I attended Catholic school growing up. I heard about how people in the bible worshipped idols. I thought that was thousands of years ago. Nobody worships idols now, right? That is not right. Religions today still worship idols. Some Christians even worship idols. They put other things above God. Money. Power. Prestige.
There are so many people that go to church every Sunday. Yet, they value money and prestige more than God. They will never admit it, because they do not know they are doing it. Where is their heart? Where are their thoughts? Are they spending time every day reading the bible and praying? Or, are they trying to get the latest thing. Go to the newest event. Talk about the latest show. How are they spending their time? Do they spend their time gossiping about other people and judging them? Each day, how much time do they spend with God? How much time is spent on other things?
Its not wrong to have money. The bible wants us to have money, save it and pass it down to our kids. Its not wrong to try the newest thing. God gave us all these things to enjoy. I think it becomes wrong when we spend more time and energy on things other than God. I know people that go to church every Sunday, but think its crazy that I go to bible studies. When we start valuing things more than we value God, we need examine our priorities, and make some changes.
In the bible God wants his people to stop worshipping idols and other “things”. The people are defiling themselves with idols and things. God promises to deliver them from their dwelling places, where they have sinned and cleanse them.
They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
–Ezekiel 37:23 (NKJV)
God took his people from their homes, where they had sinned, and moved them, so they could be his people again, and he could be their God again. When the bible says “dwelling place”, I wonder if it also means where their hearts are. Were their hearts also set on idols and things? Did God have to cleanse their hearts from these things to make them pure again? I think so. Then they could be his people again, and God could be their one true God in their hearts.
In the bible, there was a story about a rich man asking Jesus how to inherit eternal life in heaven. Jesus gave him the commandments, and the man said that he has always followed them. Then Jesus looked at him with love and told him to give away all his possessions to the poor and follow Jesus. The man “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
–Mark 10:17-22 (NKJV)
I remember reading this parable as a child. Now, I truly understand it. We were at a point where my husband lost his job, and we were about to lose everything. We had to make a choice to believe that God was going to help us or think that we could do it on our own. We did lose a great deal of money and savings. We found God. And, when we found God, we knew that God would restore everything and give us more than we had, as long as we were faithful. God had us leave our house and state and start over in a new home, in a new state with a new job. For a few years, we had hardly anything. I thanked God everyday for what we did have. I had faith and peace in my heart. I started praying everyday. When we needed something, God would give us what we needed through different ways. We knew that God would take care of us.
I remember when we had some extra money in the bank, my husband took our car for service. There was a nail in the tire. He wasn’t happy with the added expenses. I remember telling him how God was watching over us. There was a point where we would not have able to pay to fix it, and God held it there, until he gave us the money. It was like God held us and our house together and carried us through a few years. We made it through by faith. We kept believing, so God kept providing for us. It is scary to think you are going to lose everything. We chose to give it all to God. Stress. Worries. Money. Our kids were fine, and we were fine. God carried us through and protected us. God is the only one that can give you that feeling of peace in your heart.
I recently read an article about how to be happy. It said to volunteer and give and not seek money, but do things you love. The article said there are so many unhappy millionaires and billionaires. I do not disagree with any of these points, however the article missed the most important source of happiness. God. When we believe in God, everything falls into place. What is better than money, power and prestige? The peace you feel in your heart, when you believe in God. When you try and get closer to God by reading the bible, listening to Christian music, going to Sunday services, the Holy Spirit will fill you up with peace that is better than money, power and prestige. Try it. You will thank God later!