The Ten Commandments, the Law, is a powerful tool, but it doesn’t have the power to save us. New life, true heart transformation, comes only through Christ and the Cross. But in order to be saved we need to know the diagnosis, so we need a test to examine our heart. The Law shows us, as we break it frequently, that we aren’t holy. Only Jesus and God are Holy. Going deeper, the 10 commandments of the Law are the main prompts that show us what’s at the center of our hearts and how our hearts are beating, our cardiac output.
The Commandments focus on our relationships with God and others. The bottom line: God and love. The first of the Ten Commandments, “thou shalt have no other gods before me,” calls for an undivided faithfulness to God. Because we have been created in God’s image, our relationship with God is at the very core of our human needs and affects everyone we contact.
“Other gods” usually brings to mind a wooden or stone image … or the proclaimed god of another religion. But there are subtler and more prevalent “other gods.” Anything that takes our focus off Christ … anything that we devote more time, attention and allegiance to … can become our other god. It might be food, money, sports, sex or a high. It could be our job, a relationship, or even our kids or involvement in a ministry.
It is so easy to get sidetracked, sometimes even doing good things, and letting our personal relationship with the Lord suffer. A periodic self-evaluation and reality check can be enlightening … because even if you don’t check and correct, God certainly does. He wants your heart to beat well with maximum cardiac output. When He has to show us our “other gods” and take them away life feels more acutely uncomfortable than when we find them ourselves, repent, and draw closer to Him.
Today, ask yourself these questions: Am I asking God for guidance … or doing my own thing? Am I trusting in my job, another person, or my own abilities more than I am trusting in the Lord? In what areas do I have the mindset, “my kingdom come, my will be done,” instead of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done?” If you find that you have wandered off the path, confess, repent, and begin to refocus on Jesus. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, Forgive me for getting sidetracked and making other things or people a more important part of my life than You are. Thank You for the Law that helps me examine my heart. But also thanks for the grace You continue to extend to me even though I mess up and sadden You by replacing You with other impotent and uncaring pursuits. Help me to refocus on Jesus and on my relationship with You and treasure the wealth in it. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One to whom I give my undivided faithfulness, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
You must not have any other god but me.
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.