Caught Up In Idolatry!

Caught Up In Idolatry!

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 1 Corinthians 10: 1-15 NIV

How do people get caught up in idolatry? When they allow themselves to think more of mere human beings or things than they reverence God, they have sunk to the depths of idolatry–worshiping the created things more than the Creator.

How do we know who is caught up in idolatry? When we see people revere another person more than they revere God and actually proclaim God has directed them to do so–they are caught up idolatry.

I’ve seen a number of posts on social media in which people now have regrets about the election results. One pastor admitted they got caught up in the glare of what seemed to be and didn’t realize what was. They thought a businessman who knew how to make money would be a better choice for the country and now see the error in their thinking. He said, “We prayed for God to anoint the one we chose instead of praying for God to direct us to the right person.” Now, in the aftermath, prayers are being made that God will undo, what men did–because they were caught up in idolizing a mere human being.  And some are still praying for 45’s salvation, when that should have been established before anyone supported him–if they truly wanted a Christian in office.

People have been so blinded by the proclamation that God chose 45, they refused to see all the warning signals and would not hear the alarms sounded by those whose vision was clear and their ears unstopped. They overlooked the fact that a pathological liar was running around doing what liars do–lie–about everything. They overlooked the fact that a vengeful, hate-mongering xenophobic was stirring up hatred and fear to “show everybody” what he could do.

Now that he has won an election–by hook and crook with all the lies, false propaganda and Russian interference with hacking, he has to constantly remind everyone that he won–every time he opens his mouth–guilt coating every word for those who are spiritually discerning. For if we are not able to spiritually discern what is unfolding before our eyes, we will be caught unaware and be tempted to do as the others.

God sees all and knows all and He will not be mocked by anyone proclaiming to be a Christian when they are not. We can quote the bible, go to a building for “church services,” and even act like we know God, but if Christ does not reign in our hearts, and we cannot show compassion and love for all others–we do not belong to Him and we lie. For the lies people are living, the truth is being exposed and yet–those caught up in idolatry refuse to see what it is right in front of them. By the time the scales fall from their eyes, the country may be in such dismal shape, it will take years for America to recover. And while America is in the throes of recovering her status with the world, the world has moved on–without us–leaving us to fend for ourselves in the face of the inside danger–emanating from Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller–the architects of the destruction of government as we know it.

For those in right relationship with God and know how He does things--with truth always at the forefront--we have nothing to fear for our God is faithful and He will deliver us from the hands of the wicked and the wicked shall be punished.

So, don’t get caught in the noise that sounds like a victory and the rallying cries. The victory is hollow and based on lies and the rallying cries–designed to stroke the egos of those who know–they have not earned the position in which they stand. People who know they are loved, need not travel the country looking for adulation (those idolizing them). Applauding ineptness and mentally instability while not acknowledging it–is idolatry.

When the truth is unveiled and the cowards in Congress develop a backbone or at least grow a pair–the world will see what many of us already see–his orangeness is but a bumbling buffoon who has laughed at all those he’s duped into believing he cares about America.

Who Will Be Exalted!

Who Will Be Exalted!

The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. Isaiah 2:11-18 NIV

What is an idol? An image or material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration or devotion, or a false conception or notion, according to the dictionary.

Given the definition of an idol and rightly interpreting the use in The Word, what idols do we have that we exalt above God?

Notice the last part of the definition–a false conception–that which is not true. The carved images to which some have given “power and authority” are false. The manufactured things given power and authority are false. The people for whom some have blind admiration and devotion to are not real--they are false and should never be exalted above God. But that’s what we do–we exalt celebrities and their opinions above God’s Word.

We exalt sin above righteousness and don’t even recognize that the words we use underscore where our hearts really are when we “idolize” celebrities and other well-known people or ideologies that are opposed to God’s Word.

We celebrate confusion and chaos that reign in the lives of all who believe God doesn’t know what He’s doing or did when they were born–idolizing that confusion and exalting it above God’s Word and intent for mankind.

We idolize foolishness and ignorance as long it supports and promotes emotionalized views of bigotry and hatred against others.

