“You shall have no other gods before me. …You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Quote from Pray While You’re Prey:
“God doesn’t allow us to be in relationships so that we can forget all about him. He is a jealous God.35 Our focus should be on pleasing Him at all times whether in a relationship or not.”
I love music and that will become very obvious throughout these devotions. I do not just love any music; I love music that is creative. I love music that paints a picture in your mind of what the artist is trying to convey. And, I really love music that teaches me a lesson whether it is the intended lesson from the artist or not. Alicia Keys has a song called, “No One.” In the chorus, Alicia says, “No one can get in the way of what I feel for you.” Now, I am pretty sure she was talking about a relationship with a beau, but imagine if we apply that principle to our relationship with Christ. No one can get in the way of what I feel for You, Jesus.
It was God’s intention all along that we put Him first. When the Israelites received the Ten Commandments from God, putting no one higher than God was right at the top of the list. Not only that, but God was kind enough to explain Himself. He says, “for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:5). Now, let’s not get this twisted, there is nothing we could possibly have on earth that is better than God, so there is nothing that we love for which He has envy or wishes He had, like we do when we are jealous. I believe God is saying, “I have done so much for you, but you choose to put other things before me or give yourselves and other people the glory for it, and that makes Me angry.” And, He let the Israelites know the consequences of that anger in the command; punishment for those who hate Him, and love for those who keep His commands. If you read the Old Testament, you will see that every time God blesses Israel, they shift their focus away to something or someone else, never fully giving God their attention.
I know what you’re thinking, How could they treat God that way? But, before we go criticizing, we must take a good hard look in the mirror. See, the Israelites were exhibiting this behavior and it was deplorable, but they did not have the 66 books of the Bible like we do. Yet, we often treat God like an afterthought, unless, of course, we need something. Do we really let NO ONE get in the way of what we feel for Him? I cannot answer that question for you. I do know that, in my life, I have allowed several people and circumstances to draw my focus away from God. I would pray for relationships and as soon as God blessed me with the relationship, that relationship and the person with whom I was in a relationship became my gods. All of my focus was drawn towards them and away from God. Promises that I made to God were broken in an effort to keep my man happy. I did not read His Word as much, I did not pray as much, and I did not show Him any gratitude. Well, I know that I am forgiven for those actions because, thank God, we live in the age of grace. This does not mean that there are not consequences, though.
God does not want our focus because He is some brutish, jealous titan. If you take a few moments to recognize God’s blessings in your life, how could you not fall in love with Him? He simply wants your love and your focus, so that He can give you the life He has planned for you; your best life. Allow Him to be first always.
Lord, thank You for your love that is beyond compare.
Please forgive me for putting other people and other things ahead of you in my life.
Lord, please help me to place no one else above You.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©1984, unless otherwise indicated.