In my last blog (This, Not That) I wrote about how we can turn to Jesus to see how the 10 Commandments apply to our lives. As we continue this discussion, I want to stay on Commandment number 1 for just a bit longer. Keep reading as I look at what having “No Other Gods” is all about.
Easier Said Than Done
On the surface having no other gods before God sounds pretty easy. I mean, I don’t worship any other gods, I recognize God as the one true God…but do I act like it?
“A person will worship something, have no doubt. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping, we are becoming.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Right Place
Today I saw an Instagram post from Rob at www.robsingleton.com that put it in this perspective. Having no other gods before Him does not mean putting Him first, it means putting Him at the center of everything and putting Him on the throne.
When we think of putting things before God we normally thing of things like, selfishness, money, work, and addiction just to name a few. The truth is, putting other things before God begins with removing Him from the center of our lives. Everything we do should be based on God being the center of our lives. In today’s world there is one major area that we have to look at because we consume ourselves in this area and it can quickly overtake our lives.
The Need to Be Liked
In a recent article on Medium.com (https://medium.com/@JBBC/how-much-time-do-people-spend-on-social-media-in-2019-infographic-cc02c63bede8) it was highlighted that 45% of the world’s population uses social media and the average time spend on social media is over 2 hours per day. Many users admit to being connected to some form of social media at all times. I have to admit until writing this article I have had my notifications on at all times. Starting today, I am going to try turning off my notifications and seeing if that will help limit my time online.
We live in a very interesting time. The disciples never had to worry about a post on social media offending someone else. I can’t imagine what Paul’s Instagram feed would look like but I would have loved to see it. Our lives are on display 24/7 and we are posting our every move for others to see. I personally feel that we are more concerned with being liked and accepted than we have ever been before. For many the desire to become accepted has become the god they have put before God.
Have you ever said: “I don’t post about religion on social media because I don’t want to offend anyone on my page? Stop and ask yourself, “who are you serving?”
I am not saying that you should just run around with the goal of pushing people away, but you must understand that the gospel is offensive, especially to those who know it and are not living it. When we stop sharing Christ in any aspect of our lives because we are afraid of how others will take it then we must consider that their opinion is keeping us from serving God fully. It is quite possible that maintaining a positive image in the mind of others has become the god we serve.
This is just a reminder to us all that it is not always the obvious things that push God to the back seat but sometimes it is the quite things that we never really see that creep up and take the top spot on our list of priorities.
Only One Pilot
Have you ever saw the old bumper sticker that said “God is my Co-Pilot”? I think that may be the best use of bad theology that I have ever saw. Whoever created that bumper sticker probably had the best of intentions but honestly I don’t want to be the Co-pilot. God has this under control. I do not have an equal say with God in my life. My life is surrendered to Him and therefore He is the pilot and I am a passenger. I would be remiss if I posted this without mentioning that I believe the number thing that we place before God is “SELF”.
We are our own god. We are selfish creatures and everything about our worldly nature tells us to serve self. It all goes back to what is at the center of your universe. When we put ourselves at the center then our lives are going to be focused on our wants and desires. We are going to put ourselves before others. When God is at the center of our lives and we have ‘no other gods before Him” then we cannot help but to be focused on others and less on self.
Setting the Table
“No other Gods before Me” as the first commandment sets the tone for us to have Christ at the center of our lives. As a result, the rest of the commandments will be much easier to understand and follow.