Idols are Still Idols!

Technology is such a wonderful thing! I just love it and I bet most everyone does. Technology has come such a long way over the years. Take for instance, the telephone. Most people do not even have a landline anymore.  I can remember having a phone that was mounted on the kitchen wall with a limited radius of movement because the cord would only go so far.  Over time, we stretched the cord out to the point that it actually touched the ground and expanded, just a little, the area we could move around in. Children of today have no concept of those types of phones. Cell phones have taken over at an extremely fast rate.

I remember driving our church mini bus and we had a bag phone. It was really in a large bag. One night our bus ran out of gas. You never knew how much gas was in the tank since the gas indicator did not work. We were stuck out in the boonies with one child on the bus plus my two boys and a bus worker. We could not get service from inside the bus due to the fact that we were in a gulley between two hills. My bus worker had to literally hang out the driver’s side window and hold the bag up to get a signal so we could call for help. I am so glad cell phones have evolved. They come in all sizes, colors, shapes, and offer an abundance of technology with them.

My first phone was a Nokia, but it wasn't anything special.  It just made calls when I needed to. I thought, “This is too cool. I can make a phone call and not be at home!" I try very hard not to keep up with the Jones, so to speak, so I do not upgrade every time a new phone comes out. I actually try to upgrade to the cheapest (meaning free)phone every time. Then it happened! I upgraded to a Blackjack. It was a Smart Phone. I loved it. It could do so much more that all of my older phones. But one day on my way to church it died. It was covered, but what they sent was not as good as my Blackjack. A friend was selling her iPhone since she was upgrading to an iPhone 4. It was really cheap so I bought it. BIG MISTAKE!

Actually, getting the phone was not the mistake. Just the things that it could do that I got hooked on: Those APPS! Games galore! Addictive, very ADDICTIVE! I had gotten so addicted that I got to a point on one of my games that the iPhone version I had would not allow me to upgrade my zoo. I was flipping out. Do I upgrade or not. The battle went on and I made the decision that I deserved it and so I upgraded it. When I did I lost ALL of my games and the levels that I had risen to. I, again, flipped out. At first I refused to load those apps and start over again. After about a month, I gave in a loaded them and started gaining ground on my levels. I was going to conqueor these games. Not only did I reload those games, I added some new ones. I found myself waking and playing those games first thing in the morning, during my breaks at work, before I went to bed, as soon as I got home from the gym or church. It was a constant thing.

Seeking time was approaching and I had to figure out what it was that God wanted me to fast since food is not an option for me at this time. In my head I said I could do without TV. So that started. The first week was hard and after that, not a problem. What I found is that I supplemented my TV time with more game time on my phone. When God calls us to seeking time and we are to do without a specific thing, we are not supposed to supplement something else in its place that takes us away from seeking God.

I was on my way to church and arguing with my mind about those games. Have you ever argued with yourself? I do, and I always lose!  Sitting in prayer, my mind was still trying to rationalize about the games. One thought was, “delete them”. The other was, “no, wait until tomorrow where you can back them up on your computer for later. You would hate to delete them with all the time you have invested in them.” Maybe you do not have arguments like that, but I do. Still sitting there, this one little word popped into my head, “idols”.  I realized that very slowly and very subtly, those games became my idol, my focus each day. I was planning my day around my games. I planted crops, took care of animals, visited neighbors, achieved levels and rewards from all the games. Then this small voice asked, “How much time have you invested in me?” That stung!

In Exodus 20:4 (NKJV) says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;” Exodus 20:3 (NIRV) says, “Do not put any other gods in place of me.”

What I had done is made those APPS on my phone an idol in my life.  Before prayer was over I had deleted all of the game apps that I was told to delete.  That night, I felt as if I entered into a different place with God during worship because I obeyed Him by destroying my idols on my phone. Do not get me wrong. Having the apps is not a sin or having idols. It is just when they start to consume your life that they become your idol. God is a jealous God. He wants to be the one to consume your life.

What are the idols in your life? You may say, “I do not have any”, but check again. An idol is anything that's more important than God. Your idol can be anything from sports, hunting, fishing, family, friends, and work. I wonder if people who spend most of their time focusing on their sicknesses and diseases instead of God have made them their idol as well. Based on scripture, I would think so. Put your focus on God and I promise you will not regret it.

~Ronda Sullivan

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