Altars and Idols

Joshua 24:23-24 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.”

Around the world today, we can find all sorts of altars and idols. For the child of God, we are taught that there is one God to worship and one altar at which to bow. Yet, we neglect to look deeper.

Asking questions like how much time is spent or what priority I place on the things I do or watch aids in seeing just what takes precedence in our lives.

We check our watches throughout the church service but think nothing of a two or three-hour movie. We criticize the preacher for church taking up too much of our precious time, but if we check it against the amount of screen time spent on our phones and televisions, we might be shocked.

Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”

Webster defines an idol as anything on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. A person, a job, a hobby, an activity, or even our family can become an idol in our life if it keeps us from following God’s commands.

An altar is something man-made at which the worship takes place. We first think of a church and a platform, pulpit, or table within that church as the altar we worship.

Did you ever think of how much time is spent on your phone?

Is overtime more important than family time?

Are your hobbies using more time than time in your Bible?

We can even be worshipping at the wrong altar in a good thing. God desires preeminence in all things.

Colossians 1:17-18 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

But if one places ministry above their family’s duty, they are worshiping at the wrong altar. 

1 Timothy 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”

Many a pastor or preacher has forsaken this admonition to the loss of their family. Fathers have lost their children and their marriages to a job or hobby, placing it over responsibility to the role of husband and father. 

As we review our roles and responsibilities and set them in an order pleasing to God, we can manage our time accordingly. Sometimes we start making the change and get distracted or fall back into old habits or routines. 

Just as God desires us to keep a clean heart and be right before Him, we must order our steps daily in such a manner that would be pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Psalm 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”

Humanly speaking, we justify what we want. As the purchased possession of Jesus Christ, I must rethink my life according to how it would please my Master. May we be found faithful to have bowed at the proper altar and worshipped that which would satisfy the One who saved me.

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