Do You Have any Idols in Your Life? - Girlfriends in God - October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013
Do You Have any Idols in Your Life?
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

For he is the living God and he endures forever, (Daniel 6:26, NIV).

Friend to Friend

In our new book, Knowing God by Name, I loved learning about the various names of God. One that tugged at my heart was the name El Chay. Let’s delve into God’s word and learn about this name today.

King Hezekiah introduces us to the name, El Chay in 2 Kings 19. One day he received a bad piece of mail. You know the kind. The biopsy is positive. The power bill is past due. The application is denied. The kind of mail you want to scribble “Return to Sender” across the top and pretend never came.

The letter was from Sennacherib, the King of Assyria who had crushed forty-six towns in Judah and carried off tens of thousands captive. And now, Sennacherib was coming after Jerusalem and King Hezekiah’s people. And even though Hezekiah had rebuilt and fortified the city walls, produced a massive battery of weapons, and tunneled under the city to ensure their water supply would not be cut off; even though he was prepared for war, he was not foolish enough to depend on man’s strength and ingenuity for victory. He called out to El Chay, the Living God, for their defense.

Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it.Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.  And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.  Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” (2 Kings 19:14-19 NIV)

Hezekiah knew the powerlessness of the lifeless pagan gods made of wood, stone, and precious metal. And he knew the unstoppable powerfulness of the Living God who created all three. So he prayed and he trusted.

 That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.  (2 Kings 19:35-36 NIV)

I bet he did. He stayed put and never threatened the Living God or His people again.

When God gave the Ten Commandments, He began with “You shall have no other gods before me.” And yet, all through history we see men and women worshipping false gods…depending on false gods. How silly to think that a golden calf, a wooden pole, or a stone studded ornament could be a god that protects, prospers and provides. Silly, right?

And yet, the false gods of our world are really no different than the ones of King Hezekiah’s day. We are living in an idol infested world where false gods offer false security to misguided souls. 

Emotional enemies such as anger, depression, worry, fear, anxiety, addictions, jealousy are just a few of the Sennacheribs that threaten to take the battering ram and charge the door of our hearts. And what are the idols or false gods that many turn to for comfort?

People. Possessions. Position. A fleet of airplanes. A bulging bank account. A prime piece of real-estate. We eat. We shop. We place children on the throne. We depend on relationships for love and security. Oh yes, idols abound in our culture.

As I mentioned in my last devotion, How Much is Enough (please see our archives if you missed it), Howard Hughes discovered just how ineffective the gods of people, possessions and power can be. He was one of the wealthiest men in history. He was one of the most miserable men in history. His 2.5 billion dollar estate was powerless to win the battle he faced every day.

Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).

Abundant life. Overflowing life. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6 NIV).

Let me encourage you today, whatever enemies you face, be they physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual, call out to the Living God. Ask Him to drive them out and fill you up. “For he is the living God and he endures forever,” (Daniel 6:26 NIV).

If you believe that today, click over to my facebookpage and say, I’m believing in the living God today!”

Let’s Pray

O Living God, I pray what I have prayed before: please forgive me for the false gods I have tucked in the recesses of my heart. I know that You are the only One who can fill my empty spaces and mend my broken places. You are El Chay, The Living God who always has been and always will be. You are the God who hears, who sees, and who stands ready to work Your wonders in my life.

In Jesus’s Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read King Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 19:15-19. What does his prayer reveal about  his understanding of the “living God”?

Hezekiah prayed for deliverance, but what was his ultimate hoped-for outcome?

How can his prayer be a model for your prayers?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was adapted from our new Girlfriends in God book, Knowing God by Name.Throughout Scripture, God reveals His complex character by identifying Himself by different names—names that shed light on Who He is and how we should relate to Him. We invite you to join us in Knowing God by Name as we take an in-depth look at 40 different names that shed light on 40 different reasons you can trust Him, depend on Him, and know that He loves you. Click here to learn more and download a free sample chapter.

Also, if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to sign up for my blog for more inspiration, encouragement, and fun give-aways. (Content does not duplicate GiG devotions.)

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Originally published Wednesday, 16 October 2013.