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Gods at War - How to Stop Worshipping Idols

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2022 5:00 am

Gods at War - How to Stop Worshipping Idols

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 25, 2022 5:00 am

Do you wish after hearing a great sermon, you could ask the speaker how to apply it specifically to your life? In this program, Chip sits down with Kyle Idleman… to dive deeper into this series “Gods at War”. They share how we can practically destroy the idols in our hearts, and get back to worshipping the one true God.

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Do you ever wish you've heard at the right message from God. You can actually sit down with the speaker asked some real personal questions about how that works out in your life will today working to get to do that with Kyle and working to tackle some of the big issues that came up in this series stay with welcome to this edition of living only Chip Ingram trips are vital to the steely discipleship program motivating Christians to live like Christian today will wrap up our new series gods of war something a little different in this program chipping Kyle sit down for another one on one conversation with this time will focus on how to really apply the less you will really impact what it means to Royal idols and solely worship the one true God with that peers trip with our guest teacher for this series.

Kyle, I one the things that I've done for years is when I get done on a Saturday night or Sunday morning depending on and when I speak and never worked for me. I don't think it's bad, but never work for me to go to the back of the room and have people come file by because I really was like handshake handshake handshake and either you know great job or dirty look dining out and so I tended to stay just upfront and the people who really wanted to talk. They would always come up and I would have the best and deepest conversations, and sometimes you know hang out in a 20 3040 minutes and but I probably learned the most and realize where God was working in people's lives. And thanks to your inner generosity of your time. I thought you know people have listened to the series, or gotten most of it and I thought what a what a great time to pause and say okay Kyle, thanks for being our teacher would you now be a bit more. Our pastor, can we talk about. Yes, it's great to know that the core is idols. It's great to know other stuff the symptoms and you know when you start talk about the God of pleasure and entertainment and sex and power and money. I see clear on this sort of Duncan like yeah yeah that's me in and I don't want to get where we just haven't some conversation where like oh yeah we all struggle with this so we give each other a pass. I think this is a really serious topic that has such potential for breakthrough and so anyway first, thanks for coming back and being with us and before I tell you may be aware, this series spoke to me. Can I be so bold to say in your season of life right now. What what what are the idols that are you know sort of vetting for her or or trying to trying to get in the competition to remove Jesus place in your own heart and life. You know I would echo what you said about needing each other to point some things out. You listen to a series like this and you might be able to identify some of that for yourself, but the reality is that throughout Scripture. I'm thinking of the Old Testament prophets that God would often use a prophet to point out to his people here are idols. Often times those idols were such a part of the culture they were in that they didn't recognize them as such they just part of their life and and so a prophet was needed to come in and say this is an idol. You don't see it that way but that's what it is and and so I think we need that for each other. I have had that firm myself in recent months. In fact, you did this for me over a call a month or two ago I was talking to you about just the season where I do was struggling finding the time that I needed to to spend to prepare spiritually for series on spiritual warfare so you came in. He preached at our church on spiritual warfare and then you and I were talking before that series and I said you know II feel like I'm I'm neglecting some things right now. I've been so busy and you've got the series coming up and I'm not. I'm not afraid up the way I need to be prayed up and I've been so so busy with the demanding schedule and trying to take care of things and it says you as I talk to you about it if I thought you were going to be pretty compassionate and empathetic to meet with me at that you would say Allied.

I know what that's like. That can be so hard. I believe what you said was oh Kyle, that is so foolish. I think that was your your quote to me and I I thought as soon as you said it. He is so right leg is so foolish to think that I can replace you know the power of God with print productivity that if I just stay busy enough over here that it will make up for the lack of priority. I am making in my relationship with God and so that was really helpful to me. I was a significant moment for me and I recognize I needed to repent of the idolatry of achievement, production where I put my hope and my confidence in what I'm able to point to. At the end of the day rather than in my connection to Jesus and I recognize that this is the way I am wired I think. I think there plenty people this way. Certainly plenty of men this way. Yes wherever I go home at the end of a long day and I need to have the grass mowed, or I could go for a walk with my wife. I'm always going to be drawn to mowing the grass is not because I like mowing the grass more. I don't it's because I mow the grass and I can point to and say look what I did.

