A Heart Without Idols
Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) accepts us just as we are when we first come to Him. However, as He meets our needs, we gradually discover that God is seeking something from our lives. He seeks our worship. But true worship is the consequence, the result, of seeing God as He is. It springs naturally from a soul purified by love; it rises like incense to Him from a heart without idols.
The idols of sin and self within us are not personally destroyed by Yeshua the Messiah. Instead, He points to them and tells us to destroy them. This message is about repentance. If you are uncomfortable with the sound of that word, could it be that is because you need a fresh cleansing of your soul? In fact, we are talking about a type of repentance that is uncommon to those who only seek forgiveness but not change. We are speaking of deep repentance – a vigilant, contrite attitude that refuses to allow sin or self to become an idol in our hearts.
In Exodus we see Yahweh God’s view of idols. He warns,
“Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, lest it become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down (destroy) their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their asherim (wooden images) – for you shall not worship any other god, for Yahweh (the Lord), whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:12–14).
There are many aspects to the nature of our Messiah. He is our Good Shepherd, our Deliverer, and our Healer, our Sanctifier, our Provider, our Banner, our Peace, and more. As individuals we perceive God through the filter of our need of Him. Thus, He has ordained Himself as our one answer to any need we may ever have.
But how does Yeshua Jesus see us? Looking through His eyes, the church is His bride: bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh (Eph. 5:22–32). He has not saved us so we can live for ourselves again; He has saved us for Himself (Col. 1:16). True salvation is a betrothal. He purifies us for our marriage to Him. From His perspective, our independent ways are idolatrous. They kindle the fires of His jealousy.
An idol is not an occasional sin; it is something that rules us and makes us its slave. For some, fear is an idol; for others it is lust; for still others it is rebellion or pride. Whatever challenges Yeshua’s right to our hearts becomes His enemy, which He will confront. Because of His jealousy toward us as His bride, the Messiah demands we destroy these false gods (idols) ourselves.
From the above Scriptures we see that Yeshua does not want us to carefully take down that hidden altar of sin so we will not break it; rather He commands that we TEAR DOWN what is offensive. He is not politely asking us to dismantle, brick by brick, the pillars of our idols; instead, He demands that we SMASH them to pieces. When He shows us an inner idol, we must demolish it completely. We cannot secretly harbor the slightest intention of ever using that idol again. Nothing of the idol must remain in our hearts! It must be completely and forever destroyed!
What’s Your Idol?
You may feel you are not worshiping any idols. It’s true that you do not stand, each morning or evening, before a statue of Baal and praise it as your god. We do not worship the idols of the ancient heathen. Like everything in our modern world, man has sophisticated idolatry. What is this sophisticated idolatry you ask? Are your ready for the answer? It is anything that takes God out of first place in your life! Are you so involved in television that you shortchange your time with Him? What about sports in which you may be involved…yours or your children’s? What do you allow to rob you of your time with Him? What about your work, your children, your husband /wife, music, boating, fishing, hobbies? I am not saying that these things are idols in and of themselves. However, they can become idols in your life if you allow them to come before your commitment to Him and rob you of your intimate time with Him. If you are beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable, or perhaps even becoming indignant at this point, perhaps the Holy Spirit is pricking your conscience to make you aware of an idol in your life that you did not realize was there! Please don’t just ignore this uncomfortableness or indignation you are feeling. Pray about it to see what is revealed to you. You may be surprised at what He reveals. This is not a onetime seeking out that we must do. It is ongoing in our lives if we want to live a righteous and clean life before our God.
Paul talks of the antichrist who will appear in the last days as that one “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” (2 Thess. 2:4).
Right now…today…the temple of God on earth is not a building! No, it is you and I saints of God…we are the church! Yeshua is coming back for His Bride…the church…the people who belong to Him! He is not coming back for a church building!
