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Gods at War - The Issue of Idolatry

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2022 5:00 am

Gods at War - The Issue of Idolatry

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 12, 2022 5:00 am

Martin Luther once said, “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” In this program, we begin a new series called “Gods at War” taught by guest teacher Kyle Idleman. He’s gonna define what idolatry looks like in the 21st century, and challenge us to consider who and what we’re really worshipping.

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Martin Luther once said, whatever your heart clings to, and confides in that is really your God, your functional Savior money asked what are you truly working where you looking for stability and security lover acceptance today we start a brand-new series by close friend of mine is going to help us answer those questions stay with welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians the Bible to just a minute will begin a new series called gods of war idols. The battle for your guest speaker to Living on the Edge.

Kyle titled in the coming programs. Kyle will help us understand what idolatry looks like we can get back to slowly worshiping the one true God. But before we do that ship wanted to spend this program talking to Kyle one on one, so will all get a chance know Kyle better and hear his heart for sharing God's word so that there again is our host shipping.

Thanks, Dave. Well I'm excited to introduce to you our guest teacher for this new series Kyle Heideman he's a senior pastor at Southeast Christian church in Louisville, Kentucky, and Kyle is a best-selling author. He's a friend, you'll probably recognize him from a number of books that is written like the end of me.

Don't give up. Grace is greater or for some of you it's probably not a fan that I will embarrass you sold over a million copies and he's married to Desiree and has a 27 years of marriage for kids and Kyle before we jump in and talk about God's it war what that isn't into that whole issue. Welcome to the program and I am really honored to be on this program I listen to it, so it's nice to be on it. Well, Southeast Christian is a church that I've have deep respect. It's been exciting.

I mean it's probably is, despite the huge number of people is one of the warmest, friendliest godliness environments and of course you know that the heritage there of succession, then you know Bob and then Dave Stone and yourself and am trying to remember when was the very first time that we met because I think it might've been to our mutual friend Greg Dietrich, but I'm not sure you know I the first time I think we met is when you came in you preach for us. I want to say he was in 2005.

Maybe I I'm not sure it was. It was that's what I remember very well and you will remember about that is, we would have this time between services where all the new people to the church.

Come in and share their stories and I love that time. This listening people go around the table and give a little bit more vulnerable. Behind the scenes look at what God's been doing in their lives and you were and I think still are the only guest preacher we've ever had. Who's come in and sat down and listen to those stories you remember doing that I did and I just thought how you and Dave would do that every single week. I thought what a model for churches coming.

I mean, they met the teaching pastors the very Sunday that they came in super exciting was fun yet Wellington you know that keeps you inspired and connected to God's word.

When you get to see the way that it connects to real people right where they are and so yet we we love doing that well. I wanted to have you on our program for a long time and to two reasons. One is when I read not a fan.

I was just like high-fiving those that are regular Living on the Edge listeners may be tired of me talking about Romans 12, but I think some people think it's only chapter he really knows. But the reality is I feel like such a difference when people get go all in. When they realize that surrender is in fact the channel to God's biggest and best blessings. It is, it is that place where we trust him and he's good and that's when he really works and then I I read a book about 10 years ago called gods it war and out of the title, caught me in the it's about.

It's about idols in our heart and the good news. Kyle is that it hit me right between the case and I really needed it at the time and the bad news was it hit me right between the eyes and I really needed at the time and I really had to see a couple things that you know it's in your book, you know, the, the God of success in the God of achievement.

I had battled that for years and years and thought I had it behind me and I'd really substituted some kind of ministry, success and achievement, and unit they can be just as big idols, so anyway what what birth that series. By the way, I'll be interested because I can't wait for the Living on the Edge family here it you know for me. A lot of it came down to this realization that as pastor preacher. I was so often treating what I would call the symptoms of people you know that weekend and week out. I'm talking to maybe a young man and his struggle with pornography.

