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Gods at War - Gods of Success, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Cross Radio
January 19, 2022 5:00 am

Gods at War - Gods of Success, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 19, 2022 5:00 am

Did you know there are over a thousand verses throughout the Bible focused on one subject? In this program, guest teacher Kyle Idleman reveals this important issue and how it may be wrecking our entire lives. Don’t miss this broadcast as we continue Kyle’s thought-provoking series: “Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart.”

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Christian Living idolatry idols success

Did you know there's over 1000 verses in the Bible about a subject we rarely talk about is the number one issue in the Old Testament and the New Testament, yet most of us have never considered it might be what's wrecking her life.

When you know what it is. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge of survival teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christian Christians just a minute will continuing our series God's at four. Taught by our guest speaker Kyle. I feel as society continues to drift further from around realize likely grounded voices like Kyle Sherry different viewpoint to what were experiencing our world. We believe with the help of this teaching team we can better encourage and support Christians to really live like Christians over those who don't know Kyle Heideman is a best-selling author, notable speaker, and the senior pastor at Southeast Christian church with all that said, let's join Kyle for today's message God's success. Chapter 18 we don't worship idols in our modern-day civilization may think back once last time you heard a sermon on idolatry.

I don't know that I never really heard more than one or two maybe around the 10 Commandments, but that's about it. Maybe now and then you'll hear that language.

When we talk about money, but it just doesn't seem to be that relevant of an issue not for us today. After all, we don't worship images of stone and of wood was a primitive culture, not in our modern-day civilization. Do we struggle with an effusion. I want you to see today in the series.

For most of us, idolatry is the issue is the issue.

It is the one thing that is keeping us from living the life God really wants us to live.

We have these gods at war within us and they are battling for who will sit on the throne of our hearts as Dennis explains it this way. He says idolatry is the most discussed problem in the Bible and it's one of the most powerful spiritual and intellectual concepts in a believer's arsenal yet for Christians today is one of the least meaningful notions. There's more than a thousand references to idolatry in the Bible that we kind of skip over it. But let me tell you something in these last few months as I studied this from Scripture is change my faith as I've begun to see my life and look at my things through the lens of idolatry. God has been he's been changing my heart and I hope that happens for some of you in the series. That is, you become aware of the gods at war within you that it will lead you to a deeper and fuller commitment in your relationship with Christ. My concern is that you will hear this and quickly dismissed it. I I'm just somewhat amazed that I could be a Christian for for several decades and never understand the significance of this.

So I want to spend a few minutes on it. If you asked most people. What is the definition of success for you. The word happiness would show up. Aristotle called happiness. The chief good. It is the ultimate purpose he would say for existence is to be happy and when you talk to people about what's it gonna take to be happy for you. It doesn't take long for them to start speaking in terms of dollars and cents.

Eventually, money becomes the symbol for our happiness.

And so when we see money as something that has the ability to satisfy us were giving it a divine attribute, and we decide we choose who will sit on the throne of our hearts, and here's what God will do and will see it as we study the subject is that he will often times put himself in direct competition with something that we love or care about a great deal and he will say to us you choose you choose between this and that you choose between me and them you choose if you read the Scriptures when we hear about God's motion how he feels about idolatry.

There's a surprising emotion that is ascribed to God on the subject and it is that he is jealous. You just don't expect that right that God would be jealous of something in our lives, but he refuses.

He refuses to share that seat of glory and help me understand who or what is sitting on the throne of our hearts. We will not experience victory. Instead, we will continue to experience frustration and we will continue to experience defeat.

Maybe sale.

At least it's not alcohol or drugs or pornography or sex lease is not some blatant sin that I'm bowing down to, but we have to understand that our gods can be just as dangerous even more destructive because they are often scarcely recognizable as God's. We take the very good things that God has given us and we turn them in to false gods, but we don't even realize that's what they are. We don't realize that they have replace the Lord God on the throne of our hearts because they seem fine and they seem good and we are constantly in our lives, displacing one God with another. So maybe a young person has the God of the gaming system in their life. A member practically speaking, that's what's most important to them and then that God is displaced by the God of the car and that God is displaced by a boyfriend or girlfriend and then it's college and then it's the got a career administered out of a husband or a wife and minutes, the God of your home and then it's the God of your children and in the Sakata financial status minutes, the God of retirement and then it's the God of grandchildren and we are constantly filling this throne in our hearts with with different gods. John Calvin put it this way. He says the human heart is a factory of idols, we are always creating these different things. We always putting people in our place of worship and and until we identify those and remove them from the throne of our hearts. We will miss out on the life that God wants us to live. We must experience the explosive power of a new affection because what cannot be defeated can be dispossessed.

