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For the past several months I am slowly making my way through Kyle Idleman’s book “gods at war: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart”. Mr. Idleman writes about several different “idols” that can easily take God’s place in our hearts and how we need to keep our eyes and hearts focused on God.

In the latest chapter I have read, Idleman talks about the god of money. He says,

The reason money so often ends up being God’s chief competition is that we tend to ascribe divine attributes to it. We look to money to do for us the very thing God wants to do for us.

In this chapter, he is talking about the parable in Luke 12:16-19.

And he told a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample good laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink and be merry.’

Idleman continues and gives us three attributes that we have a tendency to place on money instead of God.

Our Source of Security

The gods of power work for one shared premise: we can take care of ourselves. We can handle all our needs. The Lord is nice, but he really isn’t necessary. We don’t need to pray for our daily bread because we’ve got a pantry full of it. The gods of success appeal to our self-sufficiency.  

Our Source of Satisfaction

Most all of us have this appetite for money or possessions. And we think that if we could satisfy this appetite it would go away – if we could just make the money or buy the car – but that’s not how it works. Instead, the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets.

Our Source of Significance

The god of money wants us to believe that our significance comes from what we make of ourselves. But we find out true identity in Christ. He has marked us as his own, and that’s what makes us valuable. That’s where our value is found. He forever determined our value when he died on the cross for us. But when we worship the god of money, a person’s worth is determined not by the symbol of the cross, but by the symbol of a dollar sign.

The rich man in Luke 12 put his trust in his money and possessions. The sad part is that the he thought that he would build larger barns and then just sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of his life in ease. That is not what happened. If we continue to read the next few verses, we see God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rise toward God.

Points To Ponder:

  1. How do you view money?
  2. Is the money you do have your’s or God’s?
  3. Is money your source of security, your source of satisfaction & your source of significance?

 Matthew 6:21 – “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

I am currently reading a book entitled “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idleman. In this book, Mr. Idleman defines the difference between being a “fan” of Jesus and actually being a “follower” of Him. This book challenges us to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian. I will do more of a book review a little later.

As I was reading today, I came across a part of the book entitled “Cohabitating with Jesus”. Idleman opened this part of the book with this quote:

“There is a fear among fans that by going all-in, they’re going to miss out. Fans want to have just enough of the pleasure without having to risk feeling any pain. We want to enjoy what’s available to us without having to sacrifice for it.”

Idleman continues this section by telling a story of a man and woman who are dating and things begin to get serious. He explains that the woman is ready to get married but the man is not ready for the full-commitment of marriage. Instead, the man has the suggestion of living together. The man wants all of the benefits of marriage  but without having to make a full commitment to the woman.

He continues by quoting a portion of a satirical magazine called The Door, and this is what really caught my attention. This piece suggested that unmarried couples living together should share the following vows:

I, John, take you, Mary, to be my cohabitant, to have sex with and to share bills with. I’ll be around while things are good but I probably won’t be if things get tough. If you should get a cold, I’ll run to the drugstore for some medicine. If you get sick to the point where you can no longer meet my needs, then I’ll have to move on. Forsaking many others I will be more or less faithful to you for as long as it feels good to me. If we should break up, it doesn’t mean this wasn’t special for me. I commit to live with you for as long as this works out.

Wow! How many times have I been guilty of doing this to God? How many times have you? We want to have a relationship with Jesus but we don’t want it to cost us our whole lives, much money, much humiliation and at most – our time! We basically want our lives we are living with a “little Jesus on the side”! We want to cohabit with Jesus and have all of the benefits but don’t want it to cost us too much!

By the way we live our lives, we are telling Jesus, “Well, as long as I don’t have to give up too much or do too much for you, then I’ll say that I’m a Christian. But when the going gets tough, then you better count me out. I still want to do “my thing” but when it is convenient for me, I’ll follow you.”

THIS IS NOT WHAT JESUS WANTS FROM US! HE DOES NOT WANT PART OF US – HE WANTS THE WHOLE OF US!

Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”

This is what God wants from us – TOTAL denial of self and COMPLETE surrender to Him!

Am I willing? Are you willing to give yourself completely to God or would you rather “cohabit with Jesus”?

I Corinthians 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”