“Behold you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultry, and swear falsley, and offer scarifices to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’- that you may do all these abominations?” Jeremiah 7:8-10
Christianity across history has always been plagued with people who “..turn the grace of God into licentiousness…” (Jude vs 4). The worm of idolatry and self-pleasing is a trap that gets glossed over by preaching and our own reasoning. Truly we have been delivered, but we must never become puffed up about this fact, keeping focus on our utter depravity apart from Christ and on growing in grace. Our deliverance is never a license to sin,”should we sin that grace may abound? God forbid!”(Romans 6).
Today this type of self-justified, self-seeking lifestyle seeps into the church in ways that do not seem perhaps as blatant as offering sacrifices to Baal or holding grotesque orgies in groves and highplaces, but the danger exist that we could find ourselves in the same state of spiritual deadness while laying bold claim to being the seat of the display of God’s glory and rejoicing in deliverance that is not manifest in our daily lives. We see these same things that God is rebuking Israel for in Jeremiah seeping into the pews and podiums off our churches, the very place that is supposed to be a display of the body of Christ to a lost and dying world. We steal from employers by wasting time and not “doing our work as unto the Lord”. We murder by hating our brother, envious of his success. We commit adultry, and this one is a rampant deception and weakening of the church, by divorcing and remarrying; making unbiblical exceptions in order to gratify ourselves. We lie on our tax returns in order to squeeze out a bit more material wealth while selling our conscience. We offer sacrifices to the idols that distract us from living out the Kingdom mandate in the form of new cars, nicer houses, higher salaries; all that serve no eternal purpose but merely the temporal purpose of improving our comfort and self-image. We pursue goals that have no eternal depth and that vanish with our passing.
The deception and the real tragedy comes when we then come before the Lord and we praise Him for delivering us, when we are not even fulfilling what He delivered us to do. We are incapable, fettered by idols and the sins that so easily beset us. Of truth, God can and will deliver those whom He has called, but we must surrender. It may look strange, it may be painful, but that is what it means to take up your cross and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I know that daily God reveals to me new things that I need to lay aside. It hurts and sometimes those things I have to let go of seem so harmless, but God gives grace, shining His love in my heart and opening my eyes to see the eternal.
Remember why we are here. We are to bring glory to God and bear His image, displaying His glory and grace to the nations! I pray that daily I will fall on my knees before the Lord and that He reveal to me the things that hold me back. Surrender all to Him who will complete a peferct work and remove the idols from your life, if indeed you are His.
I do not mean to be legalistic, but somber, for this is a grim topic. I want to end by addressing all my fellow saints in Christ Jesus with the last words of 1 John, “Little children, guard yourself from idols.”