Exodus 20:4-6 : The Second Command- Week 2
My gracious, Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love that you continue to show to your people who are so prone to want.
We are so prone to love the world and the things of the world, we are so prone to grow hard-hearted to give our worship and our love to things that don’t deserve it.
When you did, I asked today that you would open our eyes and our minds to worship you, from a pure part, I can only come as we see you in your glory and as we are disenchanted with the things of this service that you help with that father a crane as these things and your precious nine, he that.
So we’ll be in Exodus Chapter 20 for today. I’m gonna read the scripture text again before we jump in Exodus Chapter 20, and this is versus four to six all that you get there we are, for a second week in a row, covering the second command of the 10 commandments and I have a good reason for that I worked very hard on last week’s sermon I poured my heart out for it and it was the culmination of years of meditation on Idol-Street and writing on idolatry and it came to a point last week where I asked really hard questions, of what makes an idol, an idol for myself, and when I got done preaching I felt like I did a great job, and I still think I did ’cause I think this was part of God’s plan and it’s a gift that I was giving to you and love for you.
But throughout the week I had several people comment that while they understood what idolatry was and while they understood what their idols probably were last week, fell short because it fell short, of showing them what to do about those is.
And several people volunteer that suggestion, and it was a shot to my confidence, but honestly I think it was part of God’s sovereign plan.
So essentially what we’re going to do this week, is part B of last week’s sermon part A, last week was primarily exposition. And maybe like the 3000-foot view of what idolatry is. This week will be a little bit more detail. What does it look like for you and I to root idolatry out of our life. What are the specific steps, what does this look practically look like, practically, for us? So this is Exodus and this is verse 4 through 6.
[Exodus 20:4-6 ESV] 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
This sermon is part B. last week was more exposition and theological. This week will be far more application. Timothy Keller, suggests from Romans One that idolatry is the ultimate source of every sin, and his reason for that is that Romans 1 speaks of people exchanging the glory of God for images that represent beasts. And then just a few short verses later, he lists a series of sins- tons of different kinds of sins that seemingly at first glance have nothing to do with idols but in Paul’s mind, they are closely connected. Now whether this is true we can see clearly that idolatry is the source of all conflict between man and God, between you and God. Today, it is the source of all conflict in the biblical story between man and God. And one person said it like this, though, you will own it. Nothing is more common than idoltry.
So what I thought I do today is talk I don’t know, maybe primarily on a testimony level, there’s a verse in First Thessalonians where Paul describes the Thessalonians, “How they turned away from their idols to serve the living and true God.
And I thought I’d share with you how in my life, some practical lessons I learned about idolatry and through that, trying to apply this specifically to our lives today. We now idolatry, a sin, we established last week that idolatry does not have to be just little carved images that you bow down and worship that it can be something that we have in our part, it can be an object can be anything. We depend on supremely for our joy and security to anything you love more than God anything you serve more than God we know that.
What does this look like? So I’ll give you a few principles that I’ve learned in my life and some accompanying versus for you to consider. First of all, idols I said this last week, but I’m gonna say it differently this week. Idols over-promise and under-deliver idols over-promise and under-Deliver. Have you tasted this in your life?
Have you tasted the moment where you were longing for something for years, you thought it was the thing that was gonna bring you joy and you finally got it, and it just wasn’t all that.
And am I gonna get any notes on that? A few of you, yeah, okay, this is a reality we face there’s nothing. This is a quote from John Piper. I’ve meditated on a lot over the years. There’s nothing as sad as the moment you get the thing that you thought was Ultimate, and it disappoints you, there’s something that is uniquely Sade, and what you would despair and lonely in that moment, where you finally get what you longed for and it really wasn’t what you thought it would be about.
Let’s give some examples, just get specific here.
Like money you guys have heard that it was said, I think it was Warren Buffet who said You’ve got all this money. What else could you possibly want? I think it was buffet. He said Just one more dollar you ever heard that.
And isn’t that true for you? And me, right?
I’m not gonna make you raise your hand for this, but how many of you growing up like at 17-18 if you knew what you were making in dollars today would have thought. I will never make that amount of money. It’s never happening in my life, right?
Or how about the house that you own? Like you think you’ll never have that, but now that you do have it, what are you thinking about? And I can just have a little bit more abuse.
Sure would be nice, right? Ultimately, that dollar amount that you hoped for and long for finally disappointed you.
Or how about relationships? This is no more clear than we call it the honeymoon stage.
You know what I’m talking about, where a couple gets together, they get married, and they’re in the honeymoon stage for how long you… Some time this is short, it’s like three months, sometimes this is long, like two years but eventually the honeymoon stage is over. We call that the honeymoon stage. But a lot of times it’s actually… They have put their ultimate trust and security and joy in the other person.
And then they got into married life and he left his socks on the floor again and suddenly this married life is at all. It’s cracked up to be. It hasn’t delivered it over-promised. You thought you were getting your happily ever after and I found, and you found out that it was actually just the start of something very difficult of a much harder story than you could have ever imagined. Marriage relationships. They over-promise at the under-deliver.
What about toys?
You’ve experienced this with something you bought. It can’t be anything. The new car you got that you thought Man, this would be awesome to have. Then you have it, and you had it for a month only just… Not to all it doesn’t bring you the same joy, it’s not the same thing. Kind of are already looking for that next vehicle or thinking about it, at least video games, movies, channels to watch on TV. You think? Man, I just got that one thing I would finally this would finally that be everything I want and this is how they build up everything, right?
You watched a movie trailer, and a movie trailer ever.
You would think that every movie is gonna be the movie to end all movies ’cause that’s how they make it seem, and sometimes we buy into the hype and then you go to the movie you watch it and you’re like… Ah, I kind of wish I had my 8 back. That wasn’t that good. It disappointed it over-promised, under-delivered. Are the video game or whatever, it’s going on here.
There’s an important verse of Jeremiah 2:13, that’s brought up to often God is talking and he says, “My people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water and huge out cisterns for themselves broken systems that can hold no water.
What’s the two-fold in there with the illustration, it’s like, a nomadic people, that found a water source, they found in the death or they found a spring this precious commodity. They’re drinking freely from it, but you know what?
I think what we should do instead we should not live here, we should go out, we’re far away from this, we should dig into the ground to try to hold some reservoir of water for when it actually might rain only to find out that that reservoir of water, not only his money, but it’s, it’s cracked and it can actually hold no water, it’s too evil. You’ve left what worked and you’re putting your faith in something that doesn’t work.
What’s the illustration is the one who over promises, and over-delivers, he promises far more and above anything you could ever ask or think anti-delivers on it, what our God does, and yet you and I are too content to go elsewhere. I’ve seen this over and over in my life I’ve seen this over and over in my life.
I’m gonna share a little about my story, for a long time. I’ve created an idol out of… We’ll just call it success in general and it’s not success for fame. I care a lot about what my friends think about me, but I care very little about what everyone else thinks about me.
I’m not a person who likes being on Facebook and posting things, to get like a… Not a person who likes popularity, so it’s something I’ve soured on over the years, but there’s something about success, there’s something about the desire to do something and succeed at whatever you put your mind to something hard. And I’ve appropriated this in different directions in my life, but over and over, I found one resounding result, and that is never as successful as I hope that we…
Timothy Keller has a story, it’s actually a CS Lewis story tells of a man who painted for years trying to capture this perfect image of a tree that he has in his mind, and he can never quite capture it.
You focus is so long on one leaf one shadow on one leaf and you can’t ever get it quite right, never finishes the full tree.
He never succeeds at the dream that he had the picture that he had, and he dies, and eventually one day he goes to heaven, He’s given this house, he stands by his house and there in the field by his house is the tree. You always picture in his mind, perfectly complete.
