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Contemporary Idolatry Exposed Part 2

March 30, 2015
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Contemporary Idolatry Exposed Part 2

Contemporary Idolatry Exposed Part 2

6244477760_f1aa77b82aContemporary Idolatry is when you embrace idols, hold fast to something with excessive or blind adoration, reverence, and devotion. It is when we honor something, trust in it, or put it first and focus on it. “It” is anything that is contrary to God and His Word.

You may embrace what you think as truth that you attained through your learned experiences, teachings, and the world’s opinions. These have conformed you toward that which is not in agreement with God. Where would Christianity be if the Apostles couldn’t change their mind when the Jewish leaders called Jesus a heretic? They were teachable and left behind religious traditions for God’s Truth and there are many other people in history that did likewise.

Luther listened to God and was instrumental in the reformation of the church. He brought Truth and agreement with the Word back to the church and he was told that the whole world was against him. His response was, “then I am against the whole world.”

God needs revolutionaries and reformist in the last days. Stop being comfortable and die to yourself; test your beliefs and obey God above your life experiences, core beliefs, feelings, reasoning, supposed rational thoughts, and everyone’s opinions.
Here is a biblical example of breaking agreements in these categories to crush idolatry.

“’O king, live forever! You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.’” Daniel 3:9-12 (NKJV)

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king even if he does not, we want you to know, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV)

These young men chose not to be conformed to a culture, paganism, or an ideology that was contrary to their God and His Word. They trusted God’s protection but clearly said that even if God did not rescue them they will not serve another God but only their God alone will they worship and obey.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.’” Daniel 3: 28 (NKJV)
Do you trust God that way? Can you say “No” to serve the gods of your past experiences, your core beliefs, and feelings? Will you move forward and trust Him in the unknown or that which is not under your control, or do you let your reason, rational thought, or people’s opinions cause you to bend your knee to an idol.

Contemporary idolatry is in your soul area; it is embraced with your mind, will, and emotions. You must choose to dethrone the idol. You understand through the previous teachings, that life experiences develop your faulty core beliefs that are idols against God’s Truth. Let‘s look at how your reason, rational thoughts, and feelings are also idols if you allow it.

Idolatry began with Satan who wanted to be number one and thought he could do God’s job better; you would normally call it pride. The pride however, is the by-product of self-idolization.
You do self-idolization by trusting in your beliefs and experiences over Gods Word. Satan made self an idol, quite the opposite Jesus laid down everything to do with self for us. Who do you choose to emulate, Satan or God?

In the garden the first man and woman chose to take God off the throne. They walked with God yet chose to dethrone Him for self exaltation. They were enticed with power, knowledge and wisdom. They idolized their feelings, reason, and rational thought. Self was put before relationship with God and His commands. They chose to trust their perceptions, thoughts, and feelings over God. They committed the sin of idolatry.

“But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” Genesis 3:3-5 (NIV)

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”
Genesis 3:6 (NLT)
The sin of disobedience happened because Adam and Eves embraced their thoughts and ideas over God’s Truth and commands. They held a perception and self-reasoned that wisdom would be a good thing to attain, so they put their beliefs on the throne and took God and His opinions down; this is idolatry.

Contemporary Idolatry has been with us since the garden. Every nation, culture, and people group forms their own version of contemporary idolatry. Another example is the city and tower of Babel. It was built by people who were rebelling against God, by directly contradicting his command to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”
They chose contemporary idolatry, reasoning to put self on the throne. They said they would build a tower, “make a name for ourselves,” and to prevent them from being “dispersed over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).

By building a city to not be dispersed, and a tower to make a name for themselves, the people of Babel were defying God and His Word. Instead of aligning their agreements with God they chose instead to embrace their thoughts, beliefs, and experiences which caused them to embrace a rational reasoning as good.
“Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” Genesis 11:4 (NLT)

God told them to spread out on the earth and they reasoned differently. Their thinking was self idolization and they took God off the throne and placed themselves on it. There is example after example in the Bible of the results of when people have allowed their beliefs and thoughts to produce actions of disobedience. Never does it produce good fruit but only destruction.

“Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. ‘Why are you so angry?’ the LORD asked Cain. ‘Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.’ One day Cain suggested to his brother, ‘Let’s go out into the fields.’ And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.’ Genesis 4:4-8 (NLT)

Cain allowed his opinion to reign over God’s opinion (idolatry). God did not accept the offering contrary to what Cain thought was fair (victim mentality). He was trying to serve God his way (idolatry). He was ruled by his feelings of being a victim, and embraced his anger and dejection (idolatry). This produced his evil actions, the life skills he used to cope with the thoughts and emotions.

Cain kept his feelings on the throne and threw God off until his feelings not just ruled his thoughts, but created his actions to murder his brother. God told Cain to subdue this sin of idolatry. Subdue means overcome it by force, gain dominion; this is another command to tear down the strongholds and change the way you think.

God takes your thinking very seriously.

“The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”
Genesis 6:5 (NLT)
This was just prior to the flood. So what created worldwide annihilation with the exception of Noah’s family? The thoughts and imaginations of wickedness. Think on that truth for a few minutes and choose to pull down every thought that “…exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The question is not if you operate in contemporary idolatry but rather where you embrace it. Identify it, repent of your idolatrous agreements, renounce it every time you see it pop up, and replace it with the Truth. God will restore you and bring you into fullness and abundance.

To reveal if you have allowed contemporary idolatry to be active in any part of your life ask yourself the following questions.
1. Where and how have you not listened to God and made an idol of an inner hurt or wound? What vow did you form in response? (example self-protection through anger or holding people at a distance) How did you form life and relationship skills in response to the wound?

2. Name a specific situation where your feelings have been an idol? How did you respond to those feelings manifesting in idolatrous behaviors?

3. Identify an example of how you have used human reasoning and rational thought as an idol?

4. Where have you committed idolatry by agreeing with the world, religion, authority figures, family, or other people’s opinions?

Now make a choice, tear those beliefs that conform you to the world and your experiences down and replace them with biblical truth. Ask God’s help to recognize when they are trying to rear there ugly head. Be transformed by aligning every belief with the Bible and its promises.

 

Dr. Michele

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