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Gods at War - What Are You Worshipping?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2022 5:00 am

Gods at War - What Are You Worshipping?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 13, 2022 5:00 am

What in your life are you really really passionate about… maybe even a bit obsessed with? In this program, guest teacher Kyle Idleman asks: what are you truly worshipping? As he continues in his series “Gods at War”, Kyle explains that – while we may not bow down to man-made statues – we’re all worshippers of something.

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Let me ask you a question.

What in your life you really passionate about, maybe even a little obsessed of his exports, current events and politics.

Maybe even athlete or celebrity. What is it that just get you up in the morning and get you so excited. Let me tell you, that may say something about your inner life one to find out. Thanks for listening to this edition of living only with children Living on the Edges of international discipleship ministry, Bible were so grateful you join us as we continue our series God's work done by our guest teacher Kyle these difficult times living on the commitment fresh perspective on our mission Christians to live like Christians remains the same church teaching or the occasional new voice for those who don't know Kyle Edelman is a best-selling author, notable speaker, senior pastor at Southeast Christian church talking strip just to over the next several programs. Kyle will be talking about the idea of idolatry is impacting our everyday lives. So if you're ready, let's join Kyle for his message. What are you worshiping a few months ago my middle daughter, Morgan memorized the 10 Commandments she wanted to say them to me and so I lay down next to her in bed and she began to make her way through that list in Exodus chapter 20 you shall have no other gods before you use to not make yourself an idol in the form of anything on down the list.

See when he was finished telling me the 10 Commandments I tell you this is a pretty good teachable moment for me as a father talk to her about sin, because really this is why we have the law in the 10 Commandments is to reveal that we are sinners in need of a Savior. So I said to Morgan is that, honey.

Have you ever broken one of the 10 Commandments she can gave me her shy smile reluctant to answer that question. I kept probing. I said honey I I've told some lies before have you ever told a lie. She nodded. I said have you ever not honored your mom and dad both knew the answer to that question really more of a rhetorical question, actually, and we just kind of made our way through the list of morning. Have you ever stolen anything.

Have you ever jealous of what someone else had coveted that she could see that this was not going well for her right, I said Morgan. I know you never murdered anyone but if you ever hated someone because you were something with them she was ready to put this trial to a stop and so she said to me dad. I know one commandment I've never broken. I've never made for myself an idol in the form of anything.

I resisted the temptation to explain to her that this is the one commandment that all of us have broken more than any of the others. I chose not to quote the words of Martin Luther who said you can't break you cannot break into the other Commandments without first breaking this one that I smiled and kissed her good night.

Deciding to save that conversation for another time though as I walked down the steps.

I began to wonder how many Christians how many Christians would make the same assumption as my eight-year-old daughter that if the 10 Commandments are a checklist for us. We tend to breathe a sigh of relief when you get to the one on idols. You don't have to worry about that one. After all we don't worship idols in our modern-day civilization doing and as a result.

This is a topic you rarely hear talk about in church may think back once last time you heard a sermon on idolatry. I don't know that I've never really heard more than one or two maybe around the 10 Commandments, but that's about it.

Maybe now and then you'll hear that language. When we talk about money, but it just doesn't seem to be that relevance of an issue not for us today.

After all, we don't worship images of stone and of wood was a primitive culture, not in our modern-day civilization. Do we struggle with an effusion. I want you to see today in the series. For most of us, idolatry is the issue is the issue.

It is the one thing that is keeping us from living the life God really wants us to live. We have these gods at war within us and they are battling for who will sit on the throne of our hearts as Dennis explains it this way. He says idolatry is the most discussed problem in the Bible and it's one of the most powerful spiritual and intellectual concepts in a believer's arsenal yet for Christians today is one of the least meaningful notions. There's more than a thousand references to idolatry in the Bible that we kind of skip over it. But let me tell you something in these last few months as I studied this from Scripture is change my faith as I've begun to see my life and look at my things through the lens of idolatry. God has been he's been changing my heart and I hope that happens for some of you in the series. That is, you become aware of the gods at war within you that it will lead you to a deeper and fuller commitments in your relationship with Christ.

My concern is that you will hear this and quickly dismissed it. I I'm just somewhat amazed that I could be a Christian for for several decades and never understand the significance of this, so I won't spend a few minutes on it.

There's many ways in which idolatry affects who we are. It affects our personalities and determines whether or not we live a joyful life, but certainly one of the areas it has the greatest impact on us is in our struggle with sin and as a pastor. As you might guess, I often times have people talk to me about the sin they're struggling with.

