Faithlife
Faithlife

Idolatry - What Are You Worshiping?

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Introduction:
We all have that one thing in our lives that we just can’t do without don’t we? Sure, it changes from thing to thing, but, at all times, we all have at least one thing that we just have to have, am I right? I remember for me, when I was in high school, it was this (show soccer ball). You see, I grew up with 3 sisters, so I spent a lot of time hanging out with my soccer ball. This ball was a piece of a broader focus of mine, which was high school soccer, and my absolute obsession with winning our school’s first championship. And let me tell you, we were good, and I was actually a good player. So for a while, everything felt right, things were good. I was a Christian, who occasionally thought about God, but God often wasn’t at the top of my list, and that’s exactly what I don’t want for you guys. It was in vain, when I lifted that fake wood, fake gold trophy, is when I realized that.
When you all walked in today, you were supposed to write an answer down to two questions. There were no names taken, but I’m going to read some of your answers?
Question #1: what is the one thing you have to have or do each day?
Question #2: Why?
For some of you, it might be your phone, you have to have it with you, you check it first thing each morning, and last thing each night, and millions of times in between.
Or maybe it’s a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you just have to have one, and when you do, it’s an obsession to the point that maybe you’d be considered a stalker!!!
It could be some sort of hobby, Mattie, maybe it’s knitting?
It could be an obsession with keeping up with whatever is popular.
You see, we are obsessive, addictive people. And, it doesn’t matter what age we are, we ALL have something we worship, or something that some would call an idol.
We were made to worship
tells us this, “everyone who is called by my name, whom I (God) created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Did you see that, contrary to popular belief, we were not created for our own glory. Do you want to see my shocked face!
tells us as well, “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
So we were created from the beginning to worship Him, and all will worship Him at the end as well.
So logically, you would think that we (especially Christians) would worship Him in the middle as well, but we don’t, something went drastically wrong.
Grab your Bibles and turn with me to
As you are turning, let me ask you this question,
What is an idol?
Simply, an idol is something that is worshiped. Something that we bow down to, and that doesn’t mean physically necessarily, but something that we humble ourselves before.
Idols today, in our culture, may not be wooden creatures or statues of gods, but I assure you, we have as much, if not more of an idolatry problem than ever before.
Someone read for me.
Mankind has a God-shaped hole, but we’re stuck trying to cram world-shaped pieces into it!
Show child toy
The irony is too much here, that as Moses is receiving these commandments, the people are making a golden calf to worship and praise.
God doesn’t play games, He knows He is the only thing worth receiving praise, and the text even tells us He is a jealous God, and He won’t stand for anything else to receive what only He is due. (He can be jealous, because He’s the creator.)
Visiting the iniquity to the 3rd and 4th generation
Children imitate
Zach and me example
Idolatry is both a heart-issue and a stuff-issue.
The poorest people in the world and the richest people in the world have an idolatry issue…and it’s rooted in our selfish hearts.
And a heart issue leads to a stuff issue —> , and as wealthy we are, and as much as we have available to us, we have no problem serving multiple and multiple idols instead of God, don’t we!
What we worship shows where our heart lies
Turn with me to
What do we see here, well, we see that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one, meaning, Satan has his time on earth right now to tempt and destroy people and damn them to hell.
See, Satan is no dummy. He knows we are addictive, glory seeking, self-serving people. He also knows that we need something to worship.
So what does he do? He sells the lie (just like he did to Eve), that we are of utmost importance, and that we should serve whatever satisfies our need.
He baits his hook with temporary things, with those things you wrote down.
Some of us in here put so many things before God, and I’m not just guessing, it’s evident. Shoot, I can still look at my life and see evidence of it. But I see it in a lot of you guys too!
God and church take a backseat to everything else.
Sports
Clubs
Dramas
Friends
Boyfriends/Girlfriends
Jobs
Money
School
All of these things can and are idols. When they come before God they are idols. So, when they come before church, where we come to actually worship the only true God, then we have made them an idol.
As long as we view church as a to-do, it will always play second or 80th fiddle.
Church is a place where we worship, encourage, learn, serve, and love God and other people. It’s created for us.
We should absolutely jump at the chance to be here when the doors are open.
So why don’t we? Why don’t you?
I hate to say it but it’s true, from a lot of you, I get the sense that church is just something you maybe do on a Sunday morning just to get it over with, just going through the motions, and guys, it breaks my heart for you. You’re missing the truth!
If you treat the church as optional, then don’t be surprised when you discover that you don’t really view Jesus as necessary.
It may be 10-15 years down the road, but church and worshiping God are clear indicators of our hearts.
Look at verse 20 with me, if we are believers, we’ve been given understanding.
We should be able to see through the lies and promises of Satan that temporal things are worthy of our worship.
We know Him who is true, at least, that’s what you may claim.
But where is the evidence you guys?
Matthew Henry says this, “The joy of the Lord (that’s salvation) will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasure with which the tempter baits his hooks.”
So, if you are claiming Christ, claiming the joy of the Lord, where is the proof in your life. Think about what you wrote down? If it wasn’t God or His Word, then we’ve got a problem. Maybe you still have a heart issue.
We know what is worth worshiping
Finally, turn with me to
John Piper says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever”
We, as believers, have found the truth. We’ve found what will fit that hole in our lives, and it is Him!!!
So, in turn, we seek the things that are above where Christ is. If Christ is our Savior, then we seek to glorify Him.
It’s a natural response of a heart that has been saved.
We no longer fall into the hands of Satan, and his schemes, we’ve been kept safe with Christ in God as verse 3 says.
So, in turn, we seek the things that are above where Christ is. If Christ is our Savior, then we seek to glorify Him.
It’s a natural response of a heart that has been saved.
We put to death those things that are idols in our lives, and we finally satisfy that craving of ours by worshiping the only one who deserves it, God himself.
Closing
So in closing, I know for a fact that a lot of you have idols in your lives that are coming way before your relationship with God. I can see it. And trust me, God sees it.
What I don’t want you to do is walk out of here today and do nothing about what God’s Word says.
That would be sin.
But let me be clear, what I’m not saying is those things in your life are wrong at face value. Sports, clubs, school, jobs, friends, etc....are not bad things on their own.
But what you need to do, is you need to set boundaries in your personal lives.
For me, these were set by my parents.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, came before God and church. Not sports, or jobs, or friends, or school, or anything.
And I thank God often that they were there for me.
You may not have that, in fact, your parents might be encouraging you to miss church, to miss worshiping God in light of these things.
What I’m encouraging each of you to do is to stand up for what you know to be right. To stop putting things before God. He won’t stand for it. In fact, what you do with this information is an indicator of where your heart really lies.
So, are you a believer, committed and intent on making sure nothing, NOTHING, comes before God
Or, are you just going through the motions on a Sunday morning, and then putting everything else before Him.
Only you can decide that.
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