We started a brand new series this past week called gods at war. In this series, we are looking at the things that we look to for significance, purpose, and meaning as gods or idols that we allow to sit on the throne of our heart and to what we give our allegiance. If you missed part 1 of the series, you can listen to it HERE.
We laid some groundwork as we began to identify what idols are competing for our heart. To this end, I wanted to share some potential areas to look for the gods at war in our lives. Much of what I am about to share comes from a book by Kyle Idleman by the same name – gods at war.
Read Joshua 24:14-15
According to the 4 options that Joshua gives for us to choose to worship, we must look at…
Our PARENTS – “the gods your fathers (and mothers) served beyond the Euphrates River”
There is no doubt that spending around 2 decades in close proximity to our parents will tend to influence and shape us. What/who did your parents worship? Was your dad’s career the most important thing? Did it determine his mood? Are you now tending towards those same things? Did your mom seem to obsess over appearances – everything had to be right, nothing out of place?As a result, have you followed in their footsteps and find your identity and worth in what other people think of you?
Did your dad worship sports…sex…money…status…beer?
Did your mom worship shopping…career…children…entertainment?
Think about what was held up for you in your home.
The most natural path in the world is to adopt the gods of our parents. If you have chosen to worship God, how much of that is your parents’ decision and how much is your own?
Our PAST – “the gods your ancestors served in Egypt…”
These represent the gods from our past that have never went away. Do you ever find yourself struggling with things from the past that you thought you had left behind a while ago? Maybe you’ve invited the Lord into your life, but you’re still paying attention to the old gods. Perhaps when we meet Christ, the old gods fall silent for a while. But they regroup. They want to rule our hearts again.
So even if you have chosen the Lord in the past, the challenge is for us to “choose this day whom we will serve.”
What do you need to leave behind in order to follow Jesus more completely?
Our PRESENT (culture) – “the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live…”
Now I am not here to bad mouth culture because God has placed us here in this culture. However, He still requires complete allegiance to Him despite what the culture might be doing all around us right now. We live in a culture where diversity prevails – many groups…many different gods.
The list of things begging for our allegiance and devotion (making promises of significance that they cannot keep) are many. Two significant factors that consistently determine which gods win the war of our heart are time and place. Could it be that we have our own idols that are hiding in plain sight? Maybe they are so common in our culture that we have slowly adopted them as the new normal?
Think about what is held up and pursued in most TV shows, movies, or songs. What are the gods that our culture glorifies and honors?
Our PRIZE – God Himself – “but as for me and my family, we will choose the LORD…”
It is my prayer that this series will show us that this is the only real option – that all of the other gods waging war for our heart look promising, but they do nothing to satisfy our thirst.
Reflect on what a relationship with God has brought into your life. Now compare what the other gods have brought into your life.
It is time for us to start calling these gods’ bluff. What have they really done for us? If anything, they have enslaved us…robbed us…disappointed us.
Read Psalm 86:8
I hope that you will start to identify the gods that are at war for your heart right now. Maybe they are from our PARENTS, our PAST, or our PRESENT, but I hope that we will choose the PRIZE and also say that “we will serve the LORD”.
I believe that it will be of great value if you can join us on this 6 week journey. We will be doing messages on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM and discussion groups on Wednesday nights at 7 PM. We will give you some great tools to help you defeat the gods at war for your heart.