And I'm struggling with my own sins. And here's the temptation.

The temptation is to see the sin in someone's life and just got to see it for what it is and so you shouldn't do that, so stop sinning, but rarely do I talk to anyone who wants to be that person who wants to send. In fact, it's the opposite.

They tend to be quite frustrated over the fact that they're doing this they don't even want to do it. So why are they doing it while you scratch at that sin keep scratching it and you will find underneath the sin is a false God. Behind every sin in your life and my life is a God that is winning the war and we see the sin as as the fruit but understand that the tree from which the fruit grows is always idolatry, and so on. Man is caught cheating on his income taxes.

He faces a number of charges. Ironically, he doesn't even need the money, is a millionaire many times over. As I talked to him about it.

He's confessional he's broken.

He knows it's a sin.

He doesn't even understand why he did it. He doesn't need the money. Why, why is he doing that. Why did he make that choice.

Why did he sin and that way is because of idolatry.

He worships money he worships status. He worships possessions that he might not say that, but his actions give him away. We become what we worship. It's an issue of idolatry and tell he gets that until he understands that this is a God that's winning the war in his life. He's going to continue to struggle with this issue in one way or another man catches me young man catches me after the service pulled me over to the side and for the first time he confesses to another person out loud his addiction to pornography and he explains that he saw these images for the first time he was 13 years old and he takes me on his downward spiral is now.

He spends countless hours and thousands of dollars to fulfill this desire and is he talks to me it's clear he doesn't want to do these things is not the person he wants to be tried again and again to find victory in this area.

He can't find victory in this area is what he would say. And then he kinda tries to justify it and say what you know, here's the thing I'm following Jesus and every other area I'm doing okay with every other issue. It's just this one.

It's just this one issue. What he has to understand is that this is the issue, not the sexual sin per se, but it is the issue of who is really God in his life and right now he's choosing will I worship God or will I worship sex, physical feeling will I worship the creator. Will I worship the body he created and at this point almost every day God the Creator is being flicked off the throne of his heart so he can look at pictures of people with of people without the close on that's that's the choice he's making. I'm choosing to look at these images instead of choosing God. I want this more than I want that and an Intel he understands it's idolatry. He will continue to struggle until he replaces the false God with the true God.

He will not have victory in this area. I talked to young man on the phone and ready to move in with a girlfriend. She's not a Christian he is.

I talk to about this he said was not that big of a deal.

Got understands, he knows I'm gonna marry her. It's not that big of it is not that big of a deal. I tried to explain to it. It's a big deal and it's not just because you're breaking a rule. Please understand it's not the rule work and's most concerned about is that you're choosing to worship something other than God is that you're saying she is my God. Instead of Yahweh is my God is saying I'm little worship this relationship instead of worship. This relationship, it's an issue of idolatry. Did you see why this is such a life-changing truth. The Bible says the truth will set you free. I believe that for for many people and their sins struggle. This is this is the truth that will free them. They have tried and tried and tried to be something that and I haven't found victory. They don't like who they are. They don't want to do what they're doing but Intel until God alone sits on the throne of their heart.

They will continue to struggle. I will continue to struggle. Idolatry is the issue. It impacts not only we are sinners, but it impacts who we are is at this as Christians were joyful if you meet someone who's and in the depths of despair on a continual basis. Just because they've allowed something to become more important to them than they should. People say that money is the number one problem in marriage. No, it's not. It's idolatry.

Idolatry is the number one problem in marriage, sorta be talking about that idolatry is the issue and it was the issue in Joshua 24 only can paint a picture of what's happening in this chapter Joshua at this point is 110 years old got the picture is that he's an elderly fella and he has lived a pretty full and adventurous life anything was with Moses when they free the people out of Egypt, he went through the Red Sea. He picked up the manna from heaven, and he ate it. He wants the walls of Jericho fall as the general for the nation of Israel. He had led that nation into countless battles analysis hundred and 10-year-old man he bears the scars he stands in front of the nation of Israel calls them together for what he assumes will be his final his final address to them and he stands in front of them. He clears his throat, and here's what he says in Joshua 24 versus 1450 now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness and throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you will than you choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living but but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua gives them basically four choices. You can worship the gods of your father's from Mesopotamia, you can worship the gods of the Egyptians where you've been in slavery for 400 years.

You can worship the gods of those whose land you are now living or option number four. You can worship the one true God. Here's the first thing I want to see from from our study at an end.

That is, we are all worshipers. As we talk about idolatry.