It’s a story that pictures, how dreams and often what we ideal lie in this life, everything we long for in this life will ultimately go unto built. Often very few of us ever reach that moment of success that you long for. But ultimately, what we’re longing for is the success of hearing our Father in Heaven say, “Well done, good and face and that moment is gonna be far better than any moment of success we could ever long for honor the place where I particularly put this into practice. My is my ministry here I’m driven in many ways to get this idol of success to accomplish something that I think would be awesome. And it’s not always numbers, it’s not always a big church, it sometimes is that, but other times it hasn’t been that it’s a very… It’s like nailing jello to a tree, it’s very hard to nail this sin down. In my life, ’cause it’s not always the same, but I know it when I see it, and I have, for years, longed for the promise of if I only finally reach that moment of success, then I will finally be happy I’ll be able to die in peace.
You know I… And even in moments when I’ve got… I’m a little taste of it. It’s under-delivered.
I’ll talk more about that in a moment, but number two, number two, is whatever this is the lesson practical list. And I’ve learned about idolatry, for number two is whatever, and I’m gonna use a word here in vote.
This is a religious type word, and it’s intentional whatever invokes the most extreme emotions in my life is what I’ve worked it, whatever invokes the most extreme emotions in my life is what I worship hands down, always. If you want difficult proof of this from where do wars and fighting come from among you, is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
And he goes on to imply that a lot of conflict is actually based in idolatry which is adultery, to God.
Much conflict is based off of the passions are idolatry. You might say that you’re devoted to God, but your emotions don’t like your emotions don’t like evaluate your life right now.
What’s your functional idol? This is easy to see the girl in junior high son in like a junior high science class, let’s say, who’s got her notebook out and she’s writing in the margin of the notebook. AJ heart something, something you… You know that talking about and she’s writing it over and over and over and over again, and she will not stop, right? What is the thing that’s giving her, “Well what is the thing that she’s responding most emotionally too in that moment, even if she clings to be a Christian, this infatuation love what I may try to call it, He is invoking the greatest sense of joy, she has in her life and guess what that relationship is the thing she worshiping.
What about that might not resonate with some of you ’cause you haven’t written in the margin of your notebook, and 15 years or longer, but what about… Let’s give it another example for those of you, some of you go on vacations on a yearly basis, right?
I never go on a vacation with a family.
How quickly does a vacation to evolve into a…
I just like a full-on-war zone right where the kids are bigger, and in the back seat, yelling at each other, they’re whiny, all these things. What is the heart? And you get frustrated at them as well. What is the thing that is evoking those emotions? Will you wanted a fun vacation and you deserve it because you were hard.
So that’s a functional idol there.
What is evoking, what is invoking… I mean, what is stirring up in you in a spiritual sense, those emotions in that moment.
What about video games? The turn-in video games, you obsess about video games, turn to sports that sport that you love that is cancelled right now, you turn to Netflix shows that you watch and re-watch and re-watch and re-watch you turn to your dreams about buying the house that you always dreamed about… You turn to that relationship, and you daydream on those things.
What is evoking the greatest joy also what is evoking, the greatest anger, when it’s challenged to idols are like a cornered animal, they’re dangerous.
The second you shine a spotlight on start. Hey, maybe we should get this thing out of here is the second. They become terrified they will lash out and destroy.
So what is the thing that when somebody brings it up, “Hey are you sure you should be watching that much TV, playing that much video game? Are you sure you should be buying that thing?
Are you sure you should be participating in that activity or letting your kids participating that activity are you sure should be doing the thing and your, your first response is anger that’s not always, but it could be a good sign, a good indicator of an idol that you have in your life.
That brings me to point number three.
Well, actually, I’ll stop here for a second.
I’ll give an illustration from my life and I want you to see this in practice. Hopefully, these examples help you and you’re already identifying stuff. But in a attendants day some of my greatest regrets in my life are my early marriage with my wife, and it’s nothing that she did it was how I was living, particularly in my obsession with all kinds of media, but especially video games.
It caused fights among us, for sure, but any time she would bring it up, you know what I did, you know what I would do the… What about, is you hear what about is in politics? A lot political speeches. Well, what about that?
That’s exactly what I would do.
What about what I’m trying to do here? Well, what about that person? I’m not as bad as they are. What about your thing? What that is cornered animal. lashing out does not want to be exposed, that it wants to stay there, in the darkness of the heart.
