. Our addictions are a clue to the idols of our hearts, and these are man-made. In the same way, we created them, we can rid ourselves of them.
God is eager to share his plans for the future, but our eyes must be single and entirely focused on him. No idol can offer what God has for those who love him.
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11(GNT)
- Father, thank you for giving your son Jesus as proof of your love for me; help me love you with all my heart in Jesus’ name.
- Father, deliver me from the lusts and cravings that take me away from you in Jesus’ name.
- Father, I confess that I have not prioritised my time with you; help me stay faithful to you.
- Father, you search the heart and weigh motives; deliver me from every trace of idolatry and worship of man in Jesus’ name.
- Heavenly Father, teach me to love and serve you with the resources you have blessed me with in Jesus’ name.
- Father, break the power of addictions in my life to anything or anyone that takes your place in Jesus’ name.