Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tearing Down Idols

"'Now then,' said Joshua, 'throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.'
And the people said to Joshua, 'We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.'" 
-Joshua 24:23-24

My theme this week is tearing down idols. This passage in Joshua really convicted me. Joshua asks the Israelites 3 times whom they will serve. Each time they answer with an emphatic "We will serve the Lord!"
Joshua even calls them out, challenges them saying that the Lord is holy and He is a jealous God and the Israelites are not able to fully serve Him if they will turn to foreign gods so easily. Again, their answer is the same.

How often do I tell God I'll serve Him and only Him? And how often do I say that and keep those little 'g' gods in the back of my head? Music, movies, friendships, worry, fear, pride....the list can go on forever. I don't care what it is, if it's taking the throne of God, it's an idol.

In the book of Judges, taking place directly after Joshua's death, we see the Israelites fall again and again and again. The vicious cycle continues for years and years. The Israelites replace the God of Jacob with idols, they are enslaved by another nation, they cry out to Jehovah, the Lord raises up a judge to  lead them, they are freed, and then they fall back into sin.

What happened to that commitment to serve the Lord and obey him? What happened to the fervor that gripped their hearts and the remembrance that kept them in awe of the God that rescued them from Egypt? What happened to my fervor? Where is my awe in remembering how Christ brought me up out of the miry clay and redeemed my soul?

I've had a couple goals in the past week to help me throw away my foreign gods and return to my First Love. One of these goals included cleaning out my media. I did it and it was surprisingly easy. As I looked at each song, it wasn't necessarily a question of whether or not it was 'bad' by any standards. The question was "What is distracting me from my walk with God?" What feelings or emotions does it evoke? What do I think about? When I considered what I was doing, I realized that of course my God is more important than any entertainment I own! How could I even compare the two? It made it so easy to listen with disgust to the songs that I ended up permanently deleting off of my computer.

So, now I want to ask you...What are your foreign gods and what will you do with them?

"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve..." - Joshua 24:15a

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