Concluding the CLEAN acronym: N
N – Negate other gods ~ “You shall have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:3. “Therefore, my beloved, flee idolatry,” 1 Corinthians 10:14. “Not one can serve two masters…you cannot serve God and money (wealth and possessions)” Matthew 6:24.
Modern day idols may comprise of many things, people, or pleasures. Webster’s Dictionary defines god as, “any person or thing exalted or made an object of supreme devotion. Anything that absorbs one’s attentions or aspirations.” John Calvin said, “The evil in our desire typically does not lie in what we want, but that we want it too much.”
Idols offer only lifeless voids, exhausting us and providing no rest for our souls. We pay homage to other gods, and set up idols, when we seek fulfillment in people, pleasures, or achievements. Seeking this fulfillment only leads to control, anxiety, worry, love of money, self-reliance, scheming, lust, idolatry, indulgence, putting Christ to the test, grumbling, a mind preoccupied resting on plans, pleasures, people, places, or possession. If out of kilter, all of these listed and others not listed may pay homage to gods. The Lord desires us to make Him our highest priority. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you,” Isaiah 26:3.
The Israelites never relinquished other gods in their departure from Egypt. Fully convinced that they lived as devout followers of the Lord, the Israelites fell quickly into worship of pagan gods and set up shrines in their honor. They lived deceived, thinking because other nations worshiped other gods, that they could add God to their worship of Baal (a false god.) We may not set up shrines physically. However, what “god(s)” have we not relinquished by that which absorbs our full attention or by that in which we have made an object of supreme devotion?
In reading through the Bible again in 2013, I noticed a pattern among early believers, like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac—they chose to worship God first. I recognized that following setting up an altar to worship the one true God, negated worship to other gods. It seems whatever they searched for landed in their territory without much effort, whether a person, place, or possession. What is your quest? Worship the Lord first. If your search for a person, place, or possession lies in the plan of God, for your life, He will provide. The Lord plans to take us along a path where we hold the opportunity to live free from our absorption or aspirations to other gods. Stop for a moment to ponder, if idolatry exists in your life. Choose to Negate (deny, cancel out, undo, go against, and wipe out) other gods!
He Washes Me CLEAN as I Negate other gods through life lessons of trusting Him fully. Will we relinquish god(s)? Will we trust Him alone?
link to Chris Thomlin leads in the song, “How Great is Our God.”