The Real

Joshua 24: 15

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Truth be told, you are going to serve some God. It might be the money God, the workaholic God, or recreation God. You may serve manna but there are so many things which capture our devotion. An idol is anything you put before God. What do you think about? What are you passionate about? It is great to be passionate about life, but it is easy to let those things supplant God.

We may not build an idol to the things that we serve but if you look around, I think you will find that sometimes we do. We just don’t acknowledge it; don’t recognize it. Most of us don’t bow down to a shrine and worship it but watch us on game day. We’ve got on our team colors, drinking from our logo cup and are glued to our televisions.  We are very invested emotionally in the outcome of the game and hang on every minute.

Other people put their jobs or careers on the throne of their lives. Truly, it can be anything. We just have to take a step back to make sure we aren’t making those things more important in our lives than our Heavenly Father. This verse warns us that we may become as the people of the world if we aren’t mindful. We could be serving the gods of the Amorites, or whatever “ite” is out there if we don’t decide to make Yahweh the highest priority of our life.

It’s easy to slip into life according to the world but take a bit of time to realign yourself just like you have to occasionally realign the tires on your car. This isn’t a reason for guilt, just an opportunity for a check-up to see if anything has pushed its way into God’s space. Living to God is what satisfies our souls and spirits. All the other things are fun, but just substitutes. Cling to the Real.

Healthy Appetites

Philippians 3:19     (God’s Word)

In the end they will be destroyed. Their own emotions are their god, and they take pride in the shameful things they do. Their minds are set on worldly things.

Many Bible versions read that instead of their emotions, their appetites are their god. It really ends up being the same thing though doesn’t it? In other words, the god that we really serve is our desires. We lust after different things. For some of us it is stuff. This is quite common. People just always want more things, bigger things and better things. They buy all the new gadgets. Let us make a clear distinction. Having stuff is not the problem. Having our minds set on stuff instead of God is the issue. And we find it easy to fool ourselves at times. We say our hearts are set on God when in reality we spend more time thinking of the “things” we want than we do thinking of the Kingdom of God. 

Other people lust after success or fame. Their heart is set on being a god in themselves. They want notoriety. Other people set their passion on their jobs or hobbies. No matter what we set our attention on, if it is not God then it is an idol. Ultimately this misplaced devotion leads to destruction. Our minds are supposed to be set on the things above rather than the things of this world. Even if you work for God full time, if your ministry occupies more space in your mind and heart then it will end in destruction. There is only room for one god in our lives.

The part of this verse that really struck me is how we brag in our shamefulness. Perhaps we are so deceived that we do not realize that we are lifting up false gods with our voices. We brag about being busy which is a false idol. We brag about what we own and our station in life and God says that this is all taking glory in shameful things. We are proud of the things we should be ashamed about. I am really trying to perceive this from God’s perspective. How do we sound to Him?

God wants to bless each of us with all the material things and well as all of the non-material desires of our hearts. He wants to give us favor with all people. When our hearts are fixed on Him rather than whatever we may lust after, then He gets to be our Father and provider. We keep our eyes fixed on Him with great expectation of what He will do but we are not to run after those things in our own strength. We are to pursue Him with our strength and leave the rest to Him. He is our source and our minds are to be set on Him rather than on earthly things. Whatever is on your mind the most is what you worship. Make sure it is God.