God alone should be glorified. So often, we create idols, whether they be of wood and metal as in Jeremiah’s satire, or in anything else – football, jobs, fun, friends, people, acceptance, money, drugs, etc. – which are created but are not the true God. In many cases there is nothing wrong with these things in themselves, and God has given us many things to enjoy. However, so often we place them above the God who created us. For he alone is worthy of all glory and honour, of our primary devotion and effort. All of these created things may give us a certain amount of pleasure, or sense of well-being, but they do not sustain us. It is almighty God who sustains us, providing for all our needs. Yet sometimes, our time, effort and money spent on other things is disproportional to that which we spend on God. We being to think we cannot be without something, effectively making them our idol.
For many of us, our greatest idol is ourselves. So often, we want to do what we want and not what God wants. We believe we know better than the God who made us. If we are ever to glorify God and not ourselves, we must submit to his will and do what he commands. In our sinful state we are unable to do this, but through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is able to work in us, that we might be able to do the will of the Father.
Much like the Jews in Jerusalem after the exile, we forget to give God what he is due. Not only was the Temple in ruins and neglected, but the people were spending time busily upgrading their houses with panelling. They were not content to have a comfortable home and to spend time on God’s house, but they wanted a luxurious home like that which they’d seen in Babylon.
Similarly, today we can be so busy in our lives that we neglect God’s work, in whatever capacity that may be. Whether it is in time or in material wealth, we so often can get our priorities wrong. Instead of furthering God’s kingdom, we are building for ourselves.
Let us take stock of our lives and ask God to help us to serve him as we ought.