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“They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.” 2Kings 17:15b NLT

Some months ago my sweet man and I took up the practice of reading scripture together. We spent a few months randomly picking certain books to read until he suggested we start at the beginning and read our way through.

I can’t even begin to tell you the blessings we have shared through this practice. Our conversations are sprinkled throughout the day with scriptures we have read together. Our television is rarely on anymore.

Our grandchildren are sometimes witness to this habit, usually sparking questions from them, and leading to discussion. What a legacy we could leave through this habit! Better than any material treat we could ever lavish them with.

I no longer feel like I’m competing with ESPN for his undivided attention. He is no longer competing with Pinterest and Facebook for mine.

There has been laughter as well. As we were working our way through Leviticus, I was forever “threatening” to put him “outside our camp” for committing some “ceremonially unclean” infraction! Like leaving a dirty glass in the sink, not washing out his coffee cup or cleaning out his lunch box.

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As we were close to closing out 2Kings, I was impacted by the above scripture…”They worshiped worthless idols, so they become worthless themselves”…

God began to turn these words over and over in my mind. I became obsessed with them. Then comes the “still small Voice” whispering in my soul. Under the influence. What are you under the influence of…Tammy?

When you begin to worship worthless idols eventually you are under their influence. You become more like them. Taking on the persona of the world rather than God.

It’s so easy to skim over Old Testament words and believe they don’t pertain to us. No, today’s Christians are not worshiping Asherah poles, the gods of Baal, Molech and many others, as they were in Old Testament times. However, don’t kid yourself we have our own gods’ today. Idols. And plenty of them.

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In Sunday school yesterday this question was posed to us, “What captivates you”? As I roll the above scripture round and round in my mind. I have to ask myself this question. “What captivates me”? What idols are lurking, maybe even marching in and around my life that affects my relationship with God? With others?

Control? Envy? Seeking approval of others? To maintain a certain weight? To look a certain way? Youth?  iPads? iPhones? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Inappropriate television shows? Books? Music? Oh, the list could go on and on.

And though they may not be Asherah poles, these things can become idols. They can and often captivate us. Influencing us.

Left standing for long, there’s a chance, a good chance they will separate us from God.

God, who grieves for us when we turn away from Him and towards these other things.

“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 NLT

So I pose the question…What captivates my heart~your heart? Am I~are you, under the influence? Of God? Or of the world? Do I~do you have “Asherah poles” that need burning down?

It’s never to late to tear down our idols.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7&8 NLT

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn