You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. (2 Kings 17:37)

Fifty years later, the memory still makes my friend Marianne cry. She was raised in a devoted Christian family, and her father was a pastor who served in many leadership roles, locally and nationally. Marianne, herself, felt a calling early in life to become a missionary. At seventeen, Marianne arrived home from school one day to find her father in handcuffs, being taken away by police. He had been leading a double life and was eventually sent to prison for his misdeeds. His actions resulted in his entire family being removed from the church that had been a second home to Marianne, and her life was permanently scarred.

The Israelites began to lead their double lives as soon as they left Egypt. They worshiped idols and God together, and believed He would allow it to continue. God sent His prophets to warn the nation against worshiping foreign deities, but the people would not relinquish their corrupt double standards. They reneged on their promise of faithfulness to God, chasing after others. They were finally taken away from their homes and ironically sent to other lands as slaves to pagans along with their gods.

Jesus says we can worship either Him or anything else; but we can’t give our devotion to any other god and somehow be devoted to the one true God. God wants our single-minded worship and faith in His Son. So-called love that is faithless is not love.

Give yourself a spiritual check-up to ensure nothing is taking you away from God.

Carol Chase and her husband live in Surrey, British Columbia. She is a retired administrative supervisor, enjoys gardening, and loves to pray for others.