Honestly, we all worship many gods.
From the gods of career to the gods of money or influence or fame, the God of Heaven gets very little of our daily time.
I do not exclude myself in this. I do a daily bible study and prayer time about once a week, if I am lucky. I frequent church services and small group meetings only to rush on to the next thing immediately after my obligation is fulfilled. And just like you, I drive past the poor on the sides of the road while driving home to sit in front of my television.
How can anyone give all of their time back to God? Is it even possible?
Our small group Bible study recently started in on Mark Driscoll’s book, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Bold title, huh? In the first chapter, Pastor Driscoll talks about the nature of God, specifically in the doctrine of the Trinity. In the midst of describing God, Driscoll takes a detour and decides to offer a reason for why “other gods” exist in the world. He names a few gods of various religions and then goes on to describe them as powerful demons, capable of great works but who are ultimately deceptive.
Aside from Driscoll’s obvious love of being in the controversy spotlight, he misses the point of the foremost of the Ten Commandments. Limiting himself to a literal understanding of “other gods,” he limits the scope of the greatest commandment. According to Driscoll, as long as I do not worship these things in name, I do not commit offense.
But what about when I pass someone in need in a rush to pick up my Xbox controller? How about when I leave fellowship at church or small group in order to get to lunch sooner? Or even when I bring my ten percent to the storehouse, while spending the other ninety on my own whims?
What Driscoll means when he calls these other gods “demons,” is that they become idols. An idol does not have to be a person, though in America we are quick to build them up and quicker to tear them down as such. An idol does not have to be an abstract idea, philosophy or ethic. An idol, in its simplest form, is ANYTHING that takes our time, talents, gifts, and services away from God.
My Xbox, my television, my computer games, food, drink: these were all idols in my life. With the help of God, I am learning how to remove them.
In May of this year, I went Paleo. I asked God’s help to remove the idols of food and drink in my life and restore eating and drinking to what He intended it to be. Now, I have lost 45 pounds, and more importantly, my body is in better shape for whatever He calls me to.
Last month, convicted by sermons we heard in our local congregation, my wife and I have decided to get rid of the idols of entertainment in our lives. Hopefully God will use this decision to not only bless and enrich our lives, but also to bless and enrich our community and His kingdom.