Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've been warning that you this was coming!
A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Mike spoke on 1 John 5:21: Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Seems easy little Buddhas in my house, no golden calves, no totem get the point. Oh, but no, he didn't stop at those idols. He got to the ones that hurt! Even though it's almost been two weeks since hearing this message, it is echoing in my mind:
"Who's on Your Throne?" The theme was rooting out idols of the heart. Idolatry is relying upon people or things to provide, fulfill, and satisfy that which only God can provide, fulfill, and satisfy. We don't make little idols for our mantle but we make idols with anything so central to your life that you can't have a meaningful life if you lose it.

In Isaiah 55:1-3 we see that God is the unlimited provider and people are going elsewhere to try and be fulfilled. Silly Old Testament people; certainly I would never live like that! Oh wait...

Then Romans 1:18-32 also speaks of sins of idolatry. Verses 29-31 says they were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice...full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness...they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless...just in case you had any ounce of a thought that you didn't have idols, this list should fix that notion! Again...ouch!

God has provided us with a "throne". We all have God given desires that direct all decisions in our lives. It's not a matter of if we worship, it's a matter of what we'll worship. Our "throne" directs all the decisions and responses of life.
Pastor Mike went on to describe what happens when idols occupy the throne and when God occupies the throne:
When idols occupy the throne: leads to disappointment and bitterness. Idols will fail and end in destruction. Idols lead to sorrow, destruction, and violence.

When God occupies the throne: Satisfaction. Only He can deliver on all the promises--I need to be love, fulfilled, protected, satisfied.
When God occupies the throne: Peace. It leads to peace in all areas of your life because when God is on your throne it means everything else is in it's proper place.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all my idols that just jump up during an average day. I don't mean to gossip...I don't mean to be boastful...I don't mean to be full of envy...and on and on... Overwhelming!
How am I going to stop these idols from creeping in? What will pull my heart off the things I think will satisfy me? I LOVE THIS: Drink deeply in the Gospel to satisfy all your deepest needs. Really...that's it? That's it!
When I'm consumed with thinking about the fact that yes, I am a dirty, wretched, idol loving sinner I must confess and focus on the Gospel: God sent a remedy for my sin. Can you imagine giving your only Son (who was perfection) to not only pay for sin but to become sin for the entire world? I'm Humbled. Grateful. Compelled. Awestruck. The idols can fall by the wayside when my focus is on Jesus Christ. How can I bring glory to this great Savior? How can I show Him my gratefulness? What can I do for His Kingdom?
As I mulled these sermon thoughts over and dealt with the conviction in my heart, I came across this quote from a Bible Study I'm doing on prayer: Is there any point in praying if you are unwilling to be loyal to God's kingdom by doing your part to accomplish His will?
Ouch! (again!) This puts those idols in yet another perspective. What am I doing praying for my children's safety, their salvation, my husband, missionaries, babies with cancer, on so on, if my heart is packed with idols? Am I loyal to God's kingdom or participating to accomplish His will when I'm feeding into idols?
So, 1 John 1:9 gives hope: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Yes--God is faithful to forgive and cleanse me from "not right" living. I'm free to go again living righteous with the help of God!
I know I've not given Pastor Mike's message full justice. You should really listen to it here--it's worth the time! Beware though--it's going to beat you up in the best way possible: for God's glory!


Liss said...

our pastor just did that same message this last sunday!!! very good book of the Bible...and if I do say so you did a pretty good job summing it up. =)