We’ll get to practical how we remove it and just the moment a few more things. Number three, you need to understand this principle you have to understand this, okay?
My worship and love are limited resources, my worship and love are limited resources. This is another way of stating what John states in First John Do not love the things of this world, this world are the things of this world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, you can’t love both one pushes out the other. They’re limited resources. If you spend it on one thing you will have nothing left over for God, it’s exactly what Jesus says in Matthew Chapter. 6:
“No one can serve two masters in their life, reason. He will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money, your love and emotions, your love and worship are limited resources.
If you spend all of your passion and excitement and joy on your toys and then you wonder, Man, why do I not feel like I used to feel about God?
I’ll tell you why, because at 1 John 2, 15, you can’t love the things, of this world, and love God.
He are limited resources. I found this with many items and it was a principle that started to become clearer over the last couple of years where I’m an addictive personality. Some of you guys may know that others of you may not. My wife have seen many hobbies come and go in my life from hiking, and particularly buying expensive hiking stuff which we have a bunch of stuff in our basement, or if it’s board games, you know that I’ve got a huge shelf full board games. It with basketball in various ways, Not Playing, that would be far healthier watching and looking at stats of basketball. I would jump from one thing to the other, to the other. And honestly, part of the reason why I jumped from one thing to the next, is because that last thing wasn’t really satisfying, so I needed to find something new, find something new to keep my interest, like a child getting bored with this toy, putting it down and going to try to find a new toy, and then after a while of doing that goes and complains on board. Well, that’s what I did. The God I go to, and I complain to God, and I’d say God I just feel dissatisfied in my soul and you know what I do not, I don’t feel like I love you like I used to, I don’t feel the joy of the Lord being my strength, like I used to. And this principle had to work on me for a while. You have to understand this if you are not loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might and you think man, I would sure like to be that person, I don’t know how to get there.
You need to understand that if you are pouring your love and security and joy into all of these other things you will have nothing left over for God, and here’s the awesome part, here’s the beautiful part.
You can never truly enjoy an idle.
This is a new principle. Write that down, you can never truly enjoy and I never… If you make your kids into an idle and you become this helicopter parent who’s always obsessing about pushing them harder, and pushing them hard and pushing them hard and it’s because your joy and your security is ultimately about their performance if they do wealth and you will be happy then you do that. Always guess what that idol is never going to satisfy. You’re always gonna be miserable and you’re gonna break other people around you, but you wanna know the beautiful part. If you instead, you give your love and joy to God, you can truly enjoy your child the way God meant for you to enjoy that everything falls into place in your life when you love God like you should.
I’ve used this illustration before, I want you to imagine for a second that you took, you stopped time you stopped the laws of the universe and you replace the moon, with the sons and the son with the move and then you started time again, what would happen?
It would be the earth would burn up and the entire solar system would be thrown out of whack, planets would be thrown that way, and this way, everything would be a mess. But if you have the thing that everything was meant to orbit in the right place and everything falls into place, everything around it falls in the place and that’s the way it is with God including here’s the beautiful thing, including the pleasures of this life.
If you read Ecclesiastes you know, really quick that this is a man. We’re gonna get to disenchantment in a second. This is a man who’s disenchanted with this world, he looks around of the world, he says, “You know what, I’ve been good and I haven’t always gotten the good things, I’ve worked hard in my life and yet I lose my job is how we might apply it today.
And I saved my wealth and then one day it was just gone.
And you know what his application is.
Love God first and second enjoy life because God does sometimes give you good gifts that He wants you as a good father, he wants you to enjoy, but if you enjoy that thing first, and you put that at the center of your heart and it is your security and you’re not willing to let it go, everything gets thrown out of whack, you’ll never enjoy that the way you were meant to and you’ll be disobeying God, and acted and acting with the… So I guess this is number five, number five, is some of God’s greatest acts in my life, greatest acts of grace in my life, some of God’s greatest acts of grace in my life left me in a fit of despair some of God’s greatest acts, the grace in my life.
