Put it away.

Acts 14, 1 Samuel 4-7

1 Samuel 7:3 – And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”

Lord God, as I read through the history of your people I see a pattern.  For a while your people follow you and then they turn away.  For a while they repent and then they go back to their old gods and old habits.  This was another one of those times when the people were called to give up and put away things that they held near and dear.  Idols don’t go away quietly. Our attention to the false gods that fill our lives don’t go away without a fight.  Idolatry needs to be obliterated and put out of my life.  Lord God, first, I pray help me to identify where the idols and the false gods exist.  It isn’t quite as easy for me as an idol on my mantle.  Help me identify. Then, Lord God, fill my heart so fully that there is no room for it in my life, so that I can’t stand to have that thing in my life.  Instead of giving me pleasure, it becomes so distasteful for me that I don’t want it to be anywhere around me.  Then, Lord, help me to put it away so that my heart is only directed to you.  Keep working in my life in these ways, dear Lord, so that this pattern is repeated daily until I reach my home in heaven.  Amen.