Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deuteronomy 13

Deuteronomy 13 “If a prophet arises among you … and says ‘Let us go after other gods…and let us serve them’, you shall not listen…. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve HIm and hold fast to Him.”

Amazing sermon last night, and thinking and praying about all those idols that I think I have to have in order to be satisfied, and I cry. I cry alot.

This morning I was reading Deuteronomy 13 and of course it’s about idols!! [more tears]. It’s a warning against false prophets who preach that it is aok to serve idols. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. God’s people were to walk after the LORD alone with every fiber of their being. God’s chosen people were to listen and obey HIS voice, serve HIM alone, hold fast to HIM. Prophets who preached otherwise, and pointed people to idols, were to be killed for idolatry was rebellion against the LORD.

In that same chapter, if even family members entice others in the family towards “idolatry”, drawing the chosen away from the LORD [called “wickedness”], they too would be killed.

God has not changed…. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And so I wonder about the “prophets” or pastors in the pulpits today…. those who through their sermons point their flocks to idols [albeit ‘good things’ some of them] but idols. Idols of prosperity, putting family before God, sex, health, financial stability, success, education, religious works devoid of the cross, spiritual experiences etc. Those who preach it is fine to “worship a good thing as a god thing” - are preaching rebellion against God. [btw, back in the OT God’s people were under a pure theocracy, so I am not suggesting stoning today].

I think about the leadership here at LBC, and am thankful to the LORD for that leadership. They never waver and faithfully, courageously preach the gospel warning the flock about the idols in our lives and preach repentance, and destruction of those idols. I am reminded of Titus 2:15 “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

As I think on Deut. 13, [causing more tears], I began to wonder if as a “family member” at LifeBridge, “Have I, by my words or actions enticed sisters, brothers to the ‘good things’ — to idolatry?” I grieve if I have. I repent if I have. Had I lived in BIble times, I too would have been worthy of execution.

Last night, we sang an old hymn:

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.


I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.


Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.


View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?


Lo! th’incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.


Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

Though I should be executed, Jesus was executed on my behalf and Jesus ALONE is my LORD and He will keep me so that I will never perish. He continues to intercede on my behalf. It is in Him that I will love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul. In Him, I shall walk after the Lord my God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice and in Him, I shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. And when I fail which is often, I will repent and He will complete the good work that He began in my life. In Him I will persevere to the end. Thank you LORD Jesus.


Brenda said...

Wonderful post! So, so convicting...I continue to think of these very things. Idols again in my life that need repenting and repenting over and over again! Thank you for this post! :)

Lizzy said...

thank you for this excellent post, Barbara. i too was very moved in my heart by that hymn Sunday evening. i pray we sing it again soon at church. so rich. i always love talking about the Lord with you and what He's doing in both of our lives. He is indeed using certain situations right now to reveal idols in my own heart and although it is, at times, very painful to walk thru (to the point of weeping), I know He's doing these things because He LOVES me and wants to be FIRST in my life, no matter what...and He is a jealous God, jealous for the full, all-encompassing affection of His people and for His glory to be made manifest throughout the earth. I am learning that it is not at all sinful to cry out to God (even beseeching Him with tears like Hannah did in 1 Samuel) regarding the desires of our hearts, for He is a good Father who delights in giving His children all kinds of good gifts. but the sin has to do with desiring these things ABOVE God (or even 'alongside' God like Joes was saying on Sunday - you can't have Jesus and X. It's all Jesus).
It's certainly not wrong to pray in faith for things our hearts desire if we ask in His name but we have to lay them down at the altar like Hannah did with her request for a son and leave it there in the loving, capable hands of our Father. if He sees fit to grant it to us, wonderful! Praise God!! but when we don't get what we want or when we want it, that's when idolatry is rampant and that's when His mercy denies our hearts what we think we need and instead leads us to a higher path...the path to His very heart. it's sometimes a very hard lesson to learn but always a beautiful one in the end. have you read Hinds' Feet in High Places? it's excellent. I think you would love it. love you.

Lizzy said...

Joe not Joes :)

Connie said...

Hi Barbara...let's pursue Him with every fiber of our being! You're not alone in your tears...I've been shedding my fair share of them lately too, but He is drawing me closer to Himself and amazing me with His love for me, even me. Love you, Mrs. B...keep your eyes fixed on Jesus who not only authors your salvation, but perfects it.

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