What cannot simply be resisted must be replaced.

And so we replace our false gods with an affection for the one true God. They begin to lose their grip on our hearts. And so there is this choosing that must happen in our lives and often in church, we focus on a choice that is made on the day of your salvation, but but truly being a Christian is much more than a choice.

It is a continual choosing.

It is not just once a day. It's many times a day where your choosing who or what you will worship in many times a day. You have a choice where you will worship the Lord God or you will worship something else will you worship the Lord God or will you worship your spouse. We worship the Lord God or will you worship food or were you worship sex or some physical pleasure where you worship the Lord God or when you worship your career or what other people think of you and the list is long, but every day we have this choice and when we start to see life through that lens of really worship the Lord or will I worship something else then things just become very clear you have your Bibles turn to Luke chapter 18 the next few minutes were gonna study a man who faces this choice in a very direct and a very specific way I look. Chapter 18 there's three words in the Bible used to describe this man and the rich young ruler to adjectives in the now and all of which point to the fact that he was a successful person.

What God is going to do and in the story. What Jesus is going to do is he's gonna put himself in direct competition with what this man love so much and you can say to the man you choose. In doing so, I think all of us will be challenged.

This man has accumulated. He had achieved he had accomplished. He was worshiping the gods of success. Luke chapter 18 where start in verse 18 it says a certain ruler a certain ruler. Now Matthew's account. Matthew also tells the story in his account points out that he was a young ruler, a young ruler not in the Bible.

Young means 40 and under okay and I understand that some of you are 40 and over like to call yourself young and think of yourself as young and while that is sweet, it's not biblical.

All right, not what the Bible teaches in the Bible teaches 40 and under that, so we know this man was released under 40. He's a young ruler. We also related that he had great wealth is what we know about him already, but we know that he is a person who is driven, we know that he is a person who wants to be at the top who wants to succeed and says a certain ruler. The word for ruler is basically the Greek word is a recognized official.

He would've been recognized as a person of authority in the culture asked Jesus good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life, and I give him credit for this, because if you have one question to ask Jesus right this is the question what must I do to live forever, but even the way he asks the question, reveals the God that he worships. Because how does the phrase the question what must I do, I do and those of us who struggle with the gods of success are continually wanting to be the source of our own salvation and then the word he uses here for inherited just as easily be translated as acquire to earn Mrs. one of the reasons were drawn to the gods of success because it allows us to put hope in our own accomplishments to put hope in our own achievements and Jesus doesn't seem necessary because look at everything we been able to accomplish this is one of the reasons why the most successful people are some of the hardest to reach with the gospel in order for them to respond to Christ and to become a Christian.

They have to take the God of the throne of their heart. But the God that sits on the throne of their hearts is in fact themselves very hard to take yourself off the throne of your heart and it's hard to admit weakness.

It's hard to admit that you're unable assess, especially for highly driven, successful person. This is why TV personality Bill Marr when he was talking about the crucifixion he he said I just don't get the thought of someone else. Cleansing me of my sins.

It's ridiculous. I don't need anyone to cleanse me.

I can cleanse myself I can I can earn it. That's why when Warren Buffett donated 85% of his $44 billion fortune to charity. He said there's a lot of ways to get to heaven, but this is a pretty great way what you say and I can do it. I'm successful enough that I can I can earn it on my own. So this is very difficult. The only way to have victory over this God is to admit defeat, but it is this God, the God of success that keeps you from admitting defeat and so these gods are are at war within us.

Verse 19 Jesus goes right to what this man's question is, he says, why do you call me good when you call me good, no one is good except God alone. Verse 20.

You know the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not murder do not still do not give false testimony don't like honor your father and mother in verse 21.

Here's how the man response Jesus as Jesus says, no one is good but God alone. You gotta follow these commands and the man says all these iPads since I was a boy see Jesus Christ to help him with the appropriate response. The name should have said I'm not good. I haven't kept all those commands I can do it. He doesn't say that instead he says oh yeah, I've done all those things since I was a boy and what he's doing.