I'm talking to you know woman in her 30s who struggling with her singleness. I'm in a talking to. This married couple who are having these issues in their relationship and they don't understand where it's coming from in or you know someone that I am going to visit in in prison because even though he was really wealthy. He was found guilty of embezzling money from his company note all of those are examples of symptoms of idolatry like the reason for those different struggles and challenges. If you scratch below the surface, is that there is an idol that needs to be addressed and and so what I found is a pastor is that I was so often treating symptoms but not really dealing with what's at the core of the metaphor I use in the book is unit.

If someone comes and their coughing and they need help in the doctor finds out that they have lung cancer. The way that they treat that lung cancer is not with cough medicine and my experience as a pastor was I'm often times trying to treat lung cancer with cough medicine and that if you look at Scripture. Scripture would point to idolatry as the cancer that there's there is a cancer here that needs to be dealt with and the tendency is to focus on kind of the immediate symptoms.

Here's what's keeping me from sleep.

And if I if I could just take this and feel a little bit better for the day. Then problem solve.

That's not the solution you know there's something deeper happening. So the book really came out of my experience as a pastor helping people get to really the root of a struggle and and let me say for for me to personally as underestimating the power of idols in my own life where you send struggles and selfishness and relational issues and things that I would have called you know my Mary Kay this is a communication problem though is a pride problem. Yet I I was putting myself on the throne instead of putting Jesus on the or you know sometimes I was putting my wife on the throne. I was looking to Hertz to meet certain expectations.

Instead of looking to God to meet expectations and that's idolatry. So I ate I just recognized how in Scripture. This is the most discussed problem in the Bible, but it's one that we tend to dismiss tend to think what that is antiquated or relevant.

You know, because we don't have. Perhaps you know some golden image that were bowing down to doesn't mean that we don't struggle with idolatry fact, I would make the argument that God and in many ways has more competition than he ever had.

Yes before of even if it is the will. The Internet is many things about one of the things that the Internet is would be a collection of idols guys like you, your search history tells you something about you know who or what is on the throne of your heart and and so to understand that this is much more relevant than we realize and it's at the core of the struggles that so many of us are dealing with in the subtitle.

I really like it's defeating the idols the battle for your heart and that that comes through is the real issue isn't, you know, step up you know what's wrong with you. Your terrible person. Shame on you. Overwhelming guilt, why don't you get with the program and as you peel back the layers and I like that you did it very very gently. It really exposed all this is the core issue. It really is.

There is a good and kind and loving God, that once the very best for you and he's jealous of being on the throne of your life in your heart so that he can protect us from evil and give us what is good, but idols are very there very appealing and short term there very satisfying. You know it strikes me that you know ending a year starting a new year. Our mindset is often habits that need to change things we need to do differently. That's that's fine that's good but the difference between whether or not you know a New Year's resolution sticks is rarely about a habit you. It is almost always getting to the why and why is this a struggle for me. Why is this a challenge. Why do I keep having these issues wife why do we keep arguing about the same things. Why do I keep putting myself in the same financial situation and why is that, from my perspective that more often than not it's idolatry. But more specifically, one of the things that is odd to me is that will expect God to bless his competition to put it another way, and and so you will have this area of our lives. That is really important to us. Jesus used money. Most often, yet talk this way to us, yet you know that. Why would God bless you financially if he knows that your finances are his primary competition.

Like why would he do that. He's not gonna do that and so as a result, we often times have the most frustration around some of our idols.

You mentioned earlier when your idols are gods of achievement gods of success.

One of the ways you know that's an idol is that you have this sense of frustration around those things where you never enough, and no matter what you do still feels like you're coming up short and and when God gets in his right place and in some ways, yet it ends up we end up experiencing what we were longing for all along. Because now he has the, the freedom to blessed like with when Jesus says seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. I think this is the idea. I like this area where you have the most frustration has the potential to be your greatest blessing, but it needs to be ordered rightly in your life like it needs it needs to submit to the Lordship of Jesus as you share that you're just describing my college basketball career and I was a gym rat.

I mean II practiced 89 hours a day and was doing all his ballhandling drills but before Steph Curry because Pete Maravich was my hero and I went away to school and as a freshman made the varsity and just so exciting and then got a stress fracture in my foot and then the next year.

I pulled a quad muscle completely out.

The next year. Why catch the flu right before the season. I'm in bed for 10 days.

