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January 14, 2022 5:00 am
Titles and our hearts are a lot like weeds in the garden. They start out small and slowly suddenly they choke out our joy and intimacy with Christ.
Join me today as I listened to Kyle Heideman help me the garden of my heart.
I think you welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge Chip Ingram, Living on the Edges and international discipleship focused on helping Christians really live what Christian as many of you know, it's a regular Bible program for the series is passed the mic to his friend while idling the senior pastor at Southeast Christian church in Kentucky currently in the middle of the series idols.
The battle for our hearts. This program, Kyle continues prompting us with an important question, what are you truly worship well before we begin, let me encourage you to use the message notes while you listen will really help you get the most out of what you're about to hear download them under the broadcasts tablet LivingontheEdge.org Listeners Fill in notes or that.
Here's Kyle with the second half of his talk first thing I want to see from from our study and that is we are all worshipers.
As we talk about idolatry. This is a foundational truth that we have to understand 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 hardwired into our DNA and it's the one thing that's true of every culture and every civilization throughout all of history. If you were to visit you would find that they worship a God of many gods to parachute into the deepest jungles of Africa you would find that a tribe is never been exposed to outside civilization or influence warships to God are 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.
They worship some of your like well I'm not a Christian.
So I'm not a worshiper. Yeah your everybody worships a God of some kind and should you choose not to worship the one true God of the new. 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 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 doesn't 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 its idolatry. And so, just to point this 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. He says you know your choices are to worship. Essentially, the God of the Egyptians or 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 God's of the idols that our parents handed down to us. Ryan mean you 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, but I 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 in 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 Coulson's work on the motivations of human behavior so these questions I think will help reveal some of the gods in our lives. Question number one what are you disappointed with what you disappointed with whatever we experience ongoing and overwhelming disappointment and reveals that there something in our life is more important to us that should be and what he disappointed with right now. Are you disappointed with your financial status is that what it is I disappointed with your 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 in Joshua's day. The word serve carried with it the idea of sacrifice of sacrificing time and sacrificing money, or for them. You know, farm products and animal sacrifice.
What 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 and 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. This of value to me. I'd like to do this within this witness 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 me 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 what he most afraid of, will show you something that has the potential to be a God in your life, what is it that if you lost that life with no content would not continue to hold meaning for you and some of your afraid of losing something. Maybe it's a job, maybe to house. Maybe what you're afraid of not reaching a certain level of success at work. Maybe you fear that you're not to be liked by other people. Other people will be impressed by you may be here just got overwhelmed with anxiety because of the rising gas prices will why is that is because we make comfort and we make security a God, and we think if someone comes along in United States and they somehow remove our comfort and security than man.
I don't know if I want to keep living. Some of your afraid of being all alone and your fears were reveal what can become a God in your life.
I'm question number four where you go when you hurt or you going when you really need comfort.
Long day at work to come home yet for the refrigerator for what we call comfort food it works. It helps a little gun safe web turn on TV is go to the TV to feel better about life boarding into a fight with your spouse and you feel rejected and you feel angry and and you feel hurt what you do.
Did you go to the computer and enter the pagan temple of a pornographic website find comfort or so you lose your job and your devastating could you run to when you run to a person and that's not a bad thing, but God wants to be the first person you want to Henry black to be defined and idled this way is anything you turn to for help when God told you to turn to him for help. Question number five what makes what makes you mad. For me this is revealing that I don't get angry easily, but there's a few things that make me mad. One thing that makes me mad is losing and so some of you are like this. Let's just say, hypothetically, your plan, a pickup game and your team is losing and the teammate turns the ball over and and you get angry while because you've made winning really important to important and those that can make me mad is my feel disrespected by someone I've always been this way it's gotten me into a certain amount of trouble I when someone is disrespectful of feeling of being disrespectful, disrespected, makes me angry. Why because I can make people's respect and idol false God number six what you dream of what you dream of a what you really excited to make make what you passionate about. Like last month my daughter came in mild desire came in.
I was watching the U.S. Open.
She said that I've never seen you so excited in my life I apathetic is that I'm watching golf on TV. I'm as excited. She's ever seeming any genius cc me at the birth of her, her siblings cc me worship in certain this is what is it, maybe for you it's remodeling a car.
Maybe it's it's it's decorating.
Maybe it is your work maybe music may be at your physical appearance and exercise the all these things have a potential to us essentially become for us a mistress.
God is jealous because of the passion and end the time and effort and energy we give these things number seven what brings you the most joy I have to be careful with this, as we talk about it in the series.
Many things God gives us. He wants us to be experience joy from these gifts that he's given us the father, but these things should cause us to find increased joy in him. They should not become competition for him.
