Friday, January 31, 2014

Who's Your Master?

“Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other.”  1 Corinthians 8:4. NLT

I'm going to get real honest here. I consistently exercise. In fact, I usually run four to five times a week. My long runs are typically accompanied by a long stance in the mirror holding my shirt up to see if any progress is being made. I don't get on the scale too often because it can ruin my day if I don't see what I want. When I can't work out because I am sick or something I get nervous. I often feel either good or guilty about the food I eat in a day. Borderline obsession? Ya think? In the past when it was real bad, I can recall forfeited activities with friends, responsibilities and even my quiet time to get my workouts in. Sometimes I am real obsessed with it and sometimes i am not. I would have to say when I am not so focused on my body image is when I am focused on the Lord. 

Somewhere along the way, I began to let something else have mastery over my life. But is it worth losing the control of the Holy Spirit over my life and losing peace? No! And besides, my body will never be good enough no matter how many goals I meet. The enemy always finds a way to make you believe the grass is greener on the other side of a lower pant size. I remember in the past getting so angry when I couldn't get where I wanted to be, or see what I wanted to see on the scale. There was a time when I was extremely controlling over my food and my mother says although I was skinny, I was not nice. ha! How's that for a reality check. This idol had altered my perception, my emotions and affected the relationships around me. 

We are all a slave to something and I have a tendency to become a slave to my “perfect figure” ambitions rather than a slave to Christ. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a great workout schedule or wanting to look good, but if it takes the throne of your heart, it becomes more of a hindrance than a blessing. It had become an idol to me. It had control because I gave it control. Idols have no power unless you give it to them. 

 Let’s take a look at a man who observed this type of slavery firsthand. We must flip through the pages of the Old Testament to the book of Hosea. In the book of Hosea, we see that Israel was prosperous, but they had given themselves over to idol worship and forgotten the one true God. They had forgotten who blessed and delivered them from slavery in Egypt!

The nation of Israel had fallen away from God by the wicked counsel of King Jeroboam and the people worshiped a man-made god called Baal, which in Hebrew means master. So Hosea, a prophet of God, was sent to help the people of Israel realize they were guilty of dethroning God from first in their hearts.When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, and take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord." Hosea 1:2 NIV {See Hosea 1:1-7}

In the text we see that God commands Hosea to take for himself a wife of harlotry whose conduct was an expression of the people. This may seem like a strange request, but God had a reason for it beyond Hosea’s understanding. Hosea symbolically shows Israel their sin through obeying God and taking for himself a wife that is a prostitute, much like the people had debased and devoted themselves to corruption and rebellious living.

Something else had taken over and become master of the lives of the people. It can take on various forms but in the end it is the sin of idolatry. Although they had been freed from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, they put their chains right back on. They walked right back into the jail cell when they decided that God was not enough. Instead of being a slave to righteousness, peace and love; they chose to be a slave to sin and worship a man-made god.

What have you given power to in your life? What have you decided will bring you fulfillment? Idols can be just one smaller pant size, more money, finding a perfect mate, a particular career or maybe it’s you, doing whatever you want when you want? If you are not a slave of Christ then you are a slave to sin because every man is a slave to something. John 8:34 says, “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin’.”

What has taken such a high position in your life where you have come to the point where its mastery over you is so dominating that you feel you have no opinion or control over it? When we begin to search for anything in this life to fill the void we have in our hearts, that god becomes our Master, our Baal.

Don’t allow anything to master you. Jesus defeated the enemy and the power of evil over your life so you could be free. I dare you to move and take those idols down, take the trophies out of the case and pull down the mind sets that have plagued you for too long! They are worthless idols. Only One is worthy of our utmost worship and praise, Christ Jesus.  

Make Christ your ultimate prize and fight the good fight of faith with the sword of the Spirit, the word of truth. Cling to the word of God and abide in it so the seed will fall on good soil and take deep root in your heart. Then you will bear fruit and be able to stand against any false idols the enemy tries to lure you away to. 

Reflection points:         
 What do I allow to master my actions, words or schedule?

 Is Christ and His purpose in and through my life my driving force?

 What do you think a prophet today would say about your nation?

When you go through out your day I want you to consider the driving force behind your decisions.

Power verses: 
For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me--the fountain of living water and they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, "You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. John 8:30-35 (NIV)

Consult together, argue your case, and state your proofs that idol worship pays. Who made these things known long ago? What idol ever told you they would happen? Was it not I, the Lord? For there is no other God but me--a just God and a Savior--no, not one! Isaiah 45:21 (NIV)

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