Years ago, Russ Taff wrote a song called, “Not Gonna Bow”, based on the well-known Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The theme of the song was how we as Christ-followers should refuse to bow to any idols, regardless of the consequences. There is nothing more important than to keep Jesus first in your life. It is the essence of surrendering our hearts to Christ. If He isn’t first, then we aren’t surrendered.
Every day we are tempted to bow down to someone or something other than Jesus. When we put anything other than Christ first in our hearts, it is an idol and needs to be thrown out of our lives. Idolatry is subtle and creeps in constantly if we are not diligent to guard against it.
I think the Church over the last couple hundred years or so has done great damage by teaching accepting Jesus is a one-time decision. Surrendering our lives to the Lordship of Christ is a daily decision, one we must make over again every day of our lives. Jesus said if we are to follow Him, we need to take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). He taught surrender was a daily choice and discipline, not a once and done decision. We’ve lost this truth in our modern churches, so don’t miss this. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, you must choose every day to follow Him above all else.
It’s easy to roll our eyes and be angry with the Old Testament Israelites who continued to build and worship the Asherah poles and high places. We think we would never do such a thing and wonder at their constant backsliding and disobedience. Arrogantly, we think we would be faithful enough to say, “We’re not gonna bow to those idols!” We think we could stand strong against such temptation. But our lives tell a different story. Whatever we are putting first in our heart – if it is not Jesus – is an idol. Whatever captures your time, imagination, and fascination is an idol. Our minds are to be trained so we think only of Jesus and His glory. Our energy is to be spent building His Kingdom and serving others.
Taking up our cross daily means loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37-38). It means serving Him and others no matter the cost. When we choose Christ, we are saying no to the idols of this world. We are saying no to pursuing pleasure, entertainment, success, comfort, safety, and anything or anyone else except Jesus.
What is it in your life you know has captured your attention? Confess it to God and declare you’re “not gonna bow” to those idols any longer. Tear down the high places in your heart and dedicate yourself anew to pursuing Jesus and nothing else. We’ve been bowing down to idols far too long. From this day forward, let’s choose Christ. Let’s decide to surrender our lives daily to His Lordship, to take up our cross, and follow Him.