Summary: We all have a throne. The question is, "Who is on it?"
Who is on your throne?
In our first weeks of basic training, we have learned about salvation, the church and surrender. As we study, I pray it becomes clearer that there is not one element that stands on its own, but each is integrated with the other.
You can’t be saved without surrender. You can’t be the church unless you are saved. You can’t be surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit if you are not saved and are not the dwelling place of God.
Today is no different. We profess Jesus is Lord.
We surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. God calls Himself the Lord your God. What is lordship and how can we ensure Jesus is Lord of our daily lives? Lordship means we have willingly chosen to be submissive to another authority.
Let’s use God’s Word to establish our foundation of understanding.
God first reminds His people of His position, name and activity. He is Elohim, the true God. That means ALL OTHER gods are false.
He is Yahweh, the name of the one true God, with a focus on His sure existence and His covenantal relationship with His people. He is also their deliverer. This is the proof that God is who He says He is. (He said He would deliver them from bondage, now they are free by His hand.)
In the same way, we must acknowledge God for who He is – not for what we would like Him to be. He is the one true God who gave His Son so we could be reconciled to Him. If we choose to surrender to His lordship, He delivers us from eternal misery. (Romans 5:9-10)
1. Don’t Have Any.
Our passage continues to describe the dynamics of this new relationship. “You shall have no other gods before me.”
We unconsciously take this to mean God is to be in front of all the other little gods. So, we add God to our already filled lives. Perhaps we develop a mental picture of a pyramid with God at the top.
That sounds somewhat appropriate, but, the reality is there are no other available places!
God established He is the one, true God.
Therefore, He will not share company with any false god, or even be first among many false gods.
The Hebrew language paints this picture: There will be no other gods existing in the presence of God. He is not just the God in first place – He is the only God in the only place. To apply this personally, He is either God of all areas in your life, or He is not God at all.
As our Creator, God knows we have an innate desire to worship. He also knows if we are not mindful and intentional, we will misplace our worship toward false gods. That is why He commands His people to not have any gods in His presence.
2. Don’t Fashion Any.
Not only are we to not have any gods in His presence, we are not to fashion an idol out of anything representing anything.
In Exodus 32, while Moses was on the mountain receiving these commands, the Israelites were at the foot of the mountain making a god out of gold. They grew impatient, they were uncertain, so they took matters foolishly into their own hands.
As we proudly reflect on this passage, we often mock the Israelites for their ignorance.
How could they be so blind? After all God accomplished, how could they worship a gold calf?
Aren't you glad we do not worship false gods? Aren't you thankful we do not fashion idols?
3. Don’t Fool Yourself.
While there may be some faiths today who worship gods made by the hands of man, we are also guilty of fashioning idols and allowing false gods in the presence of the one, true, living God. A couple of questions will help us identify these false gods.
What gets in the way of your growing personal relationship with God (prayer and Scripture)?
If you are not devoted to spending time with God, (to know Him, to learn Him, to follow Him) there is already another god in His place. A realistic description of your personal relationship with God is that of convenience.
What inhibits you from faithfully serving the Lord in His church?
If you are a Christian, God has equipped you for His service in His Body. If you are not serving, you are crippling the ministry of His church. (Ephesians 4:16) Your reasons for not serving are false gods or idols in the presence of the living God.
Beyond a shadow of doubt, every follower of Christ will be on mission sharing Christ and making disciples who make disciples.