Turning From Idols
The 10 verses in the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians are well worth studying in order to get the context of verse 9. We shall focus on verse 9 for most of this article.
Verse 9: For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
If we are to turn from idols we must know what they are. From this passage we can define idols as things that keep us from serving the living and true God. Is there anything that you know of that keeps you from serving God? That is an idol. Notice that the word is plural. We all have many idols. We have some idols in common and each of us has idols that others may not have. Are you a Christian? Are you serving God? What have you turned from in order to serve Him? Have you given up anything to serve Him? I have given up many things in order to serve Him but still have many things that I must give up.
Psalms 100:2a: Serve the LORD with gladness: . . .
Have you discovered the rarified gladness that comes from serving the Lord and ONLY from serving Him? Have you found it to be more delightful than your idols? Have you learned to love serving Him? I am somehow more alive when I am serving God than at other times. I have seen a multitude of other Christians that are more animated, more energetic, more joyful and more fulfilled when they are serving Him than at other times. Those things happen even when we are just speaking about Him.
I shall share with you a partial list of idols that have kept me and other Christians I know from serving God: Pleasure, entertainment, money, jobs, TV, computers, iphones, ipads, sex, alcohol, drugs, hobbies, mates, children, friends, the world and our flesh. Our flesh is usually the most powerful idol we have. It keeps rearing its ugly head to keep us from serving the Lord.
Philippians 3:8: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
God loves you and wants your attention. If you love Him you will give it to Him. May I suggest that you test these truths for yourself? For instance, can you give the Lord more time? Can you give up one TV program? Can you give up an evening of TV? Can you give up a day of TV? Try it a little at a time or try it cold turkey. When we give anything up for the Lord, He always replaces it with something better. Ask Him what He wants you to give up.
1 Thessalonians 1:1: Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.