We are currently in the middle of a series of talks for Challenge last week titled “Gods At War” based on the book by Kyle Idleman. The book has really helped me see what idols are in my life and how they are taking the place of God in my heart. Through Kyle’s writings I have seen why I act the way I do due to the sin in my life. I was trying to fix the symptom without getting down to finding the thing I was worshipping. When I realized what I worshipped (and it wasn’t always God!), I was able to ask God to remove it so that only He remained.
This week we talked about the gods of people. The gods of people tell us to put our hope, our emotions, our dreams, in other created beings. Sometimes our happiness and satisfaction is based on how we feel towards someone. When someone fails us, our whole day or even week can become miserable. Then we blame someone else for what has happened to us. We can’t constantly be critical of people because of the emptiness we feel. If we are giving people we love a hard time for not meeting our needs, we are asking them to be God for us, to satisfy us, to fulfill our needs. People weren’t designed to do that.
Below are 5 questions that can help you identify if you the gods of people are winning the war for your heart:
- Is there a relationship in your life that seems to be the determining factor in whether or not you are happy and joyful or sad and depressed?
- To what extent does this person, or persons, determine your state of mind? The sources of our greatest and deepest emotional expression provide a strong clue to who or what controls us.
- Are you disappointed in your love life?
- Are you constantly wishing your weren’t single? Or are you constantly wondering if the person you are with is worth it?
- Who do you sacrifice the most for?
- Maybe it’s a friend, a family member, or someone you are in love with? Maybe you’ve given up time, money, food, or something else. Now compare those sacrifices to the ones you’ve made in your relationship with God.
- When things don’t go your way how do you react?
- Do you freak out and get upset that they didn’t go your way…because you thought were right?
- Can you take criticism?
- Do you feel as if you do nothing wrong? Or do you take it so personally that your whole day is ruined?
- The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Prov 12:15
Use these questions to help you determine if God is on the throne of your heart or some idol.