I mowed the grass today. If I go for a walk with my wife.

I don't really have something to show for it. I went for a walk with my wife, but the grass still needs to be mowed and yet there's no question that connecting to my wife is more important than mowing the grass and so that that is an example of how the idolatry of an idol of production or achievement can be very deceiving. You know it's not that mowing the grass or doing you know the work of a ministry is bad it, it's that it's not what's best. And if I am missing out on a more important connection you know, first and foremost with God than I've missed the point altogether.

So II think in this season, you know, I've needed to repent of getting that out of order in my life will thanks for sharing. I'd I don't remember saying that so must've been the Holy Spirit is a sound so insensitive but so like many times that I think it may be recorded yeah yeah please don't send it to me all trust that in him that there was a gentleness that came with her shirt well cared for my you know I I really want us to share like this, because I'm not sure there's any series of anything I've read this more convicting.

Just put that way, and since you were honest. I'll tell you the where where I got hit most clearly what you mean. It's not enough that God's number one and in my mind I'm thinking like my wife Teresa in no way wants to be number one and by that I mean like will honey your number one but Susie's number two in Chicago and and Judy's number three in San Antonio and and and Betty's number four and God does not want to be number one. He wants to be all he wants to be on the throne and and really you you talk about that God is jealous or he's zealous for us. If you could you help us understand what's behind that that is super good you I really like yours synonym that you use thereof zealous.

I don't think I use that in the book, but that's a really helpful synonym.

You know, we tend to think of jealous as going to junior high emotion.

You know that is closely related to immaturity and insecurity.

And so when we read in the Scripture that God is a jealous God. We assume that that indicts him as somehow insecure and yet it really is an indication of just how loving he is. How how much he is drawn to that kind of connection with Dawson and I do think we understand that in the context of a romantic relationship right like if if if you had that conversation with your wife and you said hey here are number one. But here's number two northerner and she's like well okay that's fine as long as I'm number one.

That would show that she doesn't love you as much as you thought she did write like you want her to be jealous as a little you you would want her to have that kind of desire and for that affection and intimacy of your heart and so yeah we we see that with we see that with God's love towards us is his jealousy reveals how deep his love is for us, and then the irony is that when we get this right when when he is our one and only, it's how every other relationship in our life will best operate. In another words when I say God's number one and there is no number two then it might feel like I in not properly prioritizing you know my marriage from my relationship with my kids but I'm the best husband.

I'm the best father when God is in his right place if you look at the 10 Commandments, which is where we read this language of God being a jealous God. The first to the 10 Commandments are specifically about idolatry you so you worship the Lord your God and you shall have no other gods before you. They're both about idolatry.

The quiet yeah why are those the first two at and I think those are the first to because if you have those to write an all the others tend to line up you know that the image that I uses the image of if if you're buttoning a shirt and you get the top button right than the others just kind of fall into place to get the top one wrong then you know you're gonna have a hard time with every other one and I think that's true for us as account when it comes to putting God in his right place is the one and only if we get that right. All these other relationships line up if we get it wrong then that none of them fit the way that they should and and so the beauty of this is that it's not just what God desires. It's what's best for us because it's how he has made us and so so learning to say okay God I I want you to be my one and only I want my life, my heart, my prayers, my money, my affection to reflect that and then to discover that in doing it. You've become. Yeah, much more.

Who your wife or your spouse long free to be your children long for you to be. It properly aligns all these other things but that look what I do think a lot of us do is it will spend all kinds of time working on like that marriage relationship. Let's go back to that and I have these challenges and struggles my marriage or someone read these books on the go to counseling. That's all good, that's all fine, but you would be amazed at how much healthier your marriage would be if use if if you stop doing some of that and you took that kind of energy and you put it into putting God in his right place and and it's surprising like you feel like the way you get healthier overhears by going to this conference, listening to these podcasts and trying to get a better communications and yet nothing can substitute for having that right relationship with God.

