Day 20 – Secondary Idols

Deuteronomy 5:7; Acts 14:11–18; Romans 1:21–23

I want to return to something I previously mentioned. Oftentimes as a person discovers that the “me god” is making a mess of things, the response is to have the “me god” step down. However, rather than having God assume authority, the person puts someone or something else up on the throne.

When people introduce themselves, they often do so either by relational connections or work and accomplishments. This is understandable because we are relational beings who go and do things. It is not surprising that many people set their minds on relationships and put their children, a friend, or a spouse on the throne; and many others set their minds on their work, careers, performance, and accomplishments.

To put something other than God on the throne of our lives is destructive to us and unfair to whatever or whomever we put up there. In the case of another person sitting on the throne, no one except God can properly fill that role. We will resent others for not being enough; they will resent us for expecting them to be our everything, and it’s quite possible they will manipulate and take advantage of us. In the case of things being on the throne, all abilities, performance, and careers fade and eventually end. Then what? Gods aren’t supposed to fade and die, but all of these false gods will.

One last comment about the need for the “me god” to step down from the thrones of our lives and God to assume his rightful place. This is almost never a once-for-all-time action. It is quite common for us to surrender the throne, only to climb right back on it in the midst of uncertain, fearful, or stressful situations. When that happens, we once again must relinquish the authority to Jesus and trust that he loves us and wants the very best for us.

Closing Exercise

Ask God to show you an area of your life where you may have put someone or something ahead of him, and to help you put him on the throne of that part of your life. Share with your group if appropriate and ask them to pray with you about setting your mind on the things of God first.