Tuesday, May 24, 2016

No Other Gods

Photo: Patrick Tomasso


How many times have you (and I) fallen in that one particular sin that seems to keep dragging you further and further down? I know that when it comes to my own spiritual life, it can seem so hard to want to fight the temptations of sin. We may struggle, go away from it - try to place it in the furthest part of our minds, but something or someone can resurrect that buried temptation, which for me often causes me to fall into sin. 

Is it right that we do this? Is it okay to habitually sin, giving half-hearted confessions of which in the moment we do mean but later fail to act like we've been redeemed from our sin? No, and not only is it illogical, it's actually quite stupid.

Now, I don't mean to be rude by saying that, but to be honest with you, I fall into this same mindset, and before I've actually realized it, I've given myself up to things that degrade and undermine my worth and value found in Christ. When we willingly believe a lie in exchange of clinging to the truth of Christ, we're not only saying that we don't fully trust God, but also and most critically, that we don't believe that the power of the Cross is enough for us. Every time we say yes to sin, we're saying that the power of God's magnificent love isn't enough to perfect, establish, strengthen an settle us (1 Peter 5:10). It's only through the power of God that we're able to resist temptation and yield to the Spirit of God - Satan wants us as believers to fall into his traps, because it only gives him more ammunition to use against us when we're weak. 

What all this boils down to is a battle of mastership - who are we really willing to serve and commit to? 

No One But Me

Taking a look at Exodus 20, we find what is called The Ten Commandments, laws given by God to the people of Israel by God's servant, Moses on Mount Sinai. Immediately, before any of the commandments have been given, God states, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." God wanted to remind the people of Israel about what He's done for them, how He has provided for them and created a way of escape for them from their bondage. If you later read throughout the rest of the Bible, the people of Israel does EASILY forgetful of what God does for them, making this statement ever so important. 




Here's where things being to get even more intense. God says, "You shall have no other gods before Me." Nothing. Not our jobs, children, money, house, spouses - nothing can come before God and replace His ultimate authority in our lives, because He is a "jealous God". I heard something a few years ago while in school about Oprah Winfrey and her being in church one Sunday while the preacher was covering this topic, and because of the fact that God was jealous over anything being placed before Him, she developed a distaste towards God and church in general. I'm not 100% sure this is for her (I'll provide some links below and allow you to see for yourself) but I believe that Oprah has it totally wrong on this. 

In reference to God being jealous, it's not talking about in the sense of enviousness, but that of God loving us so much that He's not willing to let anything - sin, a false god/idol - to come between the relationship He's established with us. 

Who Will It Be?


So it all comes down to this -  who are you going to give your all? Will you fully surrender and lay out everything for God - your talents, gifts, money, resources, time, children, spouses, jobs - or will you elevate them where they don't belong? This isn't a question you can ask yourself one time and let that be the end. This question must be asked with each moment and decision of our lives. Judgment comes when God is lowered out of His highly exalted position in our lives - but, if we repent, His grace and mercy is there to meet us (Exodus 20:7, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9). 

SDG


Links:

Oprah's Views on God - there are tons of dislikes on this video.

Oprah and a Jealous God - article