4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.Exodus 20 4-6
Today I had the pleasure of listening to someone teach on this very topic. It hit home for me because I often lose sight of who indeed has my attention and worship. God created us to worship Him, but do we? In some cases, it’s not that we intentionally replaced Him with someone or something else. It can start off so innocently and after some time, when you look back up, you notice that you have drifted so far and lost focus of what matters in life.
If we lose sight and don’t do a self-check in every so often, we can totally miss the distance we have put between God and ourselves. I’ve been guilty of this myself.
For some of us, we can tell ourselves that we are doing just fine. That God is still at the center of our hearts. And that may indeed be the case. However, let’s also check and make sure it’s not our pride getting in the way.
Our God is a good God who told us to not worship anything or anyone besides Him. My encouragement to you as I heard today, is to do an inventory of what our heart truly desires. Who are we putting at the center of our life, our time, our desires?
Let me be clear about a few things. It’s not that we can’t enjoy the things of this life. We need money to live. We should be confident individuals. It’s okay to like fashion. It’s okay to have hobbies. The problem lies at the root. When the love for money, fashion, trends, etc. takeover, that’s when we find ourselves in murky waters. That’s when our hearts and minds replace God from the throne.
But here’s the good news. God doesn’t abandon his Children. He knew us before the foundations of the earth. He loves us and has shed His grace on us. His love and character don’t change if we have temporarily lost sight of who deserves our full attention. Even in our daily struggles, we need our God and He is there.
Let’s look in the mirror from time to time. Not with the intention of feeling guilty and unworthy, but because of what God has done for us, we want to be obedient children of God. We desire to please Him not because of what we’ll get out of the transaction but because we were so lost and dead in our sin, that only His love could save us.
When God is at the center of it all, we become better humans. We become better people. We treat others better. We love our neighbors. We speak life into those around us. And most importantly, we worship a God through our actions in response with gratitude for His grace.
God knows your heart. Don’t look for the approval of man. You were called because you were worth it. Take joy and freedom in that. Let’s all get back in line and live according to God’s will. Let’s continue to worship a God that conquered death for us. So that we may have hope.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7