Let me in a fit of despair good illustrations. When I was running from one idle to another to satisfy my soul, still do that in some ways today, I think I’ve grown a lot in that area. If God’s grace and His grace of long… One of the things that I found would happen particularly I’m gonna talk to a few of you, not all of you, play video games. I talk to a few of you right now, okay?
You can apply this in different ways.
Particularly when I was playing video games a lot, is that I always longed for the new game, I would get it and it would disappoint and after of those times, renting it or whatever, and a disappointing I became disenchanted with my video games systems.
You’re like Good.
What I did, I don’t know what to do with myself.
I was in despair in one very real sense, I was just empty.
This is it. I got nothing to do, really.
But it was that sense of emptiness, that was one of God’s greatest acts of grace in my life because it was disenchanted in me.
That’s a word that I use, intentionally, is like a fable, word right.
What happens in a fable sources put an end chance in on someone and they think everything is the way it is, and slowly they begin to wake up and they see the real world around them and they’re distancing that’s… Do we need to be disenchanted from these idols and disconnected from their hypnotism that they have over us sometimes?
And so I say, Some of God’s greatest acts of grace in my life left me in a pit of despair to… We’ve got the greatest acts of grace in our life. Often times feel very painful.
When I was growing up at some of… You know, kind of my story right now in many ways I maybe could and should be legally blind today. Unable to see, right?
I had one eye that was a lazy eye, that was my right eye. And if you don’t know about a lazy… Basically, it’s exactly what it’s sold to decide it’s gonna stop working and the other one’s gonna do all the work and so it can’t see it, it doesn’t stretch any of its muscles work in his muscles and it just loses focus. And sometimes, it begins to turn one way or another. And that was me, me, I had that eye several doctors gave up on it said It’s okay, you have the other eye, you’ll be fine guy.
We had a doctor that didn’t patched it hard. I now don’t have to wear glasses technically even to drive even though my wife would disagree me on that legally, I do not have to, but the other eye when I was about 12 years old, I got a very serious detached retina that was hanging on for quite a while and they had waited. We had waited a couple more weeks, so the doctor had it, caught it early enough that I would have been gone as well. So, in very real ways, I could be blind in both eyes which would almost make it possible for me to do what God has called me to do.
That’s got take grace.
Now, one of the things about my lazy eye is the way to correct a lazy eye… And if you had a lazy eye growing up. Or have somebody you know, did okay. Yeah, so you have to wear glasses for that lazy eye-to force it to work but you also have to cover up the good eye to make the lazy eye get a workout right?
So guess what happens when you cover up the eye that can see and you make a can’t see, do all the work you run into a lot of stuff. That’s what happened with me and the patch that my dad and my dad, I don’t know I should ask my dad about this, some time, but I don’t remember my mom putting it on very much. I remember my dad putting it on and I would go over to his office every day before school, and he would put the patch on it had look-a-sticky, like a band-aid around the outside, and it would stick on and then I put my glasses over top of it.
But the thing about this path was that I had long eyelashes, I have long eyelashes, so my eye last constantly rubbed up against the back of the patch.
That’s really annoying.
And then guess what happens when you get a little Crum in your eye or an eyelash in your eye, doesn’t feel good, so guess when I learned about that, guess what I did, every time after my dad first put on the path I would say I got a Crum in my… We better take it off. And obviously that didn’t always work and there were times I use and I screamed so much, I remember my dad holding my arms down at my side while he put the past show, and by the time he got it on, I was…
Oh, okay, this is just the way the… Sometimes the most painful things that we go through in our life or four, or good sometimes the most dangerous thing for you and for me is for us to get what we want.
In fact, in Romans chapter one, God it says pulses that God gave them up to their passions and their pleasures, their idolatry, He gave them over to it. So guess what that means as an act of judgment, sometimes God just lets you have what you want.
It’s terrified, because the pleasures of sin are for a season. We know that from Hebrews 11, in the account of Moses we’ve experienced this.
It’s this principle of growing disenchanted you grow disenchanted with your idol.
That can be a moment of great despair, but it can also be a moment of some of God’s greatest race.
This has happened, this happened to me with what I talked about, the idol of success earlier this year.
