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I heard a great analogy once that goes like this: Can you imagine being married to someone who didn't mind if you dated other people? Most of us would be hurt and would doubt our spouse's own fidelity and love for us. Scripture speaks of God's jealousy in terms of being like a husband's for his wife when he finds out that she has been unfaithful.
We can identify the idols in our lives by asking ourselves some simple questions: Do I spend all of my time, energy and resources on something that God created, at the expense of my time with Him and my family? Is my identity wrapped up in something other than being a child of God? Do I get more joy, comfort and peace from the created than the Creator? Does this thing draw me closer to God or take me further away?
Many things, good and bad, can become idols--cars, alcohol, sex, drugs, houses, boyfriends and girlfriends--even our own children.
Once we have identified our idols, we need to go to God in prayer and ask Him to help us lay them down and learn to worship Him alone. We need to change our habits and our focus to be completely on Him. Instead of being a "knitter," I am a Christian who happens to enjoy knitting.
I am sure that we can all look back over our lives and see times where God was jealous for us and asked us to give something up for Him. Most of the time that is a very painful process. We must keep a constant vigil to ensure that we do not repeat the same mistakes, for it is much better to willingly hand over our idols than to have God--because of His great love for us--remove them from our lives.
Heather Ablondi is a women's ministry speaker and author who resides in Fredericksburg. Contact her at heatherablondi.com.