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Targeting Idolatry Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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July 30, 2021 1:00 am

Targeting Idolatry Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 30, 2021 1:00 am

They might be enticing, but we’ll pay a high price for the idols we worship, whether those idols are old or new. The people of Israel felt God’s judgment for making a golden calf. We'll be judged as well, if we don’t renounce the idols we hold dear.

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Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Our Daily Bread Ministries
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One reason for us.

Very nice entice, you will pay off five price were talking about Bibles we worship idols old and new. Israel felt God's judgment for making a golden calf will be judged as well.

If we don't announce the idols. We hope there from the Moody Church in Chicago this is running to with Dr. Sir clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Master loser.

I wonder what our golden calves are and how tightly we hold onto them. Dave, in answer to your question.

Let's forget about the calf for a moment and let's talk about the goal in the calf. There is one idle that we hang on to very tightly. You know the Bible teaches that money is deceptive because it makes all the same promises as God will be with you in hard times will be with you during good times, and you can be dependent upon me. Well, the reason that God gives us these stories true stories of course from the book of Exodus is to teach us how to walk with him and to avoid the dangers you know Moses isn't going to end too well. He's going to not get into the land because of disobedience but on the other hand, he will end up very well there so much to learn from the life of Moses and I've written a book entitled getting closer to God. This is the last day that we are making this book available to you for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 let's go to the Scripture. Now let us learn from the experience of Moses and those who surrounded him that at the end of the day worshiping God alone is best for Which they had made and burned with fire, must understand that this Was probably constructed with wood and then overlaid with a golden Moses burns the thing and that he takes the gold any grinds it to powder and he scatters it over the surface of the water and he makes the palms of his real drink what he says is I want you to feel now the bad effects the negative effects the backwash of your idolatry and just in the same way God is continually doing this in people's lives whenever idle. We hang on to it eventually disappoints us and we find that bitter taste in our mouths and in our lives because we have on so what happens in people's experience that marriage that they decided that they would have no matter what God said about they knew better than God, and they would go ahead without consulting him they would not be too particular in submitting to his guidance because they had an idea as to what God maybe wanted to do in their lives and they said no and eventually the very thing that they crave is a bitter taste. And then there's that promotion that the person sought. Who was this overwhelmingly overcome by the desire to be promoted and to have this position and along with it come all kinds of compromises all kinds of difficulties all kinds of torn relationships because God begins to take the saying of our idols. And then there is that real estate that people buy so that they might be able to have a wise investment and they discover that soon the price begins to drop all of their hopes and dreams been wrapped up in that business investment come tumbling down.

And God is constantly stripping the idols away from us and pruning our lives so that we will not be caught up in that horrible sin that he hate so much idolatry and so the people were judged for their idolatry. Notice what happens because the fifth point is that we must repent of our idolatry must repent of it that step number five if we are wise we will repent. Here is an interesting sidelight into human nature verse 21 Moses said to Aaron what did this people do to you that you have brought such great sin upon them and Aaron said, well, do not let the anger of my Lord burn. You know that people yourself that they are prone to evil, for they said to me and make me a God who will go before us for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt. We not know what has become of them so I know what you gonna do you live in a democratic society. I said to them, whoever has any goal, let them tear it off and so they gave it to me and I really Moses believe this. I threw it into the fire outing this calf really would not need Moses you need to understand is the kind of furnaces that we have out here that's really the problem yet understand if the people's problem and then if they didn't make these kinds of furnaces well.

This would not happen, but what the furnace as it is the furnaces.

Yes, I know we all think it's rather funny but I want you to know today that Satan has a good excuse for any sin that you and I want to commit good excuse for it and somehow it'll turn out that it will not be our fault it will be somebody else's fault and it will be the circumstances fold and it will be the other person's fault. But one thing is sure we will not be at fault. The desire to protect ourselves the desire to make sure that somebody else is to blame is so overwhelming that we will arm ourselves with a pack of excuses and a pack of lies and will even blame the furnace or something that we ourselves have done.

Moses, of course, is not pleased. He doesn't say what you don't come to think of it Aaron you got a good point there. You know these furnaces are rather miraculous. Now what he does is he asks all those who are on the side of righteousness to come to him. Verse 25 when Moses saw that the people were out of control for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies. He stood in the gate of the camp and said whoever is for the Lord to come to me all the sons of Levi gather together and he said to them, thus says the Lord God of Israel.

Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh and go back and with from the gate to gate in the camp and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend and every man his neighbor and the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed and about 3000 people, 3000 men fail that day. And Moses says dedicate yourselves to God, you read it in this 20th century and you said I can't believe it. 3000 but you see what God was saying is I hate idolatry and I take it seriously and in Old Testament times when you had a theocracy and God intervened directly into the lives of people. He was very angry. The anger of Moses burned in the anger of God burned and God said this, I will not put up with and he wanted to give a lesson to what he thought of idolatry.

See, this is the problem. This is the source of conflict within the human soul. We are idle lovers in God is an idol heater and he deals severely and drastically with our idols turn to first Corinthians chapter 10 where we can see here a New Testament commentary on this event and also it will help us to understand where we fit into this picture. First Corinthians chapter 10 Paul is saying that these stories in the Old Testament are given just simply as ancient history, they have lessons that they need to teach us pick it up in verse five. Nevertheless, with most of them. This is first Corinthians 10 five with most of them God was not well pleased, for they were laid low in the wilderness. Most of the people died.

Almost all of them except Caleb and Joshua and Moses, who even died before he got to the land. Now these things happened as examples for us that we should not crave the evil things as they also pray, and do not be idolaters as some of them were as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink and stood up to play and let us not act immorally as some of them did and 23,000 fell in a single day that incidentally is referring to another incident in the book of numbers and let us not try the Lord as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents and let us not grumble as some of them did and they were destroyed by the destroyer rule the things that are being referred to here what are those idols of the heart to that you and I protect and crave and bow down to an builders secret shrines to first immorality certainly yes immorality.

Secondly, gluttony did you know that that is why they grumbled it's because they didn't like the food that God prepared for them in the desert and that's why he sent those fiery serpents among them that being referred to here and you say well, certainly, overeating couldn't be an idol. If you think that you never talk to somebody who struggles with gluttony. There is alcoholism and drugs and pride and non-alien and all those things you see that compete for the allegiance of the old mighty God, what I'm saying to you today is first of all we need God, even to help us identify those idols don't me and they are quite easily identified. If you hear you leave here today and say pastor Luther I don't know there's something wrong in my life but I don't know what it is. I must have some idol but I do know what it is I have a good digestion get on your knees and guess at it. Just a guess at might be right. Easy to find out what your idol is number one. What is it you think about most of the time when you have free time to think and secondly, what or who do you desire.

Most to please that's your idol that's my idol CS Lewis refers to our idol as quote our old well-meaning first. I love that expression so ask yourself as I ask myself, I excuse I ask myself, what is our old well-meaning first driving passion. It may well be that that is the idol of our heart that God needs to pluck from us. So first of all we should identify our idols. Secondly, we should repent of our idols. Repentance is the idle smasher repentance you see is the way in which we acknowledge our sin to God and we allow the truth to come to the surface so that we can deal with these things and may I say that Martin Luther was absolutely right when he said the Christian lives the life of repentance every single day because this past week there were idols in our hearts. It's like trying to weed a garden.

At first those little weeds seem to be so insignificant and they do not seem to sap energy and sunlight from the produce that you want to grow but eventually they become stronger and after you pluck them up even from the roots. It has to be done again and again and again and again because we are by nature idolaters. We want some God to worship that is made after our own likeness and is that God that we pursue and then of course we must really replace the idle with the true God, you replace the idol with the true God.

Now it may be very frank and say that there's some of you who are hooked on some idols that you cannot get rid of you about before these idols you have paid them homage you have worshiped at their shrine you have enjoyed of those idols, but you also know what it is to be in this narrative with those idols and you don't even have the strength to turn from it. I said, today I want you to turn from those idols, you know right well that even if you attempted to, it would have to be done in sins, merely because you've tried before and your idol is stronger than you are. That's why the Bible that is so precise. Theologically, citizens in first Thessalonians. Paul commends the people. He says you turned to God from idols. He didn't say you turned away from idols and then you turn to God. Know there are many people who do not have the power to do that.

In fact, not a one of us is capable of that. The idols are to strong. So rather than emphasizing the turning away from idols, we turn to God in our helplessness and to seek him in repentance and faith, we come to a God who is stronger than the idols. We come to the true and the living God, who has trampled on all idols and we come to a Savior who has been raised and taken to heaven as proof of his absolute total try.

