As I stood in the sanctuary last night and listened to the message about idols, I began to look for the idols in my own life, and I determined that I did not have any. This was a little bit surprising to me considering the fact that I struggle to find time for my bible studies, so I tried it again.
This time taking a different approach, or maybe I should say a different perspective. As I said, " I looked for the idols in MY life"; where was God in that statement? The reason I didn't see the idols in my life, was because I didn't want to. So I said to myself, self; what would God consider to be idols in my life? Well, that sure didn't take long, sports and television.
The next thing I felt was a strong desire to cancel my cable and throw the television set away; right? Wrong, the next thing I felt was a strong desire to make excuses. My watching this show or that game was not taking my attention away from God. Apparently God didn't agree with me, now that was a big surprise.
So, I swallowed my sinful pride and agreed with God to do what He had already laid on my heart; I was to go home, unplug the television and put it in the closet for the remainder of this revival. Leaving the sanctuary I shook a few hands and I was feeling great as I started my truck. Then, I started to drive off and that was when it hit me; did I really just tell God that I would put my TV in the closet on the first Sunday night of the NFL season, WHAT WAS I THINKING!
The further away from the church that I drove the harder it was to hold onto the reason I made that commitment in the first place. It is important to understand that when I say church I am not referring to a building with a steeple. The conviction that came to me in the service did not come from stones or pews, it came from the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of the Holy Spirit came from the body of believers that was in the pews that were surrounded by the stones.
Now my thoughts turned to all the things I would be missing Monday night football the first one of the season and it's a double header and what about my shows? Then a question came into my mind, that God must have placed there, because I would never make myself feel that small. It was simple and to the point; why don't you get this upset, when you miss a church service? This is a sad truth, as I'm sure there are many other Christians who would be more upset about missing their favorite television show than missing a Sunday morning in God's presence.
After parking my truck I began the abnormally long walk to my apartment door. The whole way knowing what I was to do, but not sure if I had the strength to do it. Stepping inside I knew I would have to do "it" before I did anything else. Now I'm at that awkward place, you know the one I'm speaking of Christian, where I made a silent commitment to God, nobody else knows about it, I could just forget about it, and ask God to forgive me.
Standing in front of my small television set, I reached down and turned on the television. Just kidding, I unscrewed the cable connection, unplugged it from the wall and placed it in a closet where it wouldn't tempt me.
On my TV stand, where my idol rested just moments before there was an area where the dust was not able to settle making a perfect outline in the shape of my television. In the middle of that perfectly prepared area I placed my bible and on one knee I prayed for God to strengthen my inner man, that He will become the focus of my life.
Many times we know what we should do, but like the homeless man at the traffic light begging us for food, it's easier to pretend it isn't there. If we don't make eye contact we can proceed with our day without conviction because we fooled ourselves into thinking he wasn't there to begin with.
Doing what we should often times creates a discomfort in our lives whether its missing a TV show to serve food at a homeless shelter, missing a Sunday sermon to work in the children's nursery or going to Russia to work with orphaned children.
In the grand scheme of things, I know that giving up TV for a few days is a pretty small sacrifice, but sometimes the small steps we take now prepare us for the larger steps God will ask of us later.