Rivals

rivals

“And the Lord said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘You saw for yourselves that I spoke to you from heaven. Remember you must not make any idols of silver or gold to rival me.”

Exodus 20:22-23

 

He had just explained this in the 10 commandments: No other gods. No images.

And then, His presence fills the mountain with smoke and thunder and the people draw back and ask for an intercessor, and the first thing He brings up to Moses is this:

NO OTHER GODS. NO IMAGES.

You have just seen it, I have no rival. Don’t invent one.

The Lord went on to tell them that when they were building altars they weren’t even allowed to shape the stones. Why? Because what we design, we tend to worship. Anything we craft becomes a rival. And the God of lightning and billowing smoke should not have to compete with a pile of rocks.

How little it takes for my attention to drift. How low my view of Him has become when I allow anything to rival Him in my heart. How quickly I forget, even when He’s just reminded me. And so, just as He did with the Israelites, my patient God reminds and reminds and reminds:

Let your heart belong only to me. NO OTHER GODS.

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”

-1 John 5:21

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

-Proverbs 4:23

I read today that “love vigilantly guards [marriage’s] purity.” (Ryan + Selena Frederick in Two as One)

I think the same concept applies to my relationship with the Lord. His love has made me secure. But I must not relax when it comes to the leanings of my heart. They require guarding. Love vigilantly guards.

So Lord-

Help me. Help me to diligently keep my heart. Teach me to immediately respond when it begins to construct rivals. Make me sharply aware when my worship drifts. Build our relationship and teach me to fiercely protect it. Let the echo of your words from so many years ago resonate through my heart still, reminding, always reminding:

No other gods. I have no rival.

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