This is a foundational truth that we have to understand that all of us are worshipers. Joshua doesn't get 1/5 option. He doesn't say, well, another choice would be that you don't worship anything at all. It's not on the table. We are all worshipers got hot hardwired into our DNA and it's the one thing that's true of every culture and every civilization throughout all of history that it if you were to visit you would find that they worship a God or many gods, they were to parachute into the deepest jungles of Africa you would find that a tribe is never been exposed to outside civilization or influence worships God or many gods and you could jet into New Yorker into Paris among the world's elite and you would find that they worship a God. It might be the God of intellect or success of the God of power, but they worship some of your like well I'm not a Christian. So I'm not a worshiper. Yeah you are.

Everybody worships a God of some kind and should you choose not to worship the one true God within you by default. By default will worship what Tim Keller calls a God substitute you will put in your life.

Some substitute for God and that is what you will worship and that's what will have control over you. That's what will rule over you that's what we'll have power over you and philosopher Peter Creech explains it this way. He said he says the opposite of theism are the opposite of belief and faith in God is not atheism. It is idolatry is only two choices either worship God or you worship a God, a false God and understand this and this is important as we study this is that a false God is a have to be something wrong or evil that often times we turn God's good gifts to us into idols. But when a good thing becomes a God thing than it's idolatry. And so Joshua points us out. All of us. All of us are worshipers. Second thing that you notice in this is, he gives them choices. I want to think through this for yourself. You he says you know your choices are to worship. Essentially, the gods of Egyptians are the Amorites, the gods of the culture.

Here's what here's what society values. That's one choice for your worship second choice. He says you can worship the gods of your father's and that's what many of us do we worship the gods of the idols that our parents handed down to us. Ryan Ming that's what you worship what you worship you worship work success or power because her urine worship work success and power you worship sports because her networks of sports you worship alcohol because her dad worship alcohol you you you worship what other people think of you because your mom worship what other people thought of her, you worship your kids because your mom worship you when you heard kids. This is what we do about this one you worship spiritual rules religious rules and traditions which can definitely be a false God because your parents worshiped religious rules and tradition. So many of us choose to do. We we just accept the idols that have been handed down to us from previous generations wanted to assist us spend a few minutes and together identify what are the gods at war within us because most of us do a pretty poor job of diagnosing this, we tend to think and say what we know we should think and say that God is the one true God and but I want us to identify just some gods that are are warring within us wanting to have that the seed of glory in our lives and understand this, give them ask you some questions, and these questions I think will reveal some things that will surprise you, but it doesn't necessarily mean you've made them idols, but these these gods certainly have the most potential and your life to become an idol and I will ask you some questions and personal questions you think through these I might adapt to these questions from Dr. David Powell sons work on the motivations of human behavior so these questions I think will help reveal some of the gods in our lives questionable one. What you disappointed with what you disappointed with whenever we experience ongoing and overwhelming disappointment and reveals that there something in our life is more important to us that it should be and what he disappointed with right now. Are you disappointed with your financial status is that what it is I disappointed with their marriage very disappointed with your sex life very disappointed with the home you live in are you disappointed with your children. Are you disappointed with your career, what would you disappointed with because that often reveals something this become too important to us only ask you this way what you complain about if I would ask your spouse or siblings or parents. Whatever.

What is this person complain about whatever answer they give back to me tells me something about a God that is a war within question number two what you sacrifice your time and money for in our text here. The word serve is used seven times in two verses and then Josh was say the word serve carried with it the idea of sacrifice of sacrificing time and sacrificing money or for them.

No farm products and animal sacrifice what it what is your date calendar. What does your checkbook say you worship because is often very revealing. That's why we can consider offering here in at church in active worship so we just most tangible worship that we have in the service is when we say God, I've got this value.

I have this money that's of value to me. I'd like to do this within this with fitness with it and I could do this with it, but instead I give to you because you are what matters most. Question number three. What do you worry about only put it this way would you most afraid of psychologist Alfred Adler, who is not a Christian.

He says if you want to understand what someone is living for. Don't ask them because people don't give you a straight answer because oftentimes they don't even realize that he said if you want to know what someone is living for. Ask them, ask them what is your nightmare what your nightmare buddy most afraid of the show you something that has the potential to be a God in your life as part of our guest teacher Kyle Seidelman's message. What are you worshiping this series gods at war Jubal Joyner shortly to share some additional thoughts and application to what we've heard when you hear the word idol probably picture those big stone figures that people worshiped centuries ago but did you know that while most people don't bow down to man-made statues anymore. We all worship something in this series are guest teacher Kyle Seidelman reveals the subtle nature of idolatry and just how rampant it is in our lives.