I still don’t know how to put it into words. You know you focus up into the sky, you look at the stars, and you focus on any one star and you can’t see it anymore, but you still see all the stars around it. You know what I’m talking about?
That’s how it’s felt as I’ve tried to figure out the sins in my heart and what God was doing over the last four, five months here in church, I felt in many ways broken, especially right after we did not get that other church facilities that I don’t think the church facility itself, ever became an idol to me but it was symbolic, it felt like if we could do that, that would be a step of success and it…
I don’t wanna say it crushed me, but it just kinda snapped something to my brain where I felt disconnected I couldn’t figure out what’s going on, I didn’t know which way was up, I couldn’t focus and figure out any good theology that apply it to my life. It was a very frustrating moment for me, I was disenchanted. I don’t know what to make of that and I still don’t, honestly, if I said I’ve had a eureka moment, I have it thank… But what I did in response to that was, What we should all do in the moment of despair. We were disappointed after not getting the thing that we put our heart Archer got ripped away from us, so I did what we should do I didn’t do it faithfully, but I try.
I got into God’s word and I said, “God help me make sense of this and I read and I studied and I read and I studied and guess where I was.
Isaiah and I read and I study, I read and I study it and I pray God, I don’t understand what’s going on, and I wish I could say it was like that that God gave me the reason you know how right after I got done, we all wanted to say God must have a better plan. I did not feel that at all.
I couldn’t believe it.
And you know what the truth is that even as I studied, I felt like I could not gain any knowledge that was specific to this instance.
I learned a little bit about idolatry.
The thing that kept coming up wasn’t anything to do with idolatry, had to do with God humbling the arrogant oppressive force of Babylonians and Assyrians, and I could stretch that and connect it, but I was really struggling to connect the dots. I kept study, and I kept studying and I wish I could say it all made sense, I still don’t it, it still feels dark to me, in this disenchantment moment, but I want you to hear this. This principle is so important.
What I found is that I’ve learned more about God. Maybe stuff that doesn’t specifically apply, but I’ve learned that he’s worthy of my worship and it’s suddenly like the ground underneath my feet began to materialize a little bit, that fuzzy-ness of the world began to come into focus and I kept moving forward. And maybe in 10 years I’ll get make more sense of it I don’t know, still struggling with it.
That brings me to our last two points, and this is maybe what some of you have wanted all along and that is how do we get rid of them?
And you could summarize these two points in four words total turn away and turn to turn away, turn to… I’m gonna say each point differently turn away is only a reality. Check about idols, utility loosen the grip of idols on your life only a reality check about idols, futility, are gonna lose that grip you gotta turn away from your idols if you are recognizing today the reality of idolatry in your life.
So this is the ABCS of Christianity. These are the fundamentals.
What’s the fundamental basketball people? You got a Dribble, you gotta be able to drivable past, you got to do those three things, so you’re never gonna be able to play basketball.
These are the fundamentals of Christianity. Number one, turn away that involves confession, you go to God, this is something every good Christian should be doing every day, confessing your sin to God. You go to him and you name your sin, you don’t make excuses, you don’t play the blame game, now you own up.
So what you do, what you’re doing wrong that you’re placing your faith, in something else that you’re finding joy in the arms of another lover that you’re finding your security is something other than God that you left the living waters and hung out wells that can’t even hold water that’s you, that’s what you’ve done.
God, I own up to it and all I can say is I need your grace, I need your forgiveness.
Not because I’ve done anything to deserve. It fact maybe a blip for years with decile.Need your grace and I need you, forgive us. There is a purifying aspect to good confession to God and if you are not in the practice of confession and you feel dirty, and you feel distant from God, I know the reason why you’ve gotta own up the only way you can approach God is through God’s forgiveness, and the only way you are forgiven is If you confess, you see if you confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
It’s not enough to just recognize that you’re dirty, there’s something about actually washing your hands going through washing your hands to good ones, you feel clean, suddenly turn away, like in a festive you could say something like, this. I see that you may be calling me to live my life without something I never thought I could live with out but if I have you… I have the only wealthy, health, love, honor, and security, I need. You cannot lose.
