Thursday, July 11, 2024

Would You Recognize a god in Your Life?

Would You Recognize a god in Your Life?
by David Brenneman 

"Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord." 2 Chronicles 15:8.

"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." Exodus 20:3-6.

Many hope to have God seen in their lives.  But, a huge question is: Would you recognize a god in your life?  Are there idols set up in the hearts of mankind these days?  Most certainly!  

Some idols are disguised as countless "wonderful" things that this world offers. 

Some are at the behest of governments.  Things mandated that citizens must comply with. 

Some are indeed forced upon people even in a "free" society. 

Satan's minions, our own sin nature, certainly look for ways to ensnare the lives of Believers with secret idols by never calling them that.

Jesus said to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself."  Therefore there's absolutely no room for any idols of any kind or form.

Yet...we have them.  Things we don't let go of, and place on a pedestal in our hearts in a place of honor.  It can be anything and everything that is possible in our world today, anything that our imagination can lay hold of. 

Do you not realize, from reading the opening chapters of the book of Job, that anything approved by Jesus can be used to test the heart?  For Believers, Satan's got to get permission. 

What do we read of the Lord Jesus?  Does not the Scriptures say that He tests the hearts?  He searches the hearts of mankind?  

Do you at all think that He's not searched yours?  Think again. 

He is omniscient, all knowing.
He is omnipresent, everywhere at once. 

The Spirit of God in the lives of Believers is going to point out things in our hearts and minds that have no place in the lives of people who belong to Christ Jesus. 

Wrong thinking, things that are taking up time that should be used of God for His purposes.  The Disciples, from sun up to sun down, followed Jesus wherever He lead them.  No vacation days. No PTO days. No siesta's. No sick days for sure.  Fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Period. 

The charge to the Disciples who would soon become Apostles, was to "Go, make disciples...teaching them all that I commanded you...".

So...let's go back to the basics...back to the opening question...would you recognize a god in your life?

As important as that, what would you do if you did?

There's but one throne in your heart. There's room only for one to sit upon it.
There's but one Book of Life that your name is written in blood in. The Lamb's book of Life. Jesus's book of all who believe and belong to Him. 

Are you devoted to Christ or podcasts that do nothing to grow your faith?

Are there things you possess that have realistically become a snare to your walk with Jesus?  This can be anything. 

Are you more knowledgeable of things worthless to the Kingdom of God and your growing in Christ?

Do you daily devote your heart to the work of the Spirit of God in you?

The Spirit worked with the Disciples 24/7.  He wants to do the same thing for you. 

It takes what Asa remove idols.  

"Really? Idols in today's world?" 

"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,  and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

Does it get any clearer than this?

Idolatry is in the here and now. 

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

People wear idols emblazoned on coats, hats, shirts, on their vehicles, oh its out there.  Trillion dollar industry it is.  Satan's extremely invested in idolatry.  He began with Adam and Eve and its not stopped. 

Covetousness is a form of idolatry. Wanting what someone else has or is doing and taking actions to obtain.  

We really need to acknowledge that our hearts are as open a book before Jesus as the sunshine of the day.  Nothing is hidden from whom we have to do.  

What to do?  Cast them far from us.  Admit that it is what God says it is.
Ask the Spirit for help.  He is, after all, the Helper sent to take up residence in our hearts. Not along side of us, but in us.  

Pray without ceasing. Seek the Lord always. There's nothing in our hearts that is stronger than the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus.  

This is going to be a lifelong battle.  We may let go of something and another is waiting to take its place. Set your mind on the things that are above and not on the things that are of this world. 

Clean house...and see what Happens. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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