False gods

Friends, tonight I had to fill in for one of the writers of my church’s blog, Connect+Scripture. I have to leave the house before daylight in the morning to go to an out-of-town conference, so I can’t stay up and write a separate post for this space.

Therefore, if you’re staying up late, you get a free preview of the C+S post, which will publish at midnight. I hope it speaks to you and challenges you:

[verse]1 Kings 12-15[/verse] – Commentary by Suzy Oakley

Have you ever looked around your little corner of the world, or watched five minutes of the network news, and said to yourself, “How could it get any worse?” How could this world we live in sink any lower into the depths of depravity, self-centeredness and greed?

I think we’ve been saying that for millennia. Each generation is worse than the last, and we think it can’t possibly get any worse than it is now.

Well, my friend, it can. There may be “nothing new under the sun”  (Ecclesiastes 1:9), but there are variations on a theme.

In the days of the Old Testament kings, the theme was false gods. In fact, throughout the history of God’s chosen people, putting other gods before Him was the theme that echoed through the ages.

Can you hear it?

Israel’s worship of false gods was the root of everything that was wrong with the world. Any time we try to be our own boss, to fill a void in our lives that only God can fill, to think we know best, we are worshiping a false god. We may not have the same exact idols the children of Israel had, but anything we put ahead of our Creator is an idol.

We have traded golden calves for golden arches.

I’m speaking for myself here. My personal god is food. This is true for millions of Americans, whether they are fat, skinny or something in between. Some of us eat too much; some of us eat too little. Either way, food has become a god, a way to comfort ourselves, be “in control” or in some other way make ourselves feel better. Food has become an obsession, a god. And any god with a little “g” is a false god.

If you have visited my personal blog in the past week, you know that I have finally “gone public” about my struggles with weight and food. I wanted to throw light on the issue so that it won’t be an ugly, secret sin any longer. A week ago today, I announced my weight (the exact number on the scale) and a commitment to deal with my false god in public, in an effort to help myself and others deal with our heavy burdens (and by “help myself” I mean only by God’s leading – I have to do my share of the hard work, but He is holding my hand).

Tossing out my “golden calf” (and its stinky, insect-infested brothers and sisters) isn’t going to be easy, and I’ve enlisted help. I have hope and joy and a sense of release for finally letting it all hang out, so to speak. I want to stomp that idol to smithereens. But I can do it only by putting God where that big fat cow has been sitting for so long.

I wish I could say that food is my only false god. I also worship at the altar of busyness, bossiness and caring too much what others think of me. (Don’t worry; I’m stopping here. I won’t throw the whole list at you!)

Perhaps your god is money, laziness, workaholism, worry, gossip, the need to be liked. Anything that keeps you from putting the One True God on His rightful throne at the center of your heart is a god with a little “g.”

Let’s keep God on His throne, where He belongs.

What are some gods you would like to work on obliterating?

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