Lose 16 pounds over and over, God thwarted basketball my life. I remember it got to my senior year and it was a complete train wreck and literally. I still remember Congo and got I give up. I I've lied to myself and if I never pick up a basketball again and and and it was that the nomad that sounds trivial to people but it it that what I really didn't realize even when I was saying that was it's a part of me my whole identity was look at me. I work harder and longer on the little tiny you know short kid that's playing at this level, you know, it was the overachiever all those issues and I remember putting that down and some things happen where we ended up because we were worse playing the number one team in the nation probably had the best game of my life. You know, after giving it all up and then I got a note in the mail about two weeks after the season was invited by was called sports investors. At the time a group of college players invited to play. We played every Olympic team throughout all of South America. Two or three games a day shared Christ at halftime I did that for two summers and then a winter with an Australian team through the Orient and was like God said ship. It was never about basketball.

I have no problem giving you a good thing but I won't have any competition and we all have those in different areas.

Knowing you and you know was interesting about that example is you know you look back on them and you have clarity and then you find yourself doing the same thing in a different area of life. You know that I go to an inheritance to find that third different seasons were the idols change but it's almost always idolatry that is still at the root of it so you know you reference being in college and that sports and and now you look back on it feels a little bit you do trivial ones like basketball and but that at the time. That's your identity, but you know what, then you become a pastor you know for me as well become the pastor of a church. I can easily find my identity in those things I can, you know you want talk about ironic.

I can let the work of God become and I will that replaces got. I mean how how backwards is that that doing things the guts called me to do can actually become competition for him. You know, in John 15 Jesus talks to his disciples and he says I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I remain in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can't do anything and in that verse.

He identifies the reality that for those disciples were being tasked to change the world that production has the potential to become a significant idol for them the task that they had the responsibility on their shoulders was such that it would be very easy for them to focus on production but but for Jesus.

It was all about connection. I wasn't wasn't production and then connection it was connection and then production so for me this is what idolatry looks like I get focused on production and I lose connection and if I get this right where I'm focused on connection. I'm the branch he's the find. My job is to stay connection connected, then production will come. Yes, but the moment I make production. My focus then it's idolatry and I get frustrated because it's not producing the way that I wanted to produce and really this is the for lack of a better word solution to idolatry. It's not to stop worshiping idols. It's to replace our idols with Jesus. It's it's to allow our connection to him to be our our source of worship, so you know I've made the mistake personally. Of. It certainly is pastor rev. Basically, you identified idols for someone it's enough stuff that don't don't do that anymore and it doesn't work very well at the it is more about my work for moment.

Is this not going to last very long. It's more about understanding that Jesus completed is the one who completes us feel that that that it's in him that we find whatever we were looking for in this false God over here but I can't wait to get our series started and before we do what one thing I've learned to spend a really positive experience. I've heard people teach is like that. That is very very helpful and then I got to know them and I got to maybe sit in the living room and watch him relate to their wife or watching with their kids or you know play around the golf and and all the sudden you got to know the person. And as I've gotten to know you and got to come even recently to southeast and teach in and be around you and our mutual friends. I want people to know not just okay yeah he's a really good communicator. He pastors as big churches read a lot of books. Well, I mean those are nice things but those are production God God's favor I think is on your life because of your heart. I think I think his favors on your life because in the midst of a lot of pressure you're very imperfectly but very faithfully walking with him. So Kyle tell us just little about your journey, your family, your background, what you do for fun.

Where do you struggle whatever you want to share that as they come to tune in an annex broadcasted say I know that guy you know IE I as you mentioned in your introduction me. I've been married for almost 27 years of four kids my oldest two are married. I love my sons-in-law so I I am really thankful for God's blessing on my family and the season you know it's been especially the last couple of years where there's been no so many things that you know we've been stripped of God especially thankful for them.

One of the things that I you and you talk about God's award you talk, but idolatry. One of the things that God has taught me. I think it took me a while to learn it is to understand that his greatest gifts to me can also become his greatest competition.

So when I look at my family and I look at you, my wife, my kids and what he's taught me is that his gifts need to make me worship him as the giver not utopian into themselves.

