We live in a world of self that is obsessed with self. Everything around us is focused on "me, myself and I". Magazines, social media, advertisements and television programs are all focused on self-idolatry. Our culture tells us that "if it feels good, it can't be wrong." Drunkenness is celebrated, sex with multiple partners is considered "casual" and "no big deal." Reality shows highlight gossip, manipulation, greed and strife. The "American Dream" has slowly become "I want something, so I'm going to get it. Even if I have to lie, steal, cheat, or max out several credit cards to get it." This desensitization has also caused the culture around us to be insensitive to others. Far too many people believe that what they think, and what they want is all that matters. They don't give a flying rip what you, God or anyone else thinks about their actions, because in their eyes, THEY matter more. These people have turned into toddlers throwing a temper tantrum! "I want what I want and I'm going to do what I want to do and you can't stop me!"
Romans 1:32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. 1 Cor 3:3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your flesh? Aren't you living like people of the world?
A WARNING FOR THE CHURCH
Joshua 23:16 When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land which he has given unto you.
1Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
These verses warn us that judgment begins in the house of God. Sadly, many of today's "Christians" are living lives that reflect the world. The divorce rate is almost identical in and out of the church and the values and beliefs of many church-goers do not line up with the Word of God. It's time we WAKE UP and make changes! Jesus is coming back for a PURE BRIDE and until we get things cleaned up, we aren't very pure at the moment! Judgement is coming - and it starts in the CHURCH!
IDOLATRY - THE GOD OF SELF
When you idolize something or someone (yes even yourself), you are placing it above God. This arrogance leads to immorality. When God is not at the center of who you are, and you aren't reliant upon His Word to guide you, all hell can break loose in your life!
Maybe some of the examples I listed at the beginning of this devotional seemed extreme to you - but remember, it all started somewhere. If we are placing our own selfish needs and desires above what God has for us, then we are worshiping the God of Self. This is idolatry, which is a form of pride. Pride is at work when we refuse to humble ourselves and fall on God's mercy." A prideful man or woman cannot say "Lord, I submit my mind, my life, my will, my all to You. Have Your way in my life." Pride says, "I'm not going to give up my sinful life". An immoral man says "I refuse to renounce the sin in my life, and play by your rules, God. I like my sin too much to turn from it." Have you ever felt that way or said something similar to God? If so, you MUST address the God of Self and Self-Idolatry working in your life. You must repent, turn from your sin and cling to God's word! Proverbs 12:1-2 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is STUPID! Psalm 50:17 You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.
God have mercy on me, for I am guilty! I repent of self-idolatry and for worshiping the God of Self. Forgive me for walking in pride, and for thinking my ways were higher than yours. Help me change! I don't to want to break your heart by the things I say and do any longer. I can't change it on my own, and recognize that I need you! For you are my God, my Lord, and my Savior. Here I am, broken before you. Lead me now in the ways of righteousness and direct my steps.
In Jesus' mighty name Amen