It it's amazing how the other buttons to start to line up unit for that person because I didn't hear much of this series, and you keep talking about first place her right place and could someone like you like every day language tell me all right he's my all. He's my first what does that practically look like a mean of the Christian term is that he is the Lord of your life.

But how does that look in everyday life.

Kyle well for me what it helps me identify whether or not this is true is asking myself a series of questions and really these questions can help identify what may be replacing God in this way. So for example if I had an especially difficult day.

That is a really good opportunity for me to get a better perspective on what is most who or what is most important in my life. In other words, where I'm gonna go for comfort where I'm to go to be strengthened is going to reveal who or what is on throne of my heart, so you know for example if if I that is especially difficult day and yeah I I go home and I lay on the couch which I can do and you know spend two hours watching Netflix as a way to feel better. That tells me something if I go home and what makes me feel better if you know gives me comfort is comfort food. And I you know, get some of the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and and eat half a gallon with the yellow spoon out a card like that tells me something that I'm looking to food to bring some comfort to my soul if I go home and I put that on my wife and my expectation is that your your job is to make me feel better. I've had a really difficult day.

Why don't you make me happy. I thought you were supposed to make me happy as could not be any good for my marriages can put all kinds of pressure on her and and so you know a question like that begins to reveal where my heart is and it points me to where it should be so know what if, instead, on my way home from work after a long day. You know I listen to worship music and I I sing along with those worship songs and I put God in his right place and I and I begin to to to worship him and I am reminded where my help comes from and I find comfort from him. Then I discover it on that at a deeper comfort and and yet I have to work at that like that doesn't right, it doesn't come naturally, but but I think those are the moments where you you you choose. You have this path of okay am I going to a mine find that over here are my gonna look to him for those things and you know throughout the day. There are a number of those revealing moments where we we can see little bit more clearly. Whether or not he is our primary pursuit and you over and over. I love you kept coming back to you refused in the teaching and in the book to let us move into external behaviors. It wasn't just okay stop doing this.

Start doing that stop on the refrigerator just will only one glass of wine or never, never do that you know is all those things were sort of behavior modification yet about the passage. Proverbs 423 that you quote there is watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it, your heart flow. The issues of life and this really is about the tenderness of a relationship of art, you know that the great commandment to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and and I think sometimes we think well I think I'm doing that, but it's really a battle and what you described is indicators that tell me. Maybe I'm not in a maybe. I'm really not and I I think if I was you as a pastor for over 35 years. Looking at how people have responded in the last 18 to 24 months to not being able to go places to their opinions about vaccines and masks to once opened her once close what people ought to do the level of anger and conflict and criticism. Yeah, I think what you're seeing is people panicking over there. God's being destroyed. I think you know when you put your hope in politics, economy, medicine, science, and suddenly that doesn't hold up. There's a sense of panic to that because this is what you were leaning on this where you are putting your weight so that you could keep moving for us when you put your hope in and I you you see people acting somewhat irrationally over their different opinions on this, but I believe it's because of this that you know their idols are being exposed and it's scary.

I needed that, in fear, you know, fear causes us to respond that way you know I would say that you do for me. I I've felt that this understanding is what finally really helped me breathe. Break free from displayed pride and selfishness. But but from last II would say that you know as a young man I worked really hard at what I would call the best practices of fighting against loss right like I've read different books and had good accountability partners that I had filters on my phone. I you know I had gone through the different studies and yeah I had I had put in.

I had put in the time to try to address this struggle with habit change and it would work for a while, but not for long. Like it just never did and I never never seem to offer real freedom and and then I began to understand lost as idolatry that you know I am choosing I am choosing this over over finding satisfaction, finding you know what I really longed for in my relationship with God and that that that when I give into that one of my really doing except essentially, you know, entering into a modern-day pagan temple and trying to, you will find satisfaction through a false God. And so the eye for such a long time. What was presented to me within the church and within Christianity was a no resists, resists lust and this is how you do it and it will and it tended to be, you know what habits, addressing habits.

