Forgiven: When Idols Creep In

IMG_0005 image IMG_0055 Maybe it’s too personal? Maybe this hits too close to home? Maybe it’s scary to admit, but we all know it’s true. Sometimes we don’t love God like we should. Sometimes we don’t long for him and cling to Him as He deserves. There isn’t a person looking at this screen who is faultless here.

 

 

Here is the question I would like to set before you today:

 

 

Do you love and deeply desire God above everything else?  Not do you know the commands of God or enjoy the people of God, or attend meetings about God, but do you love Him?

 

 

Do you want God more than wealth or reputation or physical fitness or even your husband? Do you love God more than you love your children? None of the before mentioned people or things are sinful alone, but be sure of this, any and all can be fashioned into an idol.  Now, we have to deal with money on a daily basis, of course, and it is a fine thing to have a lot of it.  Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. It is not money that is the issue; our hearts are the issue and what they go after. Is heart pursuing money as if it is Lord? Life works in the context of relationship, and we are supposed to have good reputations for the sake of Christ. A good name is to be desired above great wealth. It is the fear of man that is the sin here. It is the pursuit of getting praise from others and neglecting the praise that comes from God. We are supposed to respect and honor and highly esteem our husbands for the sake of the Gospel. This is a high call and a serious command. There is nothing wrong with pursuing this. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. It is the worship of marriage and the preoccupation with it over and above the calling of Christ that is the problem here. Yes, the Lord gifted us moms with children, and we rightly adore them. Behold children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb a reward. But a good god no child ever did make and children who become objects of worship are often ruined to ever learn to worship. They grow up thinking that all the world exists for them. That is a lie. All the world exists for Jesus and Him alone.

 

 

What I am asking you now is if Jesus is before all things, in all things, through all the things in your life, because any place we cannot honestly say “I love Jesus more,” is a place an idol may have crept in.

 

 

Ironically, if we do not choose to love God over all these gifts, we cannot love the gifts the way we should in the first place. A husband will not be rightly honored by a wife who does not fear the Lord; he will not be helped by a wife more preoccupied with him than her own pursuit of Christ. A set of children will not be properly loved and cared for by a mom whose world revolves around them. That mom will face a set of temptations that lead her away from disciplining her children in love, because she is more concerned about what they think of her or how they presently feel about her. This mom will not possess a long term view of the success or health or spiritual maturity that her child actually needs.

 

 

Sin always warps the view.

 

 

The way to do right by a husband or employer or children or friends is to love God in a supreme way, so that the love of God infiltrates every other relationship and situation you encounter.

 

 

We struggle to love God the way we should, in part, because we do not know God as well as we should. The passion we once loved Jesus with dims. The familiar drum of Scripture in a Sunday service doesn’t stir or move our hearts as it once did. We nod in familiarity and lose the sense of wonder and application needed to mature spiritually. Our love is cold, and, I fear, some are grieving the Holy Spirit. We have allowed our affections to be moved from one idol to yet another. All the while the Lord desires us to turn and hear His voice and walk in His way.

 

 

It is in that time, the time of repentance, the time when we will confess that we have not loved God as we should, that we will become the wives, the mothers, the sisters, the friends that Christ has longed for us to be. We must ask the Lord to renew our desire for Him, for Him first, for Him alone. Let no idol stand in His place.

 

 

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. Colossians 1:18

 

STUDY Does Jesus really have first place in your life? Can you say with a pure heart that your love for God is abounding more and more day by day? Are you living blamelessly in regards to the relationships gifted you within your life? Ask the Lord for the answer on these matters and let Him speak through you in His Word. We cannot walk in God’s will if we will not walk with Him as Lord. Be zealous in your pursuit of Him, because sooner or later all else will fade from view and we will all stand alone face to face with our Maker. Let it be without idols yet harbored in our hearts. 

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