They should become God's that war with him and so were you find the most we find the most joy what's on your screensaver any.
Maybe it's it's a vacation home picture. Maybe it's your house.
Maybe it's a car. Maybe it's your family. Whatever it is, and has the potential, though it is a good thing to become a God thing and and therefore to become idolatry. Last question whose supplies do you long for Mitt.
Maybe this is what what you're living for is for your boss to call you into his or her office and say we couldn't run this company without you. The next promotion estimates with Switzerland for or maybe it's your living for your spouse to say you're the husband or you are the wife of my dreams are living for your living for your dad to say I'm proud of you.
I love you. Your living for your mom to say hey honey, you're doing a great job with your kids, your your living for someone else's applause primarily other than God's idolatry so I find this convicting in my life of how easy it is to allow some false God to win the war and to find the position of glory within me. So what is it for you. Can you identify it in your head what is what is it that is warring with in you. So Joshua.
He identifies these gods and then here's what he does next. He basically throws down a challenge. He says to them you choose this day, choose got shoots and that's what I hope will happen for us that will just make a choice.
Francis Schaeffer talks about how many Christians think about their choice for God is a choice that was made past tense mother words.
I chose God on this date, I chose God at church camp, I chose God. When I walked toward. I chose God.
I said a prayer. I chose God when I was baptized.
We think of this time when we chose God, but he points out that in this text. Schaeffer points out that the word choose here is not this once and for all choice.
Instead, it is this continuous action is this ongoing choosing. That is to take place for us. It's as if Josh was saying to the people. As for me and my family. We chose the Lord for choosing the Lord were going. Keep choosing the Lord until the very end. Will we have to understand as followers of Christ. This is not just this choice we made on the day of our salvation, but it is an ongoing choice where every day there's this battle being waged. This there's this war being fought, and we decide we choose who will sit on the throne of our hearts, and here's what God will do and will see it as we study the subject is that he will often times put himself in direct competition with something that we love or care about a great deal and he will say to us you choose you choose between this and that you choose between me and them you choose if you read the Scriptures when we hear about God's motion how he feels about idolatry.
There's a surprising emotion that is ascribed to God on the subject and it is that he is jealous.
You just don't expect that right that God would be jealous of something in our lives, but he refuses.
He refuses to share that seat of glory.
In fact, Exodus chapter 20 verse four and five, and we read about this commandment about idolatry is you shall not make it for yourself an idol in the form of anything he shall not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God him and what I am a jealous God, so he won't he won't share it. He won't share you any more than your your spouse would be okay if you want your husband or wife and said you know I think I'm a start dating other people but you will always be in first place. Now me know how that goes right and good luck with that.
It doesn't work.
Why, because true love doesn't share when when I was in high school some close friends of my parents for going through divorce. She had been unfaithful though the affair had been ongoing and he was devastated and the is broken, but he loved his wife and he wanted to make it work. He wanted to stay married, but the other man in this in the picture he wanted her to. So neither of them are going to share. Obviously she's got to make a choice and so one night and I'm praying with mom in high school. My dad comes up to pray with me about and we pray that this this before we pray were talking about the situation and I said to my dataset that what would you do, what would you do if you were the husband, what would you do and I'll never forget his response is a wealth I go downstairs I get your wooden baseball bat. I drill a hole through the handle. I tie a leather strap to that bad that strap around my wrist. I go over to the man's house. I would be down his door and I would tell him if he got within 100 yards.
My wife, he would never walk again is like let's pray I remember you know be a little surprised at the response me.
My dad's going all Tonya Harding on me and I don't understand it. I don't get it. I understand now. Right this way. I love my wife with the jealous love. True love doesn't share in God's I'm not going to share, so you have to choose in this whole idea of me sharing the throne on your heart with something or someone else. I'm not up to you to make a choice here. If you're like me, that is what you want want to make that choice want to choose God.
Joshua gives us just a few things I want to finish with that I think will help us first things that you appreciate what God is done for you versus 213.
Read them some time, but here's what he does. He just goes through. He reminds all the people God has done this and he has done this and he has done this, as we remember what God has done for us. It puts them back on the position of glory in our lives is why we do what we do here maybe get together and we celebrate who God is and what he's done for us how he has delivered us from hell that he's filled us with the Holy Spirit and given us the promise of salvation and ends we do that, he becomes with most important thing he does is he challenges the people to recognize who God is, you appreciate what God is done, you recognize who he is in verse 19 he speaks of God as being holy in God's being jealous as you recognize who God is and he becomes. He becomes the one you worship. I rather like that in fact is a definition of worship. Worship is our response to God for who he is and what he is known for third thing Joshua does is he challenges the people to smash all other guys and if you look at verse 23 he says throw away the foreign gods that are among you, and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel calls the people to complete surrender is is you just need to turn your life completely over to God. We are going to worship were going to praise God for who he is, for what he has done for us and in this time of worship. I hope will be a way of you smashing some other gods and putting the Lord God on the throne of your heart.