There are many people that have learned and later taught you just don’t realize that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have and so that brings me to the second part of turn away, okay?
Some idols you can’t get rid of all need to be repented of, but you should get rid of trials of to what is the, you know the story of the golden calf later in Exodus okay what happens, right? They come down that we’re being the golden calf. What does Moses did?
Makes the original protein drinks now he could have in that moment said, “You guys, you can’t build idols. Let me cut off the little cut this idle up in the little pieces and we’ll re-distribute all the wealth. He could have done it.
What does he do?
He grinds it up into powder dump it in a stream and makes the people drink the street later on when people got serious about getting rid of idols in Israel did they know what we should just go put them into a warehouse somewhere? They crushed of the ground them up, they broke them down. And listen, you probably need to take extreme measures, if something is cyclonic on your love for God, probably need to take some extreme measures.
Some of the greatest moments of growth in my battle against idolatry. came when I was willing to make great sacrifices in my life.
So what do you need to do for me? I’ve gone back and forth when I recognized the video game system was becoming too much for me. I sold the video game system.
Now, if you think, “Well did great with that good job, Pastor Trey.
I bought it back a few months later, okay. And then it wasn’t too long after that that I sold it again I haven’t had one sense, but you gotta be serious, you gotta take a step, do something. So if your idol is your… Is the dream of the perfect house, whether it’s the house you live in now, or the one you wanna build or buy, maybe you need to stop watching house shows and all the husbands in here, say, Maybe you need to stop browsing Pinterest, maybe you need to stop looking up houses that are for sale cut it out of your life. Guys, I’m coming after you know, We’re gonna come after all of us with a few things with your car. I don’t know if we have people that are really car, people in our church. But what about vehicle that you have? Just put your heart and soul into brief the most sure you’re out there polishing a day after day. Like what would the answer be in that case?
Well, I just want polished as much. Maybe I only drive it sometimes.
Did you sell it but not phone games? Your idol is your phone, games that you have or YouTube that you watch on your phone constantly maybe you need to delete all those apps off your phone and to set up a password that dis-allows you from installing apps again.
Yeah, you can do that. By the way.
What about the vacation?
You know that moment of vacation, I can’t wait to do that. A whole heart and soul is waiting for that weekend, waiting for that week waiting for those couple.
Maybe you need to donate the money. You were planning for a vacation to a better cost and serve Jesus somehow instead.
What about a kid’s activity, like a sports team or band activity or extracurricular in some, some way, maybe you and your kid need to agree to stop that activity and cut it out of your life.
What about a dream like marriage, or retirement?
This is where it gets tricky. Maybe you need to cut off the ways that you obsess over that thing.
See, this is the problem. There are some idols that you can’t get rid of. If God asked me to, I would be willing to stop being pastor, if I felt like I needed to to get rid of an idol of ministry success in my mind I’ve thought about it, I’ve asked the question before.
I don’t think that’s what God has for me right now are for instance, what if your idol is your steps?
I’m not telling you to go crush them up into fine powder, okay?
What do you do with idols that are good things that God commands you to do? What about your job become an idol? Are you gonna quit while you could… You could consider quitting it’s too demanding on your life, and finding a better job for you or for what God calls you to do.
But generally these things might take more mental discipline. You might have to memorize verses to think about when your mind starts idolizing a thing you might have to create a regular rhythm of meeting with someone like a trusted Christian friend that will ask you hard questions about your desires in that area and somebody who can read you and knows when you’re live, that’s important and I suggest this above all else, but… fast from anything for a season, except God and see your love for Him grows yeah, cut out food, cut out TV cut out whatever vacation… You were planning extra activities were planning cut it out and just pray and read the Bible and you’re like, “That sounds boring, that maybe you don’t realize how worthy or God is and how much joy gets and how the joy of the Lord is our strength, and how he’s the living water, and all of this other stuff are just broken sisters. Maybe you’re enchanted still. That brings me to the second point. So first one’s turn away. Second one was turned to… This is the last point that I have to read a day only when we are pulled into gravity around the wariness of God will we stop orbiting other stupid things as just to tell it how it is, to a… No, you’re not only when we are pulled into gravity around the wariness of God will we stop orbiting other stupid things we have to turn to is this is the hardest one because it’s the most difficult to explain.
