Friday, February 14, 2020

No broken record here...

An idol is whatever comes first in your life. Anything that comes before Jesus Christ in your affections or priorities—that is your idol. In our materialistic age, millions of people are serving the god of money, possessions, and the accumulation of wealth. When our desire for financial success overshadows our love for God, it becomes just as idolatrous as bowing before a man-made image. Make no mistake—when we reject the Creator-God of Scripture, we must find a substitute. When we reject God, we turn away from His love and provision and become our own god. - Dr. David Jeremiah "The Book of Signs"

His book is a very interesting read.  This excerpt is from a section on the moral decline in our world.  

We live immersed in a culture of self deception.  We are taught to believe anything can be truth.  When the Spirit begins to convict, that mindset is challenged. We have the choice, because of the cross of Christ, to listen to the Spirit or ignore it. 

We are indeed our own worst enemy.  Yet in this war of the souls of men, we refuse to know our enemies.  We refuse because it means that our lies that surround our lives will be revealed for what they are.

Responsibility for actions.  This deception, at its roots is that truth.  If we are honest before God now, then later, when we stand before Him to give an account of our lives, it will go better for us.  Yet this world preaches a gospel of no accountability.  That anything goes, as Dr. Jeremiah was saying in that chapter.  

We are taught that there is no such thing as absolute truth.  It's the direct opposite of the Bible.  The Bible tells us that sin has consequences.  The world says that there's no such thing as sin so do what feels good. 

We are taught, even from some churches, that prosperity can be yours! That is unbiblical. We are taught to rely on God for our needs. We are taught, in some churches, that peace is what you should expect in life!  Jesus says the exact opposite.  That a man's enemies will be members of his own house. That we should expect tribulations and trials.  We who are in Christ are the enemies of those who are not of Christ.  If they have not given their lives to Christ they are under the influence of His enemy, Satan.  We are to be the light of the world.  Christ's light shining through us. Yet to keep from losing friends or family or even strangers we hide most of that light under a basket. Fear of losing what we can see is greater than what we cannot see. 

When we allow worldly thinking into our lives and minds we inevitably push aspects of the teachings of the Holy Spirit out.  Then things happen like creating God in our own image. We begin to have justifiable obsessions and label them as just being serious fans of them. Regardless of what man labels them they are all found under God's description of idolatry. 

When you can justify sacrificing sleep for some worldly thing or event which will indeed impact you on a Sunday morning then you are self-decieved. You are in denial of the truth that you have set up an idol in your life.  If worshipping God with a rested body, alert, intent on giving Him your all, is not possible because of a personal choice then you really need to rethink your life. God understands when your life has things happening in it that are not planned.  But when the choice is in our hands and we choose to give God our leftovers on Sunday then we have a problem. 

When we convince ourselves that wearing symbols of idolatry into Church is ok. We have a problem.  We shouldn't be the distraction of anyone visiting.  When we wear such things to a time of worship, we enable the weaknesses of others and show them not that they are accepted, but rather that they don't need to take God seriously.  We become their stumbling block.  People should see Christ in you.  Not you in you. 

Idolatry has beyond saturated our culture. 

To stand for what you believe, and it's not what a sinful world believes, puts a target on you.  You are mocked and made fun of. You are sued to shut you up.  To make you go away.  In many cases it's not enough to sue, such hatred exists for those living out their faith in God, that the opposition only wants to destroy them utterly.  It still has its roots in idolatry.  

We deceive ourselves when we have no conflicts.  We are indeed surrounded by Christ's angels, but quite often, in peaceful times we tend to get lax. We let our guard down and compromise ensues.  A few minutes here won't hurt.  If I do that, it's not so bad.  

Paul wrote that we are in a race.  Run in such a way as to win. 

Runners, professional athletes, trained to get to where they are.  Truth, to them, is victory and nothing else will do.

Their focus on that prize is with laser precision.  They remove all distractions.  The wear only what will not encumber them.  They prepare their minds, not just their bodies for the race set before them. 

We have so many distractions consuming us we have simply accepted them rather than fight against them.  We have accepted their lies of how good they will make us feel.  That it will be a tool to reach others for Christ.  That one is huge. 

Look in your life.  What idols exist there?  Is it the idol of self? I deserve so I will do...
I deserve so this is where I will go...
I want so I will do...
I love I will wear what symbolizes it...
I...I...I...see the grand deception?

If you are divided in your love for Christ and your wants and desires, then you are not taking up your cross and following Christ. 

You cannot have a firm hold on your cross and the things and ideologies of this world. 

If you really are honest with yourself, you will ask God to show you the truth about you.  Get ready because He will. 

He did with me and He's not done yet. 
He showed me the idols in my life and He's not done yet.  He set before me a choice to fully follow Him or do what I wanted.  

This isn't a broken record message.  The world is beyond immersed in self-deception and idolatry...Scripture says in the last days it would be like in the days of Noah.  Go read Genesis about the way people were before judgment came. 

Will you stand firm in Christ or try to stand for yourself?  One is the Rock, the immovable truth which is Christ, the other is sinking sand that will cause nothing but pain and sorrow when you face Him one day. 

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