Please understand that when we worship. This is something that we we give to God is our response to him. This is not for you. It concerns me when I hear people talk about worship as something done for their pleasure and their enjoyment and quite frankly that that attitude is offensive to God. And so we will worship him, we will give him our glory, but I want to do or say something to those of you who are maybe like some of the Israelites you got these false gods held onto. You need to choose who is that you will worship who really is your God we go any farther I want to stop the words that you heard and I heard were very strong from Kyle. In fact I think they were from God. I think God is speaking to you and speaking to me that idolatry is serious. I mean it was serious for the Israelites thousands of years ago. But even though like you I'm not bowing down to wooden statues as I listen to today's message I was struck in my heart, and how other things even really good things keep popping up in trying take you to the throne of my heart.
You know sometimes it's a family member. Sometimes it's my work. I mean, it can even be ministry sometimes is just a distraction and I get busy and me doing my life than being success for achieving becomes an idol in my heart. Let me ask you where did God speak to you whether it's work or money or sex or an addiction or whether it's something really good like one of your kids or sports that you just love doing but little by little, your time, your money, your sacrifices revolving around something or someone other than the Lord Jesus if that's you right now. Would you repent.
Would you pause, would you just if at all possible even stop the car if you need to and pullover and put your palms up and say Lord, I'm sorry, no one is worthy of my worship. But you please forgive me God.
I wanted to turn away from the thing with the person that I've made more important in you Lord might my time, my energy, my money would reveal that you're not the most important person in my life right now. And Lord, you call that sin you call it an idol.
Lord I call it the same thing I ask you to forgive me and I surrender myself, my time, my focus in my energy to following you. First and foremost right now that's the prayer that is on your heart tell someone today so you know I was listening to a message on Living on the Edge by Kyle Ireland and got hit me right between the eyes. This is what I prayed. This is my future. This is what I'm going to do. I just needed to call or text or tell you because I know I can't do this alone do that right now do that before the day is over. As we dethrone the idols and put Christ back where he belongs at the center at the focus of our life and our heart. That's a great word shipped banks will if you're looking to be more intentional and develop a deeper relationship with Jesus we have a great resource to help you it's chip series true spirituality becoming a Romans 12 Christian to his teaching.
You'll discover God's plan for your life why you matter the need for genuine community and how to respond to evil and injustice. So if you want a clear blueprint to become a genuine follower of Christ.
True spirituality is a great place to start. And besides chips teaching. Let me encourage you to order the book or get the small group resources, there's a lot of ways to experience the foundational truths found in Romans 12 to learn more about all the series resources for true spirituality go to special firstname.lastname@example.org or on the chipping remap L before we wrap up this program. Here's chip to share a special email we received recently.
I want to pause just for a minute and if you're a financial partner with Living on the Edge. I just want you to hear a message that we received from a lady named Kelly who listens every single day. She said thanks so much for your ministry and daily podcast I listen every day I'm a recovering addict of many things. I grew up in a Christian family was saved at the age of 17. Shortly after that because of peer pressure in school started doing drugs.
I now have a few years of sobriety and God save my life and he is totally remove the physical words, use drugs and alcohol and cigarettes have now joined an awesome church that has small groups and Christ is blessed me in recovery meetings. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your life with others. You made a positive difference in my life. You know Kelly is one of hundreds actually thousands of emails that we get it Living on the Edge by just column life change spirit of God took the word of God and might've been on the podcast could been on the radio could've been in the small group could've even been a CD or a book, but God intervenes with their life and something happens that changes the course of their life and I just want to pause and thank you you know some of you write a check every month.
Some of you have it taken out of your account every month. Some of you like once 1/4 of twice a year you give to Living on the Edge.
I want to remind you what it actually does.
It's not about giving money, it's about extending ministry and changing lives. So thank you thank you thank you and if by chance you're listening in your thinking, you know, I've never given to Living on the Edge, but I'd like to get in on that will give you a very simple way of how you can join the team and really make a difference, but it's chip will of Kelly's story inspired you and you'd like to become a part of our team, we'd love to have you join us.
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You'll get free access to all of our recent programs are message notes and much more. Not only that, but it couldn't be easier to call or email directly from the yeah will be with us again next time when our guest teacher Kyle Heideman continues his series. So this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this edition Living on the Edge