TODAY’S FORECAST: Reflective
For those of you who may have not seen my last post, let me do a quick recap. I was discussing the wonders of GPS for people like me who are directionally challenged. 🙂 I also decided that in the next few blog posts that I was going to recount the Ten Commandments as a relevant “spiritual” GPS in our lives. So today is commandment 1:
I am the Lord Your God, you shall have no other gods before Me.
During the time of the Israelites’ expedition from Egypt to the “Promised Land,” there were many nations that worshiped cultural gods. Even as Moses came down from Mt. Sinai he witnessed his own people worshiping a golden calf. During Moses’ absence, the people had demanded of Aaron that they have an idol to worship and offer sacrifice to that would go before them on their journey because they didn’t know what happened to Moses. Not unlike many of us, they were a people easily distracted.
Obviously, while there are other religions that exist today; in most, people are not melting down jewelry to erect false idols. It would seem then that this commandment is totally outdated and irrelevant to current times, but I disagree. Really, this commandment is about what is central in our lives. A pastor and good friend of mine, Joe Coffey, often talks about how humans are made to have a center. We can’t function without something being central in lives. It is at the core of our being, the very heart of who we are and everything that we do is a reflection of this center. This core may be different things for different people. Where we get into trouble is in the fact that we were designed to want to fill that central need and often it is not God that we choose to fill it with. Anything we decide to put before God becomes a god that we place before Him in our lives. It may be our jobs, our popularity, our addictions, our inability to trust, anything that becomes central to how we operate. Putting anything other than God in that spot, makes us inherently disobedient to this commandment. It’s easy to say that as Christians we don’t worship “other gods”, but is that really true? Take some time to reflect on these items:
1. Do I neglect to love God, to make Him first in my life?
2. Do I forget to thank and praise Him for the good things He has given me in my life from the smallest to the greatest?
3. Do I relinquish my need for control and trust His will for my life? Do I consult God with the decisions I make?
4. Do I take time to pray? Are my prayers hurried and careless or do I sincerely carve out time to develop my relationship with Him everyday?
5. Have I doubted or denied my faith because I was embarrassed or fearful?
6. Do I make a god out of my work, my possessions, or my image in the eyes of others so that these rule my life instead of God?
7. Am I angry toward God because of illness or misfortune? Do I blame Him for the trials in my life?
8. Do my addictions rule my life instead of God? Drugs/Alcohol, Pornography, Gambling, Work, Promiscuity, Shopping, Hoarding, Gluttony?
9. Do I make God the center of our family with regular prayer and sharing of His Word? Do I model my faith for my children?
10. Do I give credit to God for my talents? Our successes?
I don’t know about you, but I had to gulp on more than a few. We need to remember that this commandment is key for putting us one step closer on our road to heaven. It is a “hinge,” if you will, to all the other commandments that will easily fall into place if only we could keep God at the center of lives.
Lord, we desperately want to develop a relationship with You, but we can’t begin to understand the extent of Your sacrifice when we can’t keep our eyes, hearts and minds fixed on You. Help us not only to commit the acts in reflection of our relationship with You but give us the continued desire to have You be central in our lives. Show us that harmony can exist if we keep our course set with Yours. We ask this in Your name. Amen.