This morning, I was hit hard by the fact that the first thing I picked up when I woke up was my phone. At first it was just to turn an alarm off, but then it became checking mail, social media, and other notifications. At first, I shrugged this off, but as I was getting ready for the day, I came to a conclusion: I am, to a degree (note my justification there), an idol worshipper. How many times a day do I take my phone out just to check it, play a game, read an e-mail. Or go on social media? While I may post an awful lot about God, I’m mostly logging in to social media and checking to see how many people have read, who’s commented, or how many likes my posts have gotten. It actually made me kind of ill. I prayed for repentance, I realized that I’m throwing chains around myself to mute and deaf gods run by men and women who, themselves, are enslaved to mute and idol gods. My need to be entertained, my lack of seeking reading, but seeking to have noise in the background, the things I pursue instead of Christ, all of it brought to mind the sermon I heard as I visited my home church last Sunday (the topic was money, but this definitely applies!): are the things in our lives, our money, possessions, past times and jobs serving God, or are they becoming our masters? We all need to stop and consider our lives, our possessions, our hobbies, and even our jobs and families. We need to ask ourselves if we’re being consumed by them, or are we using them to draw ourselves and others closer to God. We can become idolaters without even intending to. We can seek to enjoy life so much that pleasure becomes our God. We can desire to provide so much for our families that work becomes our master. We can be so afraid of losing our family or relationships that we become obsessed with keeping them happy instead of guiding them in the direction of Jesus. Do you see how quickly we can fall away from our First Love? All of life, whether it be in possessions, relationships, or whatever else should always be to honor God and love others as Christ loves us. In doing this, we always bring God honor and glory. When we deviate from this, we begin to worship idols, which includes ourselves, and what small gods we are, diminished and broken. In Christ and Christ alone is joy and contentment found. Let us, then, put away anything that is drawing us away, and rest in His presence. Matthew 6:19-34
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.