“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:19-21)
When you worship someone or something, you make them the first priority and final authority in your life. If watching sports is your idol, then you set your priorities and arrange your life around sports. The moment you get off work all you can think about is getting home and turning on ESPN, getting to the baseball field to watch your favorite team play, or coaching your son or daughter’s soccer team. There is nothing wrong with any of these things unless they have taken over your life and become an idol, taking the place of God in your life. If God is truly your God, then He is always the first thing on your mind and the One who always has your whole heart. You set your priorities and arrange your life by His Word and the leading of His Spirit. It’s really just that simple.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Going to church a couple of times a week is not giving God first priority in your life. You cannot go to church and worship God with a passion, live like the world the rest of the time, and keep yourself from worshipping idols. If you think and speak and live like the world, you will be devoted to the things the world is devoted to. The world loves and is devoted to a lot of things that can distract you from God and even oppose God. That’s why we are warned again and again to guard our hearts and minds from the world.
To keep yourself from idols, you must keep your heart and mind from being captured by anything and anyone other than Jesus Christ. He must always be your first love. You can love other people. You can enjoy all kinds of activities. You can even spend time with unbelievers and work in the world. You can do all this if Jesus remains your first love and none of these other people or things grab your heart the way He does.
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article courtesy of TheStreamingFaith.com