I couldn’t help it but relate to Hezekiah as I read Isaiah 36-37 this morning. The king of Assyriah taunted Hezekiah and his kingdom.
On what are you basing this confidence of yours?…And if you say to me, ‘We are depending on the LORD our God’-isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar?’ vs.4, 7
Hezekiah worked to tear down idols that his people were worshipping. And still the enemy (which you would’ve almost thought would’ve left along with the idols) comes and tries to bring discouragement, saying that LORD will not be able to deliver them from the Assyrians-who at this point had defeated many. The king of Assyria tried to make it sound like the idols that were torn down were of this LORD that they worshipped. He put questions in their minds and tried to cause them to doubt. He told them not to listen to Hezekiah-not to trust him when he says that God will deliver them.
I find myself in this predicament at times. I’ve actually been facing this taunting for awhile now, although I’m finding that because I don’t believe those lies so much anymore, it’s way easier to shut up the enemy. 🙂 I have idols that I’ve torn down in my life. To be a little transparent, one of them is food. Unfortunately if you know me, that won’t surprise you. I kind of wish that it would surprise people, but fat chance (hah! no pun intended). Throughout my life I’ve heard preachers joke about their own weight and gluttony, and I’ve only ever heard one sermon specifically on the sin of gluttony and food as an idol. Most of the other 17 works of the sinful nature get touched on though (the ones from Galatians 5)…so why not this one?
One of these last weeks of Neos, Pastor Brad’s sermon message was entitled Feast or Famine. While he wasn’t specifically targeting overeating necessarily, I know that God reinforced some things about this aspect of my own sinful nature to me. Overeating=Famine in my life.
It’s funny that a lot of Christians excuse their weight problems by throwing out, "while man looks on outside appearances, God looks at the heart." To think that this has anything to do with outward appearances is actually ridiculous. The fact of the matter is, this is completely a heart issue. If my heart is set on worshipping the gods of the "golden arches", Ghiradelli double chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies, pizza and Coke, good night-how do I even fit Christ into my heart with all that stuff? Let me tell you, it’s hard. I try to shove Him in there. He seems to only fit about halfway, because those things take up so much room! They make my body get bigger, not my heart. Hmmm…yeah…that doesn’t help me accomplish my life’s mission, right?
This is not to say that I have not been serving Jesus and that I don’t love Him. Nor is it to say that I don’t take time to seek Him daily…none of those things. But what I am saying is that the idols of my heart, no matter what form they come in, don’t allow Christ to take over as much as He desires to.
So now that the idol has been torn down, the enemy tries so hard to taunt me-to invade my space. He does it in the same ways he did with Hezekiah and his kingdom:
-by trying to get me to think that the idol was of God and that it was ridiculous to try to tear it down
-by trying to get me not to trust God’s power in my life
-by trying to get me to think that my confidence in the changing power of the Holy Spirit is worthless
-by trying to get me to doubt that God has delivered me from my sinful nature
-by tring to get me to just accept defeat; after all, overeating has taken over so many others
Thank God for His amazing power and deliverance in my life! I praise Him for being so kind to me, to bring this to the surface in my life. I thank Him for bringing a couple of incredible accountability partners into my life who pray for me and really want to walk through this moment in time with me.
You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers—such vitality and strength! God’s word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One. 1 John 2.13
Please get my heart on this. Not everyone that’s overweight idolizes food…but I would venture to guess that many do. Sin is sin and we need to take steps to walk in victory…I need to take steps to walk in victory. Actually, I am taking steps to walk in victory 🙂