"He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.). Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel." (2 Kings 18: 4 -5)
Do you have something in your life you just can't live without?
A new friend of mine invited me to her church last Sunday. Besides enjoying the welcoming spirit of the members, I was so pleased to watch the youth lead the service and to hear a sermon from the youth pastor. He invited everyone to recognize their idols, remove them and restore the worship due to God.
Easier said than done, right? You may be thinking: "Who has idols? Me? Of course, not!" It’s possible you do, but might not even know it.
Recognizing our idols
Idols are not always “bad” things as people may think. Idols can actually be good things God has graciously offered us. Now, I'm not saying God gives us idols, but that good things and people in our life can easily turn into idols.
King Hezekiah had the courage "to break into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made" (2 Kings 18: 4). The youth pastor said that the bronze snake had been standing there for 400 years! The bronze snake was given to the children of Israel for healing (Numbers 21:9).
During the wilderness journey, the bronze snake was made by Moses at God's command so the complaining Israelites could repent, look at the statute and get a second chance to life. So the deal was done 400 years ago but they still kept the useless bronze snake!
What good things has God given you? Education, family, a job with a paycheck? Have any of those things become an idol in your life?
Removing our idols
Assuming that most of us already have one or more idols in our lives, we need to remove them ASAP. But how? We need to recognize them.
For me, my education is a source of pride. I have to remind myself that God is the reason I've come so far. I accept and enjoy compliments from friends and family. However, I remind myself every day that everything I am and everything I have come from the Lord.
Wealth, material things, school, career, extracurricular activities (sports, hobbies, music) and relationships that are “good” things for us can become idols. Has anything replaced Jesus’ rightful place in your heart?
If you have no ideas, you can always pray this prayer: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." (Psalm 139:23)
Restoring our worship
"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him" (Colossians 1:16).
Assuming you have recognized and removed the idol(s) in your life, I would like to invite you to restore your worship. Every human being has a spiritual nature that somehow knows there is something/someone higher than her/him. This is why it's so important to keep your spiritual focus on God every single day. This daily task, through praises and prayers, will help us to ensure that Jesus Christ is the only one who receives our worship.
Born and raised in Cameroon, Jessica Foumena left her home country to pursue her college education abroad after high school. Prior to her stay in the U.S., she spent two wonderful years in Asia as the first Cameroonian of the United World College of India. In May 2009, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with honors from Westminster College. Foumena is currently a journalism graduate student at Baylor University. She blogs at http://www.praiseprayprosper.blogspot.com.