How we spend our time, what we focus on and give time to speaks to the Lord about what we treasure — where our hearts truly are. Jesus said, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matt 6:21) What do your eyes keep coming back to (what is your “center point”)? Your center point can certainly reflect what you treasure.
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (Matt. 6:22-23) So what we focus on — what we pursue — shows our Lord what we treasure, what is our God. I’ve been thinking on these verses the last few days. This morning I read a devotional “What Lies Beneath – Idolatry Is the Issue” from Kyle Idleman at Faith Gateway that made me stop to ponder this further. What jumped off the page is his quote, “A god is what we sacrifice for and what we pursue.” I am sharing some excerpts from his article below.
Idolatry isn’t an issue; it is the issue. All roads lead to the dusty, overlooked concept of false gods. Deal with life on the glossy outer layers, and you might never see it; scratch a little beneath the surface, and you begin to see that it’s always there, under some other coat of paint. There are a hundred million different symptoms, but the issue is always idolatry.
One of our problems in identifying the gods is that their identities not only lack the usual trappings of religion; they are also things that often aren’t even wrong. Is God against pleasure? Sex? Money? Power? These things are not immoral but amoral; they are morally neutral until they are not. You could be serving something that is, in itself, very commendable. It could be family or career. It could be a worthy cause. You could even be feeding the hungry and healing the sick. All of those are good things.
The problem is that the instant something takes the place of God, the moment it becomes an end in itself rather than something to lay at God’s throne, it becomes an idol. When someone or something replaces the Lord God in the position of glory in our lives, then that person or thing by definition has become our god. Anything at all can become an idol once it becomes a substitute for God in our lives. So to identify some gods, look at what you pursue or create.
“And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.'” (Ex. 20:1-4)