You may be asking yourself, how do I know if I am worshiping God or worshiping some other idol? The answer to that is rather simple.
If idols affect our thinking and our actions, then those are the areas we need to examine.
First, our thoughts. What are you consumed by on a daily basis? What predominates your thought life? This is one clue as to what we worship.
Second, look at your life. How do you spend your free time? How do you make your decisions?
I think this is a really important point. Many Christians say, God is the most important person in my life. I live for him. I want to do his will. But you look at their lives and they are cheating on their taxes, they’re having affairs, or they’re totally engrossed in their kids and they don’t care about anyone else. Why this disconnect?
It’s my conviction that your actions actually reveal what you REALLY believe. More than what we say we believe or think we casually believe, our actual belief system is demonstrated by our actions.
The choices we make each day are very important to God because they are a reflection of what we truly believe. Please turn with me to Rom 2:5-10.
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. ~Rom 2:5-10
I always find these verses very chilling. God will judge us, he will give to each person according to what he has done. Not according to what we thought or believed in regard to God. But according to what we have done.
And there is wrath for those who reject the truth. And how do we know we have rejected truth? It says in v8-9, those who reject the truth follow evil or does evil. Our actions reveal what we really believe.
And who does God give eternal life to? v7 – those who are persistent in doing good.
And to hammer this point home, Paul says in Rom 2:13 —
13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. ~Rom 2:13
It is not enough to hear the law or listen to a good sermon, it is those who obey the law, who live it out because they really believe that God’s word is important and they are willing to reorient everything around his word so that we can obey him. It is these people who have living faith that God declares righteous. Because their actions reflect what they truly believe.
I lost about 10 lbs – I keep telling that to all my friends and all of them said, oh, I didn’t notice. You don’t know how much that takes the wind out of my sail. I want people to say, yes, I thought you looked different.
And I have been saying, I need to lose weight for the past 11 years. I think losing weight is important. I tell others that losing weight is important. Yet, for the most part, my weight hasn’t changed for the last 11 years. My actions reveal what I really believe about weight loss. Hey, it would be nice if I lose 20 lbs, but it’s really not that important to me. I can still move okay on the bball court. And I am already married and there are no refunds. So I can take my time. Weight loss is really not that urgent.
I think this happens in spiritual life all the time. I believe in God. I know he died for my sins. But our actions reveal that other things are more important. Spiritual life is really not that urgent. Practical matters occupy our minds far more. Our finances. Where we are going to eat? What grad school am I going to get into? Reading my bible is not that urgent. There are so many other pressing needs right in front of me.
Look back at the end of your week, how much of God was there? There were plenty of tests and meals and meetings and errands and laundry and relaxing and taking care of kids, but if you add it all up, how much was God a part of your day to day life.