In all of this idolatry and idolizing of things and people–we must understand the spirit behind our behavior. If we are not influenced by the Spirit of Righteousness, we are influenced by the spirit of evil by the arch enemy of God–Satan. It is Satan’s influence that moved upon people to exalt their carved images above the obedience of God. The idols they created were given power and authority they did not have. But because the masses were blinded to truth, they worshiped the idols–out of ignorance.

We are yet doing the same thing today–worshiping idols, worshiping things and people–out of ignorance–giving them exalted status–false power and authority that doesn’t really exist–above understanding God’s Truth and intent for mankind.

But the day is coming–and it will be soon–when all the false gods will be exposed and fear will be embedded in the hearts of all who held the idols in greater esteem than God alone. When they see the consequences of their actions rising to crush them, they will attempt to run and hide, but there is no hiding place from God. He alone has created all that was ever created and He knows every nook and cranny of every mountain, every divide in all the bodies of water and He knows our hearts–whether they are good or evil.

Those who love The Lord and obey His Word know they have no need to fear the calamity that will fall upon all who have ignored God. They know a place has been established for them for all eternity to live in the presence of the Most High God. And in the day the calamity occurs–utter destruction–of all idols–whether people or things–then they will know that The Lord alone will be exalted!

What Does The Image Do For You?

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Daniel 3:1-6 NIV

At that time, the king had an image of himself constructed out of a spirit of arrogance and commanded that people worship it. Of course, there were some who refused to worship the image and didn’t care who knew it. And even though attempts were made to kill them, they survived and thrived because of the One who is in the furnace with them.

Being in a fiery furnace is a topic for another blog, but this one is just an attempt to have people reflect upon the image they have set up to worship.

Is it a spouse a child?

Is it a pastor or a church?

Is it an ideology based on traditions without justification?

Is it material possessions?

Is it status and position?

When I see people consumed with talking selfies, I wonder if they are ruled by arrogance and are infatuated with images of themselves. It is possible is it not?

There is one image that keeps me humble whenever I see a depiction of it or it rises in my spirit and that image is Jesus on the cross–loving me so much He was willing to die for me!

Does the image set before you remind you of Christ’s love? If not, I would suggest that you are worshipping an idol and idolatry won’t save your soul–only Jesus can.

 

Is America The Modern Day Pergamum?

 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. ” (Revelation 2:12-15 NIV)

Though this message was for the early church in the Middle East, governed by Rome, it still  serves as a reminder to us today. When reading this, I began to wonder if America has become “Satan’s Seat” of  all that is wrong with society today.

The message to the church acknowledges that there are some who remain true to their faith and will not renounce the belief and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, even in the face of persecution and those will be rewarded. However, He goes onto to say what He will hold against those tho entice people to sin and to hold onto cultic teachings that worship idols and false gods. This is in reference to the Nicolaitans (those who brought in idolatry and encouragement to live in opposition to God’s Word). Doesn’t that sound just like what is occurring in the Christian Community today?

Whenever I hear someone attempt to justify a lifestyle that is opposition to God’s Word, I know they cannot know God and yet they quote scripture–out of context–that we who know to do right are not their judge. “God said don’t judge.” They quote it and have no idea what it means. Jesus said in Matthew 7:1,2 “Do not judge or you too will be judged, for in the same way you judge others (without The Word), you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” The judgment that He references is based upon man’s intellect, not God’s Word and it is a warning that when we exclude God’s Word as a guide for living, we set ourselves up to be judged by the same standards (man’s intellect). They who live according to their flesh have already been judged and condemned by The Word–not us. If they knew God and had read His Word, they would know how ridiculous their attempt to quote Him is to justify their behavior.

And then their claim to sexual orientation is not a choice is further evidence of a lack of understanding about “words.” An orientation is a process designed to encourage a practice. A preference is a process of selectively choosing what one wants or does. Both–orientation and preference–are choices, not civil rights or birth designs. This is how Satan deceives and unfortunately, there are many who buy into the deception.

But we can take heart in the knowledge that not all Believers are seduced by a lying devil and we will hold fast to God’s Word, no matter what and we will not entice others to participate in ritualistic sin. What we must remember–the messages in the Bible are for Believers–not the unbelieving, for they would not believe it any way. Judgment begins at the household of faith–for all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. For those who are not followers in the truest sense of the word, their only hope is repentance and restoration to living a life that is pleasing to God.

