Today’s Idolatry

"You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3 NKJV)

Of all the ten commandments, this first one prohibiting idolatry may be the most likely to be regarded as outdated in today’s culture.  For many, it may call to mind images of ancient rituals and sacrifices that could seem irrelevant in modern life.  But if we get a more proper understanding of what idol worship really is, the relevance to our lives today becomes quite apparent.

An idol is wanting something to fulfill you other than God. Whatever is leading you is an idol unless it is God. (excerpt from Feed The Seed & Meet The Need pt.3, by Dr. Chester C. Pipkin)

Are we any less likely today to desire something else more than God Himself, compared to the ancient Isrealites?  Clearly not, and since He’s the only one who can actually fulfill us, everything else can only lead to disappointment (or worse.)  Even so, who among us hasn’t been tempted to pursue a relationship, education or career more than God?  Are the desires for power, influence, riches, and pleasure any less today than at any other time in history?

But enough rhetorical questions.  Let’s get practical.  There are implications to the realization that God’s commandment against idolatry remains as significant today as ever.  It is crucial that we look honestly at our own pursuits and recognize any areas where we’ve allowed something other than God to have first place in our lives.  We can start by looking at the things that we allow to distract us from our time with God.  We can also simply ask God to reveal to us those things that we’ve allowed to become idols in our hearts.

Whatever method the Lord uses to bring these false gods to our attention, the crucial next step is for us to remove them from they’re elevated position in our hearts, and put God back in that place where only He belongs.  That first commandment is there for a reason, and it’s as important for us today as it’s always been throughout history.