Any time we set something or let something be first in our lives or occupy more emphasis than it should, compared to our pursuit of the Lord, that thing is an idol, or a false god in our lives. Today we are encouraged by the psalms to consider the place of God in our lives.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
There are a few things which jump out at me from today’s text. The first is that the Lord is exalted far above all gods. I sometimes have a hard time with songs and readings that speak of ‘our God’ or which compare God to ‘other gods’ because there are no other Gods except God. ‘Our’ God is The God. He isn’t ours – he is everyone’s.
The point is, however, that people set up gods in their lives all over the world and throughout history. Although I truly believe there is only one architect of the universe and maker of humans, I concede that there are many other gods. I have made some myself.
In my life, I have made money my god, success my god, reputation my god, righteousness my god, sex my god, my stomach my god, biblical knowledge my god, and probably many other things. What things have you made gods in your life over the years?
Any time we set something or let something be first in our lives or occupy more emphasis than it should, compared to our pursuit of the Lord, that thing is an idol, or a false god in our lives.
God is exalted above all of those things in my life, yet at any time I can slip or be tripped back to a place where something else comes first. When God is first, however, I hate evil. And God is there to protect us from evil and the wicked ones who would drag us down.
Will we let God have his way and protect us? When we do, his light shines brightly into our lives. There is a joy which comes with an upright heart. When God protects and guards our hearts and lives in Christ Jesus (which he promises to do here and in Philippians 4:7), we will have joy in our hearts.
There are some choices to make in our journeys with God. It starts with making him what he really is. God. God of our personal worlds. Above the other and false gods which compete for our hearts.