god’s at war – The god of me
We’ve been going through a series based on the book “god’s at war” by Kyle Idelman discussing the “little g
gods in our life that are at war with us and the one true living God! These little gods keep us from surrendering, sacrificing, serving and sharing our Faith in Jesus… keep us following Jesus, worshiping Jesus because we’re pursuing something or someone else!
The book is addressing an issue that’s rarely discussed or mentioned in Church today, which is Idolatry. When we think of idols and idolatry what do we think of? Statues, Golden Calf, etc…
But we’re Christians… We don’t worship Idols! Maybe, but then again, maybe Idolatry is closer to our home and heart than we realize!
- Who or what do we treasure and value the most?
- Who or what do we seek after and pursue more than anything else?
- Who or what takes up most of our time, effort, and energy? (What has my Attention, Affection, Abilities an Assets?)
- Who or what do I put my trust, confidence and hope in more than anything else?
- Who or what is the object of my worship and praise?
- Who or what do I think about (and pursue) to satisfy and fulfill that void in my heart, life?
- Who or what are some things we are NOT willing to let go of, things we think we can’t live without?
Exodus 20:3 ESV – “You shall have no other gods before me. (Before me = in my presence!)
Idolatry isn’t “an” issue… it’s “THE” issue.
In this Series we’ve looked at some “little gods”/Idols that are at war with us and the One True Living God…
– The god of pleasure
– The god of love
– The god of money
– The god of power
Those things aren’t bad in and of themselves… however, when we elevate them to god-like status and put them where God belongs there’s a serious problem.
Our thoughts, our motives, our choices and actions are determined by who or what is on the throne of our heart, mind and soul. (Look at your thoughts, choices, decisions, actions and you will see who’s on the throne!!)
It’s the root that determines the fruit!
Today we’re looking at the last of these little god’s, but probably the most dangerous and damning of our life. It’s the little god of ME!
Romans 1:18-25 ESV – 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
When we believe a lie rather than the Truth of God… when we put our faith, trust, confidence, hope in things other than God… (in those little god’s) it boils down to one thing. It’s really SELF-WORSHIP!
In the book, Kyle wrote: “The foundation of reality is that there is one God, and you are not him. Once that’s established, a choice must be made, and here it is: I know that there is the Lord God, the master of all creation. I also know there’s the god of me, the pretender to the throne. Whom will I serve? [To whom will I submit?] In my brokenness, I feel the pull to worship me. I hear the whispered lie that Adam and Eve first heard: “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Why serve? You rule. [You don’t have to submit.] You have everything you need to be your own god.
At some point in our life we all will struggle with those other little gods but the “god of me” is something we all struggle with every day, multiple times a day! You can’t get away from You!
A few symptoms of the “god of me” in our life…
Arrogance. They’re always right. Their way is always the best way. They must have their way. Manipulate to get their way.
They don’t listen to others. The god of me doesn’t listen to others. They have never uttered the phrase: “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” “I’m sorry, you were right.” “I should have listened to you.”
Insecurity. Consumed with what others think and terrified of trying and failing. They can’t help but be self-conscious, because they’re so self-absorbed. When you’re god it’s all about you!
Extremely judgmental of others because of that insecurity.
Defensiveness. The slightest suggestion, disagreement, criticism is a personal attack. Why? When you’re god you must be perfect and how dare anyone else suggest you aren’t! You’re god for crying out loud!
Loneliness or isolation. When the “god of me” is present in someone’s life they become really lonely and isolated because they can’t handle people in their life. People become our “equals.” You can’t have that as a god!
They definitely can’t handle authority or accountability. They need people in their life that constantly look up to them, and reaffirm them but not to challenge them.
The little god of me is the most damaging and damning of all the little gods, because all those other little gods exist to satisfy the “god of me!”
Jeremiah 17:5-10 NLT – This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. 9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
How many have ever been wrong about something?
How many have followed their heart and were wrong! Notice I didn’t say who, because we’ve all been wrong! (The better question… might be how many times!)
Could anything more hopeless than someone who knows they’ve been wrong (and wrong multiple times) and then puts all their Faith, Trust, Confidence and Hope in themselves as “god”… rather than the one true living God!
Is that not the craziest (saddest) thing you’ve ever heard of?! Happens all the time because like Adam and Eve we buy into satan’s lie…
The root of idolatry isn’t in our idols… it’s us! We want to be “God.” It’s Self-Worship! We want to be God in our life and in the life of others. We want to call the shots, be in control, recieve the worship and praise. And, except for satan, the “god of me” is our worst enemy.
It’s really me versus God… my flesh versus His Spirit! We are the problem. And until we realize that we’re going to continue to struggle!
Those who have allowed the little god of me on the throne of their heart are the most dangerous of all people. They are the most deceived, the most miserable, destructive, cursed, and the most evil… they are the most like satan himself. They are the spirit of the Antichrist.
If we want to get to the heart of idolatry in our life we must recognize the “god of me.” We must humble ourselves, step down from the throne… return it to the one that it rightly belongs… The King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ!
We must crucify that little “god of me!” That’s what Jesus said.
Luke 9:23 CSB – 23 Then he (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, (Be His Disciple) let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25 For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself?
- Deny ourselves. (Deny our wants, our will, and our way! How? By doing what God wants, doing His will and doing things His way!) Repentance… turning from our way to God’s way.
- Take up our cross. (As Christ was a sacrifice for us, we become a sacrifice for Him. Jesus focus and purpose was the cross. Nothing distracted Him from his focus and purpose.)
- Follow Him. (We live in obedience to God’s word, God’s will and God’s ways. If we aren’t doing that then go back to # 1.)