So I am really thankful that in the in the season. I am learning are gotta showing me how his kindness to me through my wife and my kids, my family makes me love him all the more. And you know one of the ways I see this I don't know if you'll relate to this outfit at the older I get, the more emotional. These things make me as I as I pray and you know I get I'll get a little teary-eyed, praying for my kids and thinking got wet when I worship a more emotional than I used to paint when ownership and my understanding of God's grace towards me. I don't know that that's much different.

I don't know that that's I've had any new revelation on that, but my understanding of every good and perfect gift comes from him is something I'm much more aware of and and so I I that in that so freeing to operate out of that as his son.

You know that he is he is a good father who has been generous and so you know that's how I like to spend my time, my wife is to Europe on a farm in Kansas and so we started a new church and in the Southern California and I told her when we lived in LA County yesterday. If we ever move back to you know the Kentucky area you know will will try and find some kind of a farm and see that she remembered that duct that awaits.

We live on.

We live on a horse farm in Kentucky and she runs worse equine business out of that so I it may surprise you know people to know that I I am technically a farmer I'm a farmer on paper that I'm not a time had a farmer in real life that I love the sanctuary of it. It's taught me to love being outside your II like to go out and then spent some time clearing a path and using a chainsaw would like to go out and spend little time on the.

The tractor I've died never would've guessed that years ago but now the these days that I find it to be quite therapeutic about really have one left at home. My 17-year-old son and so I'm making the most of this time with him and really grateful for. For that I say it. You know, to the point of the gods of war and idolatry. I am amazed at you for 17-year-old boy how strong you idols of our culture are II look at what he has to resist a look at what he has to fight and I think man when I was 17. If I had that kind of idolatry.

Those kind of idols that I had to contend with in front of me and always around me. I don't know how I would've responded but I'm thankful in the season to have you know just the time to walk with him and that and disciple him and really proud of him. So that's kind of the season of life that that I am in you shared something. I think there's a lot of parents that are very fearful and whether it's you know the technology that the fluidity of sexuality in our day, just that the bombardment and the culture. I think sometimes parents are's working so hard with such sincerity to we don't want XYZ behavior and bind themselves very, very frustrated with the behavior of some of their kids and then the focus is on the behavior and then and you get this conflict that starts happening and what I'm excited about as we wrap up our time is there going to learn that there's something behind the behavior and I think what parents are going here also is we we reproduce after our own kind and our kids mimic and imitate that if we will deal with some of our idols.

That's the key to helping some of our kids breakthrough their idols so good and I'm just can ask if you would mind wrap up our time would you pray for the series. Pray for Living on the Edge, family, and that will jump in and you'll teach us for the next several programs, perfect God, thank you for being a good father, who has given us everything that we need. I thank you that and you we find the one hope that doesn't disappoint. I know that even in the last year to for many of us idols have been stripped away from us. Sometimes from the white knuckled grip of our hands.

They been pulled away from us and and for people who put their hope in scientific advancement are our political process that you a lot of this is been pulled or pulled out her economic certainty. In all these things that we try to put our hope in over the years.

Just recognize that in a new way of not being dependable not being what satisfies us insight. I pray that this would be just the right time for these listeners to understand that their one true hope is in you and that that you would be put on the throne of our hearts and that she would give us the eyes to see and then the courage and are on our spirits to to take some idols off the throne and put you in your right place and I know that when we do that we end up finding what we really were longing for all along that that's what we were made for.

And so I pray that we would find our true satisfaction and you alone in your name Jesus we pray thing on the edge and I hope the conversation between ship file listing to this entire series. Idolatry really is a universal issue we all face.

Let's learn together how to destroy these false gods and devote ourselves wholly to the one true God. Listen to the series of LivingontheEdge.org or on the tripping roadmap before we go.

Let me encourage you to order Kyle's book committee and ship talked about today. It's called gods of war defeating the idols that 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 to order your copy of God's at war visit LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to LivingontheEdge.org app listeners Special offers will join us next time. As we hear the first part of Kyle sermon series gods of silver and this is Dave thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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