You don't have idols, graven images and you certainly don't worship other gods. But that isn't what He said. He said "You shall have no other gods BEFORE me..." Ask yourself, "What or who do I put BEFORE God?" God wants no one and nothing to take a position in our life that is above Him. We may think of things of the world, money or even that sin that trips us up every time. But what about "good things"? What about the people we love? God does not want us to even place our spouse or children above Him!
Have you ever known someone who lost a loved one, especially a child, too soon and they became angry at God? Maybe they even turned their back on God and cursed him. Their loved one's place in their heart was before God. God was not first in their life. My brother and sister-in-law were an amazing example of a couple who placed God first in their lives. When their 16 year old daughter was killed in a car accident one beautiful October Sunday after church, they were never angry at God. They, of course, were devastated; but their faith never wavered. Their trust in God was not shaken. People were amazed at their peace and composure in a horrific situation. That only comes from a deeply rooted unshakable faith in God and an intimate knowledge of who God is and how BIG He is.
Have you known people, who, when trouble and hardship comes, get angry at God and "punish" him by turning away from him and losing faith? Their money and possessions were placed above God. Read the story of Job. Job was in right-standing with God, his attitude was right. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil... God thought so highly of Job that He even allowed Satan to "test him" because God knew Job would withstand whatever Satan threw at Job. Satan believed that Job would curse God, as so many in times of trouble do. Job, though tested and tried, placed nothing and no one before God. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Job 1:1; 6-12
Satan will use anything you place above God to separate you from God and ultimately destroy you.
Far too many believers don't really know just how BIG God is. They don't know who He is. If they did, they would have a reverential fear of God and be far less likely to sin against God. Christian leadership would feel the weight of their calling and responsibilities and never take advantage of their position. They would pray and seek God before spending God's money, when making decisions and when prophesying in His name.
We have made God small in our eyes. We meant well when trying to correct the old image of an angry God throwing lightning bolts at us when we sinned. We talked about our loving God with His never ending grace and mercy for us. We sang that God was our friend. Yes, He loves us and we thank God for His grace and mercy; but God should not be thought of as our 'friend'. He is our Father. He has the loving correction of a Father. As a father would punish and correct us to help us grow up in the way that is right, so God does for us. My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12
The Holy Spirit keeps bringing me back to "you shall have no other gods before me" and reminding me that those who consider themselves His people have made Him small in their eyes. If we truly understood just how BIG and POWERFUL our God is, our faith would be unstoppable. He spoke our world into existence! Nothing is too hard for Him. The only thing lacking is our faith and getting our priorities in order.
Consider this....who or what is first in your heart? Does anything come before God? When we face that truth, and get our priorities in proper order, we are on the path to righteousness, peace and prosperity...our Promised Land!