Relationship with God
By Ivan Ho 29 Aug 2016
We are created in God‘s image with the innate desire to relate with Our Creator as well as with one another. When Jesus died on the cross for us, God’s primary purpose is to restore man‘s relationship with the heavenly Father.
What are the principles and factors that will help us relate to God the way God intends it? I believe there are key principles we can follow as well as practical steps we can take that will enhance our relationship with God.
2. Put away idols
Idolatry is worshipping any man made objects, images, persons, religions other than worshipping the only true and living God who reveals Himself through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
God gave us this command through His servant Moses:
“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Exodus 20:3-6 NKJV
God abhors and absolutely detests idolatry, the very sin that the Israelites, despite being loved and delivered by God, kept on committing, the very sin that led them into God‘s judgement and exile. They had experienced God‘s powerful deliverance and provision, yet they did not put their faith entirely on the only living God who saved them and delivered them from slavery, but from time to time followed other foreign gods and worshipped their idols.
Sadly, many born again believers today are still struggling with the sin of idolatry. They would attend and worship God on Sundays but the rest of the week they would devote themselves to worshipping their own gods! And they wonder why they could not experience God? And they wonder why God seems so far away from them?
God demands our total and single hearted devotion, and anything, anyone who distracts us from our relationship with God must be dealt with in our own life.
I cannot understand why people would be texting and checking their mobiles during times of worship, one of the strangest behaviours of some believers in churches these days. If we are entertaining other people at the same time we are worshipping God, it is detestable in God‘s eyes!
I remember being in a restaurant and in the adjacent table were two young couples sitting opposite each other. The whole time, however, their attention was on the mobile phone in their hands and I was thinking: “How sweet, they must be texting each other!”
Not only does God command us not to worship idols, He makes it very clear to us that we should get rid of all objects of idols that we used to possess as well as all idolatry images and objects in our house.
One of the most useful button on the keyboard is the DELETE key. I sometimes make mistakes writing things but thank God for the delete key, I can delete my mistakes and correct them. We use the delete key all the time but in life, some people are unwilling to delete their mistakes, and hold on to things that remind them of their past, including idolatry objects.
If you are married, would you still carry objects from your ex boy friend or girl friend with you, or put up his/ her pictures in your house? But that is how a lot of born again believers behave with God. They think having idolatry images in their possession does not matter but it is an abomination as far as God is concerned!
“Oh but these objects are really expensive, made of 24 caret gold!” so some people would reason and justify holding on to these objects dearly.
That‘s exactly what Saul did when he kept the best portion of the spoils from the enemy‘s camp instead of destroying them, and he was judged because of that! (1 Samuel 15)
By contrast，David’s delight was in the Lord alone. He hated idols so much that he wouldn’t even mention their names on his lips. (Psalm 16:4)
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, Nor take up their names on my lips.
Ps 16:4 NKJV
Some people may reason: “These objects are in my distant memory. I no longer worship them, they don’t border me!” It may not border them but it certainly borders God!
The primary reason why we should get rid of idolatry objects is not for us, so we would break generational curses on us and so on. (By the way, all generational curses are broken the moment we accept Jesus into our life and become born again in Christ). Rather, we destroy idolatry objects as a sign of respect and our single hearted devotion to Him! By doing that, it signifies that we are making a complete break from idolatry, that there is nothing in our possession that will remind us of our past, sending a message to everyone as well as to the spiritual world that Jesus is our only God, that we are 100% devoted to Him alone!
You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.
Deuteronomy 7:25-26 NKJV