Many of us in the church can get caught up in an especially for those of us who've grown up in the church, success for you may not be something you feel too caught up in and that you're not worried about job titles and you're not worried about financial status. It is very possible for you to make spiritual success a false God, and like the man in our text when you keep all the religious rules and makes it very difficult to see that you are in fact in need of a Savior and so you can make your religious rule keeping a functional Savior resale look at.

I'm I can be so spiritually successful that this is where my confidences. This is where my security is found. This is my Savior. And so maybe you keep all the rules in your church every time the doors are hoping that and and you read your Bible, and then write Scripture and you praying your fast and even come up with your own set of rules and you don't you don't go to the movie theater and you don't listen secular music and you get 10% to 15% and then you're doing all these things which are all well and good until they become your God. Until somehow, they've replaced Jesus as your security and is the source of your salvation, and so this man has great confidence in his spiritual success. I've kept all be since I was a boy.

Verse 22 Jesus takes aim at the God of the primary God that sits on the throne of this man's heart. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, you still lack. One thing sell everything you have given to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.

Then come, follow me. When he heard this, the man became very sad because he was a man of great wealth of the adjective that she used here to describe this man's wealth would have put him above. Pretty much everyone else at that time and in that geographical area he was. He was towards the very top and as you read the story here is what often is done and this is how we often read the stories we see we see this as a story about money. This is not a story about money. This is a story about idolatry that the problem with this man is not that he had a lot of money. The problem is that the money had him. The Bible does not say that money is the root of all kinds of evil. It says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and you may be rich. Are you may be poor. That's really not the issue. It's not about whether or not you have money is whether or not money has you he's he's turned it into a false God and in the reason Jesus talks so much about money in Scripture is because money has for us. The most potential. I think of any false God to become a God substitute. And so Jesus talk more about money than he talked about heaven and hell when he talked about sin and judgment talk more about money than he talked about prayer in the sermon on the Mount mentions idolatry only briefly, but when he speaks of idolatry.

The only application he gives is that of money. Listen to what he says in Matthew 624 Jesus says no one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money and so money in the Bible is consistently portrayed as as God's chief competition and here's why this was this was very helpful to me personally when I understood this. The things in our life that have the most ability most potential to become a false God, are the things that promise to do for us what only God can do the things that have the most potential to become a false God, are the things that carry with them a false promise that they can do for us what only God can do woman by the name of Simone wheel. She says this was the issue for her in her life. One has only the choice between God and idolatry is your only choice. If one denies God one is worshiping some things of this world and the belief that one sees them only as such you're worshiping these things. Thinking these are just things I worshiping the things of this world thinking they're just the things of this world, but in fact she says, though unknown to oneself, so you don't even realize it. You are in fact imagining the attributes of divinity in them. Your imagining the attributes of divinity in them you are ascribing to them things that are only true of God. I think how we do this when it comes to money. What we say about money will one thing we say is that money will satisfy me. We give money. This divine attributes that it has the power to satisfy our souls and in doing so we make it a God in our lives.

If you ask most people what is the definition of success for you. The word happiness would show up. Aristotle called happiness. The chief good.

It is the ultimate purpose he would say for existence is to be happy and when you talk to people about what's it gonna take to be happy for you. It doesn't take long for them to start speaking in terms of dollars and cents.

Eventually, money becomes the symbol for our happiness. And so when we see money as something that has the ability to satisfy us were giving it a divine attribute, and yet we've seen over and over against the evidence says otherwise.

Forbes magazine when they put out their 75th anniversary issue was 570 pages long, and the majority of it went to unpacking this theme. Why do we in America feel so bad if we have it so good. They asked 11 of their best writers to to probe this question while you can read through the whole thing. It really comes down to a very simple equation money does not equal happiness. And yet we want to believe that it would satisfy satisfaction is not something that you can take off the rack order off the Internet or drive off the lot. We think we can do that, we think, if I could drive this car. I would be satisfied and every time we see someone else driving a car. We think of only I could drive that car. We go through the home around the homes and we think if only I lived in this home. Then I would be satisfied, but what are we doing weird giving money and wealth and possessions. The divine attribute were saying that it has the power to do for us what only God is part of our guest teacher Kyle Heideman's message God's of success from his series, God's at war Jubal Joyner shortly to share some additional thoughts of application to what we've heard when you hear the word idle, you probably picture those big stone figures that people worshiped centuries ago but did you know that while most people don't bow down to man-made statues anymore. We all worship something in this series are guest teacher Kyle Edelman reveals the subtle nature of idolatry and just how rampant it is in our lives. Oftentimes without us even realizing it. He unpacks the ways we've put money, pleasure, achievements, careers, even our families in place of God and how we've allowed those false gods to satisfy control and to finance will stay with us as Kyle exposes the idols were holding onto and challenges us to take radical steps to get back to worshiping the one true God.

