I have recently been reading the Old Testament stories. And Moses was a pretty cool dude. I mean come on he got to be so close to the glory of God that his face started glowing! I’m not making this up, go check out Exodus 34:29-35. He is up there for a reason though, he is receiving the tablets again. That’s right I said again. In chapters 20-31 Moses receives the 10 commandments, the laws and directions for constructing the tabernacle. When he comes down in Chapter 32 he is a little taken aback. I wonder what he would think if he came down and saw us living our lives.
Flashback: Moses is coming down from the mountain because God told him that the people were up to no good. He’s thinking to himself, what have they done? Surely its nothing too bad. I mean we were just delivered out of slavery and have seen God provide in the form of bread falling from the sky and water coming from a rock. If that had been what he was thinking it was gravely wrong. They had constructed a golden calf to worship instead of waiting to see how God demanded worship.
As I got to that part of the story I thought to myself, “What idiots! Have they already forgotten how great God is? They would rather worship something made with their own hands than the God who fed them from the heavens!” Then I started thinking about my own life and I think we have constructed blue (Facebook), red (Netflix), green (money) and many other (career, family, popularity, etc.) calves for ourselves.
We hear a lot about the idol of money but it isn’t so much a problem in my life so I thought I was off the hook with all of the idol business. Then I started to examine where all my time went. I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t time with God. I used to brag (and on occasion still do) that I have watched all 9 seasons of The Office countless times. Seriously countless, we stopped counting at 12. I think the biggest idol in my life is that big red N. Recently I’ve been doing my best to combat this idol worship. Here are a few steps that can be applied to anything that is becoming an idol. Now these aren’t a sure fix by any means but I think it is a great place to start.
- I know this seems simple but for me it’s one of the hardest steps. Prayer has been the hardest part of strengthened my relationship with God but I know it has helped. Pray that God will increase your desire for him and that he will provide you opportunities to know him better.
- Get away
- Physically distance yourself. Since I know that my idol is television, as soon as I get home I go to our study which doesn’t have a television. I know what you are thinking, “What about a computer or the little screen that goes everywhere?” Well this may not be the best answer but once you watch your favorite shows on a 65 inch TV it’s hard to enjoy it on a 6.5 inch screen.
- Find a friend
- I told my wife that I wanted to watch less Netflix (I don’t mean to discriminate here, Hulu, YouTube, and any other non-cable video source are equal culprits.) She holds me accountable because I asked her too. I have also asked her and my small group to pray that I overcome this.
After having this realization I fear what the rest of my Bible study will reveal about my life but I welcome it. I don’t want God to look at my life and shake his head saying “You idiot!”* the way I do towards biblical characters who just don’t get it. I look forward to living more and more in a way that glorifies God. I’ll leave you with this quote from Donald Whitney, “If people threw away their money as thoughtlessly as they throw away their time, we would think them insane.”
*I don’t think God would actually call me an idiot