by Pastor Greg Laurie
No Other Gods
"Do not worship any other gods besides me. Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! . . ." (Exodus 20:3-5)
What does it mean when God says, "Do not worship any other gods besides me"? It means that we are not to allow anything or anyone to takes the place of God in our lives. That god could be a career. It could be a possession. It could be a relationship. It could be so many things. But the Bible tells us, "Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts" (1 John 5:21).
Scripture also warns us about idols that include objects or carved images. Before we dismiss this as an issue from the Old Testament period, let's consider how many religious icons and images we have in our culture today. While I'm not saying all of these are necessarily wrong, I am saying that we don't need them to worship God. Sometimes people say, "I need these things to remind me of God." But a person who knows God, loves Him, and is living in fellowship with Him does not need an image or a representation of God to worship Him. A dependence on such things indicates the absence of an inner spiritual life. Jesus said, "For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth" (1 John 4:23-24).
We don't need images. We don't need icons. We don't need symbols. God tells us, "Do not make idols of any kind." Give Him your undivided love.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.