To learn more about the series God's at war defeating the idols the battle for your heart go to or call AAA 333-6003 app listeners Special offers will be forget the trips application for this message trip I can see you want to jump in here and talk a little bit more about the resource we have for the series. So would you take a minute and sure what is meant to you. You know, every year I think about what does God want for me.

So now it's 2022 and as I think about what I want God to do in my life. There is a book that has had a huge impact in my life. In the past and as I've done a little review. I realize that I think it needs to have impact in 2022.

The book is called God's at war by Kyle Heideman defeating the idols the battle for your heart and with all the junk that is happened in the last 18 to 24 months. I just kinda want to get right spiritually only go back to the baseline.

I just want to say okay Lord if there's idols in my life and I know they just creep up. This is what I want to do and so I would encourage you if you're thinking about you know how I get on track for 2022. How do I set a new baseline.

What's a book that I could read with my wife or with a friend or accountability partner or maybe just privately to sort of say Lord I want to be your man. I want to be your woman I really want to do a deep dive with you, God, Holy Spirit, let me recommend God's at war by Kyle Heideman.

I think it would be a great investment of your time and set your course for 2022 exactly where the Lord would have it will you've been moved by what Kyle's been teaching in the series. Let me encourage you to get this book it'll take you deeper into the subtle dangers of idolatry and pleasure to consider what needs to change in your life to order your copy of God's at war defeating the idols.

The battle for your heart visit or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to app listeners tap special offers ship today's message covered a familiar biblical story. The rich young ruler, but Kyle really dug deep and pointed out a very important lesson that we often overlook. Could you elaborate on that forest absolutely Dave what we know as the rich young ruler was very moral right. He kept the commands he had a lot of money, I mean if we would've met this guy in our day, he would have driven up in a very very nice car, he would've had very very nice close he would've had I watch and you know that would tell us that he's in the upper class.

I mean, if you would check out his Internet history, you could go through his browser and you can check all the sites that he goes to and you think yourself while man this guy is pure he's morally clean. He's got it all together inside and out. Jesus saw something different. What Jesus does is ask a number of questions to help them begin to understand that all of that is external but there is an issue of the heart, and there is an idol and the idle in his heart is money his security's value is worth what made him as somebody was his money and so Jesus looked at him and loved him and said, go and sell all that you have given to the poor and come, follow me. In other words, get rid of the false God and I want you to experience the real God because that idle can't deliver. And it'll destroy you and in his case.

That's what he needed to do in the text says because he had very much money anyone away. Sadly, and I think it broke Jesus hard, but what I'll tell you the text doesn't say it also broke that man's heart.

His life never achieved that money never delivered.

Because it never does, and it never will. And so I just want to say to all of you. We need to do what Jesus asked him to do. I will tell you I've had a handful of times in my life where the Lord is tap me on the shoulder and asked me to give way above I mean way above any percentage any tie.

I mean really like go into your retirement ship and take a big chunk of money and I want you to give it over here or what you do something over there or you know maybe I I wrote a book and he said before anything happens.

I want you to commit in advance to give a really big percentage of all of that, even before you find out how it's going to go and I think those are little test and and honestly it was hard and I was struggling with that but what I realized was when I struggle with giving away what is God's. It tells me that an idol is growing in my heart. If God is asking you to give generously or extravagantly or in a radical way and in your heart you're feeling like oh no, I can't do that then what I want you to know there's an idol and that idle is not going to go away and the only thing to do is for you in your world and your situation is to do something radical to give some money to help some people and some radical ways that make you feel like wow I'm releasing that my security can't be in my money because I'm releasing a big portion to help some other people and I don't think we talk enough about that in Christian circles and I think because materialism is such a challenge for all of us. We sorta winked at one another and give each other a pass that idle is destroying people's lives in us destroying the church and today's a day for you in your world to do something radical about let me encourage you go for it will just before we close. Would you pray for those who are responding to trips encouragement today. There's always a spiritual battle when we feel prompted to draw near and obey God, thanks for taking a minute to do that and if there's a way we can pray for you.

Would you let us know. Call AAA 333-6003 or email that's or call AAA 333-6003.

We'd love to hear from you until next time for everyone here is really saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge