Freedom commandment #1: You shall have no other gods before me
Since the garden of Eden this has been endemic to the human race. We are simply idolatrous to the core. It is primarily because we have removed God as Lord over our hearts. So, instead of being captured by belonging to our Creator, we sell ourselves to idols (other gods).
Bondage is the end result of idolatry. Rather than subject our sinful impulses to God, we enthrone them. They simply capture our imaginations and become the focus of what we want. I call them the ME-gods.
Within our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls there is tremendous conflict. While we may wish to do what God wants, we are seduced by what we want. This is where the evil one meets us. And not in just in the more obvious places. It occurs deep within our hearts – the place where our King was made to inhabit.
The conscience is where we converse with God. He brings His law to define what is right in His sight. This law is written in our hearts. At one end of the human continuum are narcissists. These are completely absorbed by being their own god. At the other extreme are those who live life riddled by and controlled by guilt. Most of us live somewhere in between.
A conscience becomes seared because of exposure to evil, and giving over to sin in our conscience conversation.
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…” – 1 Timothy 4:1,2
When it comes to the first freedom commandment, I must take care to include God in this conscience conversation. First: You are my great God. There is no one beside You. No one above You. You and Your Son have moved heaven and earth to rescue me, and I am deeply grateful. Second: be honest with God and ask Him to deliver you from the things which carry your heart away from Him. By God’s grace, I choose to allow no other to take Your place. And when an idol does so, I do all I can in my heart, soul, body, and mind to dethrone it.
This is embedded deeply within the fight of faith. Will I offer my conscience to God so He can reign supreme there, or will I live a life of excusing sin and robbing my soul of freedom?
Someone once said that the problem with living sacrifices is that we keep crawling off the altar. My ME-gods are quite evident to my conscience. I must continue to willingly invite God’s Spirit within me to dethrone the things which capture my heart and result in my addictions to false gods. This is core to me experiencing true freedom. My conscience is a tool to help make this happen.
What do you think? Deep waters, my friend!
“…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” – Hebrews 9:14