We can no longer teach a sugar-coated message of Salvation in an attempt to not offend. Yes, Jesus died for all, but all must come to acknowledge that He is God and nothing in His message when He walked the earth, changed God’s Word or intent for mankind. The only hope the worldly have is for those of us who know Truth, to teach God’s Truth, not our own. We must say what God says in the context in which He said it.

Because They Have Forsaken God!

“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.” (2 Chronicles 34:24,25)

What happens when we forsake God and forget about all He has told us to do? Ugly things happen and continue to happen until people repent–usually after they have been reminded of what God has said.

This was the case with the King (Josiah) who got rid of all the high places where people burned living children in sacrifice to a hand-made God, where they worshipped the works of their own hands and falsely believed those who told them to kill children to appease their hand-made God. Josiah repented after hearing The Words of God that had been forgotten and forsaken. He finally understood and obeyed and his obedience kept him from falling into the judgment of those who refused to repent.

The same God–not made by hands–who is self-existing and needs no one else to counsel Him–who allowed judgment to fall upon entire kingdoms because of their disobedience then, will do the same thing today–if we continue to forsake God’s Word!

Perhaps, the problem is that many refuse to attend places of worship that have made the Word of God of no effect because of their traditions. Perhaps, the problem is because no one is reading The Word, seeking understanding of how God wants us to live. Perhaps, the problem is because many people spend far more time worshipping those things that man’s hands have made and they cannot see or understand the importance of knowing what God has said.

People worship their cars, their jobs, their bank accounts, their homes, their children, their spouses and when people and things become more important than God--we go astray. We forget to read The Word; we forget to hear The Word; we forget to study The Word and seek Him for understanding. With all of this forgetting about The Word–we disobey God and create (in our minds and with our own hands) new rules–that contradict God’s Word. We create laws and statutes that are in total opposition to what God has said and we do it–to be politically correct and inclusive–desiring to please men, more than God!

And when we forsake God–all the ugliness of the world–is exposed to the light and we see the end results–chaos, unrest, and violence, not realizing that sin impacts our environment and the just and unjust suffer the same consequences.

The solution to all the aforenamed problems is simply for everyone to get in The Word, understand what God has said and repent–humbly seeking His forgiveness for all we have done that is not of Him.

When we forsake God and His ways, He forsakes us and allows us to do our own thing–obtaining our own results–without His involvement. God does not cause the problems we have in our society–we do–because we have forsaken God!

Help us, O Lord, to get our priorities right and come back to the place where we can receive The Word and forgiveness for all the wrong we have done. Have mercy on us, O Lord, and lead us to the place You would have us to be–always focused upon You and what You would have us to do so we can achieve greatness to Your glory!

What Can Your God Do?

“I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means—that it is the LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it. “Present the case for your idols,” says the LORD. “Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel” (Isaiah 41:20,21 NLT–Read entire chapter for context).

The prophet outlines for the Children of Israel what God will do for them and then tells them why–“The Lord has done this” and then–he tells them the false prophets to “present the case for their idols” –false gods.

For those of us who know and have experienced the miracles of God–healed when sick, raised from the pits and lifted to greatness, understand how the poor are fed when all hope appears to be lost, we know that it is The Creator God who is capable of making a way out of no way.

But there are those who “worship idols”–athletes, celebrities, spouses, jobs, all manner of things and people who have not “created” from nothing–anything. They have not created mountains, oceans, the sun or moon, or anything else that we can see–from total nothingness. There are some who have manufactured things from the things already here, but they have “created nothing” and people worship them as gods.

They have no case to present because the case–before God–would be flawed and full of holes so wide a person could fall through them. Mortal man–demonstrates foolishness at the highest level–when they worship things created by the hands of man, giving them more power than Creator God. 

I don’t know about your god, but my God is awesome!  He can move mountains, hide me in the rain, shelter me in the valley, heal me when I’m broken, deliver me from the desires of the flesh and lift me when I’m down for the count and raise me to greater heights than I could have ever imagined. He can open doors, no man can shut, and close doors no man can open. He gives sight to blind and makes the lame to walk. He provides whatever I need when there is no provision and He never leaves me alone–He is always with me! Hallelujah!

Now, what can your god do?

If your worship and praise is reserved for the idols of this world because of their fame or fortune--how will you present your case to the Living God who will judge all we do, one day?