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God's Place

God's Place

24 August 2011

Reading: Jeremiah 33-34; Psalm 74; 1 John 5

Scripture:

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. (1 John 5:21 NLT)

The Greek version of this verse says, “Keep away from idols.” An idol is something other than the living God that is worshipped. An idol can be worshipped because it is feared, because it is adored, or because it is considered a source of provision or protection.

God is the only one who rightly occupies the place of reverence, adoration, ultimate defender and provider in the human heart, and anything that takes his place is an idol!

I’m thinking about some of the things that can take God’s place in my heart. (Molech, Ashtoreth, Baal, Thor, Odin, and the other gods of legend and myth are not really the dangers here!)

If I look to my ability to earn as my source, then my job, career, or business can become an idol. If I adore a hobby or a toy to the extent that I give it energy, time, or resources that belong to God, it becomes an idol. If I place a person or a human relationship in the shrine of my heart, then that person or relationship has taken God’s place. If I live in debilitating fear of sickness, loss, or death, these things have taken God’s place in my heart. Paul said greed and materialism is a form of idolatry.

25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you long, full lives. (Exodus 23:25-26 NLT)

Do not fear anything except the Lord your God. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. (Isaiah 8:13 NLT)

Prayer:

Father, You alone are truly God. Please forgive me for allowing other things to take the place only you deserve to occupy in my heart. I love you. I fear you. I know you are my protector and provider. You alone are my God and you alone will I reverence and worship. Amen.

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