The Spirit of Anti-Christ
The apostle John understood the antichrist not only as one who was coming, but also as a spiritual enemy that sought to infiltrate and then replace true Christianity (1 John 2:18; 4:3). The antichrist spirit is a religious spirit; it is manifested in that thinking which refuses to be taught and corrected by Yeshua the Messiah or anyone else.
Simply put, the spirit of antichrist is that spirit which exalts self as deity. The spirit of antichrist is much more subtle than someone suddenly announcing to the world he is the Creator. For us today, we must look for the influence of antichrist in our religious traditions: are those traditions founded upon Scripture or upon man? And then, beyond our traditions, in the immediacy of our own hearts, we must discern the disposition of the antichrist spirit in the thought structure of our flesh nature. Is there something in your soul which opposes and exalts itself above God, taking its seat in the human temple of God, displaying itself as being God? If there is resistance in you against God then it is an idol.
But the false god of self-rule does not stand alone in man. The ancient god Mercury would be hard pressed to keep pace with today’s gods of Anxiety and Haste. The world has taken its lust for blood out of the ancient Roman arenas and put it into violent movies. They have taken the goddesses of fertility from the Greek hillsides only to idolize sex in our theaters and televisions. What mankind has done is move the pagan temples from the high places of the countryside to the hidden places of the human heart.
If money, status, or sex is exalted above the Word of God, we are living in idolatry. Every time we inwardly submit to the strongholds of fear, bitterness, and pride, we are bowing to the rulers of darkness. Each of these idols must be smashed, pulverized, and obliterated from the landscape of our hearts.
Who Are You Worshipping?
“You shall not worship any other god, for Yahweh (God), whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34:14) Yahweh (God) did not say He was, at times jealous; He said His Name, which reveals His nature, is Jealous. Right next to His Name ‘I AM’ is His Name ‘JEALOUS.’ His love is not some ethereal principle of higher cosmic consciousness. His love is focused upon us, actually jealous for us as individuals. He “calls his own sheep by name” (John 10:3). Yeshua Jesus knows your name. He loves you personally. The fact that Messiah is jealous for us as individuals, caring and providing for each aspect of our lives, and that He suffered humiliation and death on the cross to pay for our sins, demonstrates how great a love it is with which He loves us. He gave all! He deserves all!
His jealousy for us is perfect. It is not the same as human jealousy: petty, possessive, and insecure. He is not sitting in heaven wringing His hands, wondering what we really think of Him. His jealousy is based upon His pure love for us and His desire to bless us and fulfill our lives in Him. He understands us, yet knowing our weaknesses, He still “jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us” (James 4:5). His promise to us is faithful: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5 KJV). He refuses to stop loving us. You may think of yourself as a sinner, as unlovable – as though no one wants you, but Yeshua (Jesus) loves you and wants you as His own.
Yeshua is faithful. He loves you with a love that is jealous for you as a person. God knows, however, that in order for you to experience His love, the idols of self and sin must be destroyed. And to prove our intentions and love for Him, He tells us to smash these idols. Is your desire to be holy? Then remove the idols of self and sin from within you. For holiness exists in a soul purified by love; it exudes like incense from a heart without idols.
A Few Scriptures to Ponder
Ezekiel 14:3, 6-8, Leviticus 26:1, 1 John 14:15, 22:16, 1 John 5:21, Romans 1:1-32, Ephesians 5:5, Jonah 2:8, Revelation 9:20
A Word From His Heart to Yours
Trust My Word and My Abilities that are inherent within Me. For true intimate worship and communication to exist between us, no idols must exist in your heart. You have the ability to SMASH each one as they are revealed to you. Don’t hesitate to do this. Put your flesh on the altar of sacrifice and destroy what is vain and adulterous in My sight! Come unto Me and ask and I will show you the idols of your life that are hidden. Smash them, pull them down, destroy them! They stand between us, my Bride. Make haste to do this so we can have our intimate time together with no hinderances. I am always faithful to you. You must do the same for me in return. You are My Bride for which I wait. Abba
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