Smashing the Altar of Baal

Last week’s blog focused on keeping God first. Well…I’m going to stay right there because I’ve been really struggling to keep my focus and I know I’m not alone. Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, CNN, ext messages, daydreaming, you name it. Distractions are REAL and they’re everywhere. But at the end of the day, we have 2 choices: Remain focused on the one and only TRUE God who loves and sustains us every second of our lives OR worship baal. According to the bible, the folks who worshipped baal ended up destroyed. I’ll stick with the only TRUE God. No doubt.

Andy Mineo is one of my favorite rap artists. Check out the video below for his song, “Caught Dreaming”.  It’s one of my favorite songs by him. There’s one verse that really resonates with me:

“In spite of how I fail to,

do what you command to,

worship other gods like baal,

you never bail,

that’s illogical devotion.”

Now that’s REAL talk. No matter how many times we disobey God and put other people and things before Him, He still lavishes us with love. Simply amazing. Like Andy said, that’s illogical devotion. It makes no sense. But that’s the love of God. It’s endless and immeasurable irregardless of our sins. I can only speak for myself with absolute certainty, but I think it’s pretty fair to say that we’ve all served false gods/idols like baal at SOME POINT in our lives (unless you’re perfect…and I doubt that).

For those who aren’t familiar with baal, baal is a false god/idol mentioned in the old testament of the bible. Long story short, the Lord delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and promised them an awesome future IF (Keyword: IF) they remained faithful and served ONLY HIM. Well…for generations, the Israelites got distracted and took their eyes off God to worship false gods/idols like baal.

Now, idols and false gods don’t necessarily have to be some manmade statue or item that you physically bow down to. Idols come in many forms. My Pastor describes idolatry as anything we prioritize over God. Whatever we are focused on the most is what we worship. This can be ANYTHING. To stroll down my own lane, there’s been plenty of EARLY mornings- and I mean EARLY like 4am-ish when I pop up WIDE awake, knowing the Lord is calling me into prayer. But what do I do? Roll over and go right back to sleep. So, my actions basically said, “Yeah,  I hear you God but it’s too early to spend time with you . I’d rather sleep. Sleeping is more important than you right now.” IDOL. There have been times where I know I need to read and study the word. So, I open my bible and read 2 words and BAM! I get the strongest urge to check Facebook for new likes. I get taken away by Instagram notifications. I can’t resist responding to incoming texts. I basically find myself doing everything BUT spending time in the word like I know I need to. My actions say, “Eh…this isn’t so important. Facebook, Instagram, and text messages are calling me and I’ve got to answer! The bible can wait.” IDOL. These are just a couple examples of idols. An idol can be another person, a job, money, food, status, success, or whatever else you prioritize over God.

I think one of the most common idols is probably SELF GRATIFICATION, serving our passions and desires instead of obeying God. This is so easy to do yet DANGEROUS. The more we indulge in idols, the further away we drift from God. All throughout the book of judges, the Israelites went through phases when they would disobey God and fall to destruction at the hands of their enemies. Contrarily, when they got themselves together, they maintained VICTORY. Now isn’t that just like us today? When we take our eyes off God and serve baal (idols, false gods), we fall and fail- MISERABLY. But when our focus and devotion is to God, we thrive in VICTORY. In Judges 6:25-26, the Lord instructs Gideon to destroy his dad’s altar to baal and build an altar to Him, the only true God. I have a strong visual in my head of this dude taking a sledge hammer and DEMOLISHING the alter to baal into crumbs. I mean, I can see him totally going HAM (hard as Messiah) on this alter to this false god.

The best thing is, like Andy Mineo said, in spite of how much we serve other gods (idols) like baal, God never bails. He NEVER leaves us. The Israelites forsook God and turned to baal generation after generation but whenever they cried out to God for help, He raised up leaders (called “judges”) who led them back to Him. There are so many distractions around me and it can be hard but I’m determined to focus. I’m determined to take a sledgehammer and smash every altar to baal. I’m determined to kill every idol in my own life and keep my worship exclusively to the Lord who reins FOREVER.

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