I am a stay-at-home mom and thus many of the ways that God reminds me of His truths are through teachable moments with my children. Many days I am teaching them the same lesson that God wants me to learn, and this has proven to be an abundant blessing to me. This was true for me this Sunday morning as I got the kids ready for church.
It was bath time and Mackenna was the first one into the tub. I started the water, plugged the drain, and squirted some bubbles into the water. Mackenna loves bubbles! As I put Sawyer in the tub I noticed Mackenna started hoarding her gigantic plume of bubbles. As he ventured through her barricade she quickly started throwing a fit and making every effort to keep her bubbles to herself. Hello, teaching opportunity! “Mackenna,” I said, “those bubbles are not yours; you need to share them with your brother.” She objected and justified her actions by her desire to have all the bubbles. In that second I saw how her heart was worshipping those bubbles instead of God. “Mackenna, you need Jesus and that is why your heart is so set on these bubbles that will be gone in a matter of minutes. These bubbles aren’t worth your worship. God lasts forever and is worthy of our worship. God says to love our brother but you are willing to treat your brother unkindly for bubbles. It’s not worth it!” Her consequence for her selfish hoarding was that she lost her privilege to play with the bubbles.
As I was speaking to Mackenna, God helped me to see how often I worship bubbles as well. My bubbles resemble control, pleasure, ease, and comfort. But they are all the same. They are idols that are not worthy of my praise. They will pop. They will be thrown out in the bathwater. And in the end, I don’t want to be spending my life worshipping them. But why do we all get caught up in idolatry? I think that just like Mackenna, we focus on our love for (fill in the blank) and we forget about our God.
Matthew 6: 24 says, “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.”
The more we focus on our idol, the more our love for God fades into the background. But God is so good to get our attention when we are straying from Him. He promises to discipline those that He loves. He is a jealous God who will not allow us to continue in idolatry. He has redeemed us from the futility of our idolatry through Christ’s sacrifice. And when we find that our hearts are trying to serve two masters, His kindness will lead us to repentance. Hosea 11:8-9 shows us God’s heart towards His children who are caught up in idolatry:
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, all My compassions are kindled. I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.”
If you are God’s child and you find yourself caught up in chasing idols of your heart today, don’t be discouraged – know that God’s compassions are kindled towards you and repent. God loves you! He will redeem you completely! And His love for you will overcome your heart that is still so easily entangled in sin. The next time the idols of your heart rear their ugly heads imagine them as bubbles that will pop. The bubble isn’t worth offending our God by sinning to get it or sinning because we don’t get it. Our loving God, alone, is worthy of our worship, our pursuit, and our hearts. Remember God’s love for you, because the more we remember God’s love for us, the more our hearts will love him; and the more we love Him, the more we’ll despise our idols!