It’s not something you can do easily something you have to have in your heart, it’s not something you do with your hands, but a battle that you fight in your minds and therefore if you’re not a believer, today, this step will make little sense to you, it won’t sink up you’ll think this is boring, nothing in your heart will be drawn to this and if you are an enchanted person and chanted by the things of this world, then this stuff will feel utterly impossible to a challenge for you is to turn your eyes on Jesus.
Now that raises and the things of earth will grow strange leased in out of the things of earth grow strangely dim. How do the things of earth lose their luster?
How do you become disenchanted with the things of Earth?
I.. you gotta see something more glorious, you have to fill your mind with the truth of God’s word that Jesus is infinitely worthy of your worship your love, your devotion He is worthy of every thought, every deed, every dollar, every desire every action, your heart doesn’t believe that right now, right? How does your heart believe something like that?
It’s a principle in God’s word, that’s known as renewing your mind, you renew your mind by reading the Scripture is meditating on them, and slowly your mindset is formed by the scriptures, about what really matters by removing your idols you’ve created a vacuum, a space that God can inhabit it will take effort and it will not be easy but you need the obedience.
This is, I can’t explain this to not…
I have not had any direct moment of revelation. I’ve told you guys about some of my struggles with this.
I devoted myself to Bible study and prayer and it’s not like, “Oh man, I was praying and God sat me out of the sky. I wish I had more moments like that, but I don’t… Fact many times when I read the Bible, and I prayed, I felt more hollow.
Any of you ever you don’t have to raise your hand, and what ever experienced that you’re seeking God’s face you’re trying to do what you know is right and you actually feel more hollow.
You experienced that maybe you did that for a little while. He said, “I give up, I quit, I’m not gonna try anymore. Like I said earlier, slowly, the ground under my feet began to materialize. That everything got brought into focus and I realized that God matters. I don’t know quite yet, how it connects to everything, I’ve struggled with but I realized that back God met and I love my God and I will serve and worship my God and He’s the one I will devote myself to.
So, a couple of suggestions for you specifically. First of all, I encourage you to pray Paul’s prayers in many of them, where he says, “I thank God for you, and then he goes right into, “I pray that your eyes, the eyes of your heart will be enlightened so that you will be able to see sometimes it goes on to talk about the promises of God, sometimes the love of God these prayers are in Ephesians, want Ephesians 3, Colossians 1, they’re all over the place, they’re beautiful pray those prayers they’re all over by the way, in the Psalms, to… So 1-19 is another great one, it’s this prayer that God I want to be disenchanted with what doesn’t matter and I want to love what does the prayer that God loves to answer to pray it hard and wrestle with God like Jacob be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life because God that’s how I feel. I was gonna mention this in my store, I still feel like I’m limping along, but it’s a good lip. Like Jacob fell ’cause he remembered the time when he wrestled with God, God could bailed over, but he got to wrestle with God so built let go of God. And then I encourage you to read those dense passages about who God is, were the easiest place to find those dense passages are the Gospel ’cause who’s got Jesus, is the exact representation the exact image of God, so yes, go to read the gospel and see who your God is and ask God to help you see how glorious He is.
Other passages you might consider Isaiah 40, Psalm 23, Psalm 2, Ephesians 3, Colossians 1, Revelation 5, 6, Isaiah 6, Exodus 19, to 20 Exodus 32 to 34.Guess what?
They’re all over the place. Go read your Bible and learn about who God is, and have the glory of God fill your eyes so you see that he’s all that matters. Turn away from those items get them out of your life and turn to God.
That’s my challenge for you. It’s real and in a bit the musicians to come out.
Father, I love you, I thank you for the people and hear even that we’re asking those hard questions of how do I do this, how do we do this, how do we rode out idolatry, how to repent, how do we grow in this area? And I pray that this these steps, these truths will be practical, that you’ll cement them in or parts that the light of your glory will shine through and the things of the servile grow strange.
Do that work in us. It is in your precious name.