There are gods at war within each of us. They battle for the throne of our hearts, and much is at stake. This is why idolatry is the most discussed problem in the entire Bible. Behind every sin struggle that you and I have is a false god that is waging a war for our lives. Don't give in to the myth that idols are only statues that people of other cultures worshiped long ago. While there may not be many “graven images” in our world today, there are still countless gods at war for the throne of our hearts. Success, romance, food, sex, money, and achievement are just a few of the gods that vie for our allegiance.
This series will explore these gods, and how we can recognize misplaced worship in our lives, and give God His rightful place on the throne of our hearts.
(1) THE BATTLEGROUND - Sunday September 30th
The battleground of the gods is your heart, and your heart is shaped by your thoughts. King Solomon said, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Prov. 4:23). Your heart defines and determines who you are, how you think, and what you do. Because everything flows from it, your heart is where the battle is waged. God is jealous for your heart, not because he is petty or insecure, but because he loves you. That is the reason why God has such a huge problem with idolatry. His love for you is all-consuming and he loves you too much to share you.
(2) PLEASURE - Sunday October 7th
When you experience pleasure, there’s a part of you that thinks, Yes! This is what I was made for. Thus begins the quest many of us have undertaken for the elusive narcotic of pleasure. When we walk into the temple of pleasure we see the gods of food, sex and entertainment. But if we decide to stay and worship in the temple of pleasure, the end result is always pain. Ultimately the gods of pleasure can not satisfy our desires. Only God can satisfy our hearts.
(3) LOVE - Sunday October 14th
Our culture holds up romantic love as the greatest and noblest of pursuits. We are led to believe that “love makes the world go round” and that “all you need is love.” Romantic love is a good thing, but when we make it essential to life then it becomes a false god. When we put our hope in romantic love and sacrifice so much for it, you have to ask if this beautiful gift from God has actually replaced him. If that happens, the ending is rarely “happily ever after.”
(4) MONEY - Sunday October 21st
The god of money has been around a long time. We pay lip service to the idea that money is not that important, but how we spend our time and what we pursue seem to reveal our true belief. Of the thirty-eight parables Jesus tells, sixteen are about the subject of money. Jesus makes it clear that the god of money is often God’s main competition for our hearts. But the problem is ultimately not money. Money isn’t the root of evil - the love of money is.
(5) POWER - Sunday October 28th
The gods of success and achievement have no problem finding followers. These two gods are attractive, compelling and charismatic. They play on the most basic issue of humanity, that attraction of doing things “our way,” a.k.a. pride. The gods of success and achievement even provide us with convenient ways to keep score: the title after our name, the sum of our paycheck, and the square footage of our new house. Success is a word we use for something we have done or accomplished. Jesus used another word “blessed” to redefine success in his Sermon on the Mount. Success is an indication of what we have done for us, but blessed is an indication of what God has done for us. Success gives glory to us, but blessed gives glory to God.
(6) ME - Sunday November 4th
The foundation of reality is that there is one God, and you are not him. The pretender to the throne is the god of me. Arrogance and insecurity can be symptoms that you have begun to worship the god of me. The god of me will either not listen to the wisdom of others, or the god of me is consumed with what others think. The god of me is both defensive, taking the slightest suggestion or the blandest criticism as an attack, and convinced that “I’m always right!” and that “My way is the best way!” In Ezekiel 28:2 God says, “In the pride of your heart you say, ‘I am a god: I sit on the throne of a god’ … But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god.” The god of me is the most relentless idol of them all.