That's where we ask you to come today. That's the bottom line being number two in life is the essence of life, but knowing who to put a number one is really the most fundamental issue of life and it's to be Christ to be Christ you've heard me quoted from this pulpit before the dearest idols I have known what are those idols be need to tear them from the throne, and worship only the and we can tear them from the throne without divine aid. At this moment. Our helplessness becomes very apparent in God's grace appears to be so wonderful. I urge you today to come to a Savior who can purify your life who can take away the curse of idolatry and who can enable us to meet to than the first commandment thou shalt have no other God's before me. I love idols. God hates idols. I come helplessly to be delivered. Join me as we pray father if we were honest, we would admit that this week we bowed before some idols. We made some choices we made some decisions that we knew were wrong but the heart wants what it wants the furnace just seems to create what we want. Would you father graciously shows those idols and then Lord we turn to you. We do not turn from them, for they are too strong, but we turn to you asking you oh Lord to rid us of them for some of the idol is a relationship needs desperately to be broken. For some it is an unholy ambition that needs desperately to be extinguished. Somehow, there it is a a lifelong career and goal needs to be laid at your feet. Father, we are helpless because were no better than the people in Exodus chapter 32 we have the very same heart, and unless you or your grace and mercy invades us will leave today the same idolaters as we came to help us Lord for those who are struggling who know right well what your will is and have made excuses for not doing it. Father, they need help because the situations aren't easy. All the promises of the false gods or before their eyes. Even now, so help us Lord and before I close this prayer you pray now, would you look to God.

Name your idol and say father in the presence of this idol.

I am helpless but help me for your namesake delivered me from my you tell him because he's waiting thank you Lord Jesus for hearing our prayer and begin a work in us and then pursue it relentlessly, even when we forget about it until you get your will in your way to achieve your goals and not ours.

Jesus name we pray. Now, my friend.

I just marvel over the experiences of Moses, encouragement, discouragement, times when he wrestled with God.

God did not let him enter the land with the people because of his disobedience. He regretted that deeply, but you know at the end. He did enter into the land he showed up on the Mount of Transfiguration, all because of God's grace and so the book of Exodus that discusses the life of Moses has so much to teach us about the glory of God.

Failure disobedience I've written a book entitled getting closer to God. It's actually based on this series of messages and today is the last day, we are making this resource available to you. We hear it running to win do this to help you walk in the Christian life to run when you need to run and to be still.

When you need to be still. In other words, we want you to be able to victoriously face the future in a book like this will help you. It'll help you because of its realism because of the reminder of the fact that Moses was remarkable but very human. The title of the book getting closer to God. And here's the contact info go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Remember for a gift of any amount.

This is the last time we are making this book available to you getting closer to God. Go to RTW RTW offer of courses all one word RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Maria is from New Mexico and listens to us on one she writes five years ago God gave me the grace to believe in his precious son Jesus. I was living with the father of my son who is now eight. He wanted to marry me, but since I became a Christian he doesn't want to get married anymore. We still live together, and I pray for him every day. He doesn't like me to go to church and we've had several fights about it. What should I do mean while I watch Moody churches service on from Columbia. God bless you and thanks for your everyday words.

Maria, thank you so much for your question. I wish that there were an easy answer that I could give you but I can't. I certainly hope that you have a network of believers you speak about the church and you desperately need the church at this moment. You need their wisdom you need their comfort you need their prayers, but let me just give a couple of thoughts from my heart to yours in the midst of this difficult situation. Obviously, if possible. What you need to do is to separate from this man until you get married you are living together you've had a child together.

And so there is already a bonding to this man were thankful that apparently he does provide for you. So there are certain benefits, but you need to work toward the whole idea of recognizing that marriage is God's will in the midst of this kind of a situation. Assuming that the man you are living with is not abusive and that again is why you need the wisdom of other people. So at the same time, you must think about how you are going to minister to your child. This little boy that you have whose eight years old.

You need to be able to teach them. You need to be able to guide him, you will be the one who will be able to impact him for the Lord Jesus Christ. So I would say that God has a path for you. Not sure exactly what it looks like, but I trust that the church that you are attending would be able to give you that guidance. Meanwhile, don't forget Maria God is with you and he is going to be your wisdom and your strength continue to serve the Lord and minister to that little boy, and as best you can to his father some wise counsel.

As always, from Dr. Erwin lutes or thank you Dr. lutes or if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 write to us have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 a holy God tolerates no rivals. That is the message of Mount Sinai, and each of us must renounce our private idols or face God's stern discipline today Erwin lutes are concluded targeting idolatry. The 10th in a series of 12 messages about the life and times of Moses, a man getting closer to God. Next time Moses finest hour. Join us as Moses asks God, show me thy glory for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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