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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Modern-Day Idolatry

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
A few nights ago, during our time together as a family for devotions, we read a section in our book called, “Israel Forgets God.” It was a simple story - if we can call forgetting God simple - which introduces the cyclical faith of the Israelite people. As long as Moses and Joshua were alive, and leading the people of Israel - although, they would rebel against God from time to time - they would always return to him. However, there came a time after the death of Moses and later, with Joshua when those ways were forgotten. Judges 2:10 says, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers (died), another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the images of Baal (false gods).”


This evil rebellion against God, led the nation of Israel into numerous wars and attacks from neighboring countries. Eventually, when the Israelites would finally become completely hopeless and defeated, they would cry out to God and he would save them, every time. Let me repeat that...God would save them - not once in awhile; but, every time.

This was basically what happened the night of our family devotions. When we concluded, we each took turns praying aloud. When it came to my turn, I prayed through a multitude of “thank yous,” a few requests, and finished up by asking God to forgive us when we allow ourselves to get distracted, forgetting him, and worshiping false gods. After the final “amen,” our innocent and curious eight-year-old said, “But Mama, we have never worshipped idols. We only worship God.” 

Catheryn was absolutely right - well sort of. We do intentionally, only worship the One, True, Living God - Yaweh. And, like her, there was a time in my life when I would have said I would never, ever worship anything, or anyone, other than God. That would be crazy, right? I would never be so foolish. Or would I? Would you? Could anything be so powerful to lure you away from God?

I know, there was a time I thought breaking the first or second Commandment would never be a temptation, let alone a problem, for me. I did it though. As they say, “been there, done that.” However, it crept in so slowly, I was bowed down and was worshiping before I even knew it. Now, to be fair, was I literally, physically bowed before a created image? No!  However, have you ever had an experience where you found yourself loving something more than you should or desiring something so much that you just had to have it? Well, that's exactly what I am talking about.

Once our family devotions were over, I got to thinking about the power of idolatry in our lives, so, I decided to look up the actual definitions of “worship”, “idolatry”,  and “Baal,” and if you don’t mind, I’d love to share those definitions with you.

Worship: “to feel an adoring reverence or regard for; to be devoted to and full of admiration for; admiring love or devotion” (Dictionary.com)

Idolatry: “Whatever gets our firsts - first focus, first thought, first consideration” (Dr. Jay Cook, [my]  pastor, First Baptist Church, Pascagoula, Mississippi )

Baal: Baal was a god to which there have been many temples, idols, and altars built throughout  the centuries. This god was believed to be associated with production of crops and children. Much of the religious ceremonies were centered around prostitution and sometimes required human sacrifice. This god, as well as many others are none other than demons masquerading as gods. Therefore any worship or dealings with these “gods” are purely demonic.

How are these definitions speaking to you?

How can you compare these definitions to your own life?

How can you reflect and apply this to your life this week?

What got your “firsts” today? How might that look different tomorrow?

Ask God to help you take an honest inventory of your priorities and motives this week; and then, check back next week to the Relevant Ministry blog to read the second part of the article about modern day idolatry.


For more about Relevant Women - RelevantMinistry.org/RelevantWomen

3 comments:

  1. Love it. Great job. Picture tells a story as well. This is something I need to ask myself each week. Wendy

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  2. The Lord has so much to say on this topic! He deserves all of our FIRSTS! It is sad, and frightening, how simple it can be to NOT give Him what He deserves.
    This is something I should be asking myself, daily. I get so very distracted by life.
    I am thankful for His grace and mercy which are new each day! Thank you, Wendy!
    In Christ <><

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  3. Great job Mrs. Coleman. You have an amazing way of expression for your passion of Christ. Spoken like a true expert. Fascinating!!!

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