Oftentimes without us even realizing it. He unpacks the ways we've put money, pleasure, achievements, careers, even our families in place of God and how we've allowed those false gods to satisfy control and to finance will stay with us as Kyle exposes the idols were holding onto and challenges us to take radical steps to get back to worshiping the one true God.

To learn more about this series gods at war defeating the idols the battle for your heart go to or call AAA 333-6003 app listeners Special offers trip.

I'm really excited for our listeners to hear the series from Kyle Seidelman. It really hits a nerve in an area we don't hear a lot about now in our last program.

You sat down with Kyle to hear his story and help us get to know them better. So right now would you talk about why you wanted to share the series what you want our listeners to walk away with what I have to tell you that I'm always on the lookout for men and women of God that the Lord has his hands on and is speaking something into where we are as a culture and I actually read the book gods at war. A number of years ago and I remember thinking I've never read anything that struck a chord in my heart that revealed some things that had insights that thanks and I never even thought about that idolatry was at the root of so many of the issues where we tend to focus on. You know how do I overcome this sin or that sin and I just thought with all that's happening in the world and spending some time with Kyle. I thought I long for people to stop sort of the aiming at the negative fruit in the in the struggles in their life and get to the root to realize there's some idols that need to be dethroned so Jesus can give us the joy in the peace and the freedom that he longs for us to have. As I have listen to this teaching. It is deeply impacted me and I think you're in for a real treat and also in for some real great encouragement from God.

Thanks for that ship well. We hope you make plans to be with us for the remainder of the series and if you happen to miss a program you can always listen on the chip and remap chip before we hear your application for this message. I can see your wanting to jump back in here and talk a little bit more about the resource we have for this series so we share with us if you will what it's meant to you. You know, every year I think about what does God want for me. So now it's 2022 and as I think about what I want God to do in my life.

There is a book that has had a huge impact in my life. In the past and as I've done a little review. I realize that I think it needs to have impact in 2022. The book is called gods that were by Kyle I Doman defeating the idols the battle for your heart and with all the junk that is happened in the last 18 to 24 months.

I just kinda want to get right spiritually only go back to the baseline. I just want to say okay Lord of there's idols in my life and I know they just creep up. This is what I want to do and so I would encourage you if you're thinking about you know how I get on track for 2022. How do I set a new baseline. What's a book that I could read with my wife or with a friend or accountability partner or maybe just privately to sort of say Lord I want to be your man. I want to be your woman I really want to do a deep dive with you, God, Holy Spirit, let me recommend gods at war by Kyle I Doman I think it would be a great investment of your time and set your course for 2022 exactly where the Lord would have it will if you've been moved by what Kyle's been teaching in this series. Let me encourage you to get this book it'll take you deeper into the subtle dangers of idolatry and pleasure to consider what needs to change in your life to order your copy of God's at war defeating the idols. The battle for your heart visit or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to app listeners tap special offers. As we wrap up today's message. I'd like you to pause the ask you to really think with what Kyle was talking about today. You are a worshiper.

I am a worshiper, were going to worship something or someone.

It's in our DNA. God made us to be worshipers and I loved how he ended today's message you know what deeply disappoints you. What really makes you angry. What is it that you just feel so passionate about what is it that controls you. What you worry about where that last when he says what would be your worst nightmare, and what I think he's done is help all of us realize that even good things that was another line.

I liked even good things when they get in the wrong place when they become more important when they become an end instead of the means can become an idol in our lives and let me ask you just as you listen today just to be open.

I'm not asking for a knee-jerk reaction or you know were starting a new year and I want my life to be better and greater and you know what just let's ease into this. Let God speak to you sit quietly after today's program, if at all possible, and pray very simple prayer Lord, if there's any idols in my life may be a better prayer is would you show me the idols creeping into my life. Idols are just things that happen to all of this is followers of Jesus, and we just have to do an inventory. Units, like your closet you you clean it out and pick up over time. It just gets cluttered is what happens to all of us. So as we start this series, I want you just to have a an openness to say Lord speak to me. Show me, let me encourage you stay with this on the series just before we close. I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible for your generous giving 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. If you found this teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team. Would you consider doing that today to donate. Just go to Donate on the app or give us a call at AAA 333-6003, let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do one selects time for everyone here. This is Dave Drury saying thanks for listening to this edition living on the

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