I look it's not to say that there there's not a place for healthy habits around.

Of course their course, there are but but freedom I mean real freedom comes when we understand the deeper reality of what's happening that I need to find this and I can expect to find it for my wife.

I can expect to you know find that before I was married yet. I can explain expect to find another relationship like that's not where that's going to be found. It's going to be found in my relationship with with God and and that broke free.

Some things that no amount of hard work and on habit change will seem to do and so I I've said to encourage your listeners that you know the when you hear something like idolatry. It just might feel like a disconnect like okay I know I understand but tell me the four things I need to do right. You know to be free from this dancing on Outlook really this this really is it this really is more at the root of this and it is harder work and it takes time but when the when you when you really get this aligned rightly you'll find a much deeper freedom of this passage in first John, where it talks about his his commandments are previous unto us, and remember that the first 10 years as a Christian I say they may not be creepiest to you. There really greediest and that you know I was in college and there was four girls to every guy and I was I did not grow up as a Christian I was struggling and the moment not to know quote a book, but aha was I was reading through Proverbs and you know it gives you all this wise counsel about sexual purity and why and the lights came on in my mind.

God was on one side of the fence and I was on the other side of the fence and he was keeping good stuff from me and then I just been come on you and everyone else was getting a lot of good stuff and I and I wasn't. And I remember you know it was like no, no, no, no, he's on the same side of the fence with me.

His arm is around my shoulder and he's pointing out things on the other side of the fence that unit short-term I want to protect you from limit. Let me walk with you and show you where that path ends. Idols will never deliver what they promise it's right and thanks so much for helping us get underneath what's really going on and a lot of the everyday struggles that we have and this is a hard one to ask but but I do want to just and with what do you say to that person listening who just says I'm so struggling and my idol is a secret and if I ever come clean. It feels so overwhelming and so devastating just don't know how I could ever come clean with this one. Well I know this will be hard to hear for the person saying it but there is no easy or comfortable way to deal with an idol like that.

The truth is you have to shine light into a dark place, it will lose so much power over you. The minute you drag that idol kicking and screaming into the light, not to announce it publicly. You don't have to posted on social media, but you need to say something to somebody. You know the Bible talks about this that you know when we confess these things that we find healing and that means that you need to sit down with the trusted brother in Christ or sister in Christ and you need to share that struggle and and I know there's part of you that thinks that there is another way to do it and you can figure it out on your own.

But how long have you been saying that it it really does require week require repentance. I look God's graces is beautiful like that.

The enemy is the one telling you that you can't do that exiting shame on you. That's a lie. God's grace will meet you there and and freedom can be found, but it requires it requires light and so my my challenge to you would be to you know to find the 20 seconds of courage. You need to destroy that idol.

But but but there's no easy way around it. On the night. I've been there. I know what that's like.

It's hard to do but but you will not regret, you will not regret doing what Kyle thanks for being with this and if you didn't catch these programs let me encourage you to go to the website of the app and listen to him or even better yet a copy of the book in front of me. It's God's award defeating the idols the battle for your heart. Will you talk about reading through a book with your mate or with a bunch of guys are a few gals be really life-changing.

And thanks so much and father. I just pray for each person listening to our voice that they would come to believe that you are so good and so kind and so powerful and so holy that the wisest and best thing not tomorrow but today Lord at this moment they could do was to destroy the idols in their life and to give you that place that only you deserve.

You, the creator, the maker of all that there is thank you for loving us so much and we exalt you and praise you. Amen. Listening to Living on the Edge chipping and we hope you've been challenged if encouraged by what Kyle and Chip talked about in this program you want to go back and listen to any part of this new series chipping roadmap is a great way to catch up before we go. Let me encourage you once again to get Kyle's book God is at war, defeating the idols the battle for your heart.

This book will take you deeper into the subtle dangers of idolatry and push you to consider what needs to change in your life. So to order your copy of God's at war visit or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to Listeners have special offer thanks for joining us for this program. Until next time, this is Dave thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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