Many of us can remember when we were in school whenever the teacher had to leave the classroom, she would always tell the class to, “Be quiet and study!” But as soon as she left the room, the paper darts would begin to fly! Erasers would be flung across the room while someone would draw cartoon pictures of the teacher on the board. And then, she would return. There was always the running back to our seats pretending nothing had been going on.
We read in Exodus that Moses was called by God. While he was busy on Mt Sinai, the people of Israel became weary, they grew tired. They now found themselves in a position where they were looking for a god to lead them. And so, they melted down their gold, shaped it into a golden calf and danced around it in worship. They quickly forgot all the things that God had done for them, how he had delivered them.
Exodus 32:23 (NKJV)
For they said to me, ‘Make us gods that shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’
You see just like the illustration of the children in the classroom, the minute the teacher left, they found something else to keep them occupied, to entertain them. And this happens to many Christians, when we do not seem to hear God, when God becomes “silent” we find other gods to worship, other gods to give our time to. When success gets to us and we soon find that we do not have time for God anymore.
In our day and age, we might not have a physical statue that we bow down to, but there are things in our lives that take away the worship from the true & living God, these things take our time and our effort, and when we focus more on them then automatically our time with God decreases.
There are three golden calves that I believe we as Christians should be careful that we do not allow to control us and take the worship away from Jesus.
1.The golden calf of Time
Time is one of the most expensive “commodities” in the world today. We can never make time or even extend time. Time is a true indicator of how much reverence and honor we give to our God. What we spend our time on and things we focus on is a indication of what we value and where our priorities lie.
If we cannot give God the most important commodity in the world today, then we cannot claim to be having a relationship with him. In the world we live – our employers get the best of our times, our families get what is left, and we give God the scraps – here in itself lies the biggest golden calf that mankind is worshipping.
Statistics show the following:
A person with an average lifespan spends years on every day, repetitive activities:
- Sleep – 26 years
- Trying to fall asleep – 7 years
- Time at work – 13 years
- Unpaid overtime – 1 year
- Watching TV – 8 years and 4 months
- Social Media – 3 years
- Eating – 4 years 6 months
- Holidays – 3 years and 1 month
- Exercising – 1 year and 4 months
- Socializing – 1 year and 3 days
In these statistics we find no time for God, no time for the Bible or prayer.
Act like people with good sense and not like fools. 16 These are evil times, so make every minute count.
We need to give God the first and the best part of our time. If we do not do this while we have the ability, we might never be able to do it.
- Do we start our day talking to God & worshipping him? (Personal prayer time in the closet doing business with God)
- Does God form part of our lives at work – or are we a different person at work? Do our colleagues at work or friends at school/college even know we serve Jesus?
- Do we have time for God with our families – family devotion, studying Gods word together as a family.
- Do we honor God, by not forsaking the gathering of the saints?
Where and how we spend our time is evidence of where our relationship with God is, and how much we value him.
2.The golden calf of Talent
Many careers in the entertainment industry, were started out by musicians & singers who were part of a church choir. The problem is that this talent that was God given to worship and praise the true & living God only was used and changed to satisfy the flesh and the demonic realm.
Katy Perry, who used to go by the name of Katy Hudson, grew up in a strict household. Her parents, who were pastors, banned her from listening to secular music, taking her along to their church choir instead.
She started out in gospel music, but soon fell into pop and found chart fame when she partnered with producer Dr Luke on ‘I Kissed a Girl’.
R Kelly, born in Chicago, he grew up in the church choir, however things turned when he changed his music from worship unto God, to worship of the flesh. Changing his music to music that contained graphics of a sexual nature it even led to him facing child pornography charges.
John Lennon told a press conference that the reason The Beatles were so successful was that he had sold his soul, and Katy Perry and Eazy-E are among those to have made the claim in recent times. Bon Jovi even told teen pop magazine Smash Hits that “I’d kill my mother for rock n roll. I would sell my soul.”
When we use our gifts and talents for God and his Glory, it is an act of worship unto God. This pleases God, because when we use of gifts and talents for God, we bear fruit, we become a lighthouse that attracts people to Jesus.
In John 15: 5- 8 (NKJV) – Jesus speaking tells us, that we need to abide in him, without him we can do nothing – that means our talents & gifts mean nothing, there is no power in what we do, we lose the ability to be effective if we do not abide in him. And the result of abiding in him, is that we bear much fruit, this is what glorifies the father.
We should not let pride and selfish ambition get the better of us, because, when this sets in, it becomes all about us and how good we are, and the glory is taken away from God.
When we worship God in our talents, we become effective, we become productive, we bear good fruit, and ultimately is pleases God.
3.The golden calf of Treasure
Matthew 6:24 (NKJV)
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
1 Timothy 6:10 (GW)
Certainly, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people who have set their hearts on getting rich have wandered away from the Christian faith and have caused themselves a lot of grief.
Money in itself is not evil, but when money and accumulation of worldly treasure becomes our priority and our only goal, that’s when it becomes a problem. God is not telling us that we should not have money, but what he is telling us is that when we start idolising money, when we make money our golden calf, we replace our love for God. We start worshipping and idolising mammon rather than Jehovah Jireh our provider.
Randy Alcorn in his book – Money, possessions & Eternity says:
“Affluenza is a malady that affects some of the affluent and their children. Because some of the affluent and their children seek happiness, solace, and fulfillment in the consuming of stuff, they face a problem. By trying to get stuff to do something it was not designed to do, they come up empty and end up depressed and even suicidal. They discover bumper-sticker wisdom: “He who dies with the most toys is still dead.” Stuff is wonderful; get some stuff, but don’t let the pursuit of wealth become your god.”
3.Breaking your golden calf
How do we break free from worshipping the golden calf?
We need to come back to the altar of repentance, we need to come back to God. We need to honor and worship God in three aspects of our lives – in our time, our talent & our treasure.
The gospel of Jesus Christ gives us hope, regardless of where we have gone and what we have done, there is hope when we come back to Jesus.
Galatians 5:17 (NIV)
17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
When we have an encounter with Jesus, we can never be the same again. Using ACT – there are three things that we need to do to break free from these idols that have taken over our worship unto God.
1 John 1:9 (AMPC)
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
A – Admit – Firstly we need to understand that we are sinners – we have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Admittance to our sinful nature is the first step.
C – Confession – Secondly there is confession (not to be confused with admitting we are sinners). Here we come before God, we confess our sins, we confess our idol worship, we break all forms of idol worship in our lives.
T – Turning away – we need to turn away from all forms of idol worship. We need to run away from it and run toward Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:21 (NLT)
21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
1 Corinthians 10:14 (NLT)
So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.
Feel free to comment or share a testimony.