Wednesday, September 25, 2013

5 Steps to Killing god

It sounds strange, but the quickest way to destroy your life is to allow god to rule your life.  When you read that out loud and don't recognize the little g leading off in the word god, it sounds like I've completely lost my mind.  The truth is when we embrace little g (the indefinite article) god in our life instead of embracing the one and only God, we completely miss the purpose in which God created us in the first place.

The Bible calls these gods in our life 'idols' and God warns us about idolatry.  In says in 2 John 5:21, "Children, keep yourself from idols."  In Leviticus 19:4, God says, "Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal:  I am the Lord your God."  

God knew from the beginning that we were created as worshippers.  We are naturally programmed and created to worship, and many times, we overlook God because of the many gods in our life that are blocking our view of Him.

Many of us worship gods that are in-and-of-themselves good.  We worship our families or a relationship with a person.  Some of us worship our kids or our jobs or success.  Others worship their ministry or their church.  People worship the god of working out, or eating right or looking good... these are all good things.  But the Bible shows us that even good things become bad when we turn them into gods.  On the other hand, many people are drawn to worship gods that are not so good.  It says in Colossians 3:5, "Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:  sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."  If it's good or if it's bad... if it's a god, it's sin.

So the question is, "How do we kill the gods in our life?"  Here are a few steps I'd suggest:





Step 1:  Admit that you've been settling for less than God's best

God's Words shows us over and over again that gods will not satisfy us, only God will.  Jesus said in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."  What that tells us is that unless Jesus is God in our life, we will not be satisfied.  Not only will will be unsatisfied and discontent, but the gods in our life will continuously disappoint us.  Think about it...  If you worship a boyfriend/girlfriend, because they're imperfect people, they will eventually disappoint you.  If you worship your ministry or your job or success... it'll only be a matter of time before it disappoints you.  The reason gods disappoint us is because gods aren't' perfect.  Only God can satisfy and only God can be consistently perfect.  That's why if you're worshipping god instead of worshipping God, you're settling for less than His best.

Step 2:  Put Your god in It's Place

When good things become god things in your life, God has a big problem with that.  In other words, if sports or a sports team becomes the center of your universe; meaning that your time, money and energy are centralized around this thing, then you have fallen to idolatry.  Sports are not a bad thing.  I for one love sports, but they're only a good thing when they're not a god thing.  When they get out of place in your life, and you prioritize them differently than God would suggest, that's when it becomes an idol.  So the key here is to keep that potential 'god' on the shelf and don't allow it to become bigger than it should be in your life.

Step 3:  Put Your God in His Place

God is God.  There's only one God and He refuses to be one among many gods in your life.  Here's something else to remember about Him.  He doesn't want to be a piece of your life... He wants to BE your life!  Colossians 3:4 says, "When Christ, WHO IS YOUR LIFE appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."  He's not interested in being a piece-of-the-pie of your life, so don't treat Him as such.  Last time I checked, God was called the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and for us to live our lives where we treat Him or look at Him differently than that is foolish.  God is God, and if He falls into any other place or category in our life, we need to quickly reevaluate and put Him in the appropriate spot.

Step 4:  Prioritize Your Time & Energy to Reflect on Who/What You're Worshipping

Once you've put your god in it's place and you've put your God in His place, then it's time to get practical.  Start out by evaluating the way you spend your time and energy.  Most of the time, when we have a god-problem, we naturally spend a lot of time & energy feeding that idol in our life.  If you want to practically kill the idolatry that you're faced with, you've got to begin by restructuring your affections and your schedule a bit.

For instance, if acquiring material possessions is your god and you're constantly looking to buy something bigger and better and shinier and more expensive, a practical way of killing that god would be to give some things away.  You may have to stop shopping and searching for a period of time in order to kill that desire for a while.

If sports have been your god, you may take an ESPN fast for a while and try to distance yourself from the lure of SportsCenter.  But you can't just realign your time and energy and avoid your god for a while.  You've also got to replace that void in your schedule with something fulfilling.  In other words, where I would usually be watching SportsCenter, now I'm filling that time working on my relationship with Jesus.  Where I was too 'busy' to read my Bible or spend time in prayer... now I have time.  By adjusting your priorities and spending your time and energy differently, it'll allow your gods to be killed and your relationship with God to be revitalized.

Step 5:  When god shows back up in your life, revisit Step 2 and go from there

This will be a constant battle in our lives.  Satan knows how to distract us.  He knows how to dissuade our passions and prevent us from pursuing Christ and He's working around the clock to preoccupy us.  There will be days when you wake up and there are several things in your world that seem way more exciting that Jesus; it's just proof that Satan is working.  That's why every day, we've got to wake up and decide to go to war against the enemy.  If Jesus is the only thing that satisfies... If He's the only thing that will fill us up... then pursuing anything else seems silly.

So the challenge is this.  Kill the gods in your life and run to God like there's no tomorrow!

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