The Canaanized Church

Loving God should be the easiest, most natural response in the world.  Why then is it often so difficult to love him first and only?  The book of Judges tells us; we don’t love God as we should when we forget who he is and what he has done.

My Sunday School class today got to hear the part of the sermon that, because of time constraints, I had to leave on the cutting room floor.  It concerns the cycle I presented in this mornings sermon: Rest, Idolatry, Oppression, Deliverance, Rest.  We looked at God’s changing response to Israel when she can’t stand the oppression any longer and cries out to God for deliverance.

  • First cycle: God responds immediately by sending Othinel (Judges 3:9).
  • Second cycle: God responds immediately by sending Ehud (Judges 3:15).
  • Third cycle: God responds immediately by sending Deborah (Judges 4:3-7).
  • Fourth cycle:  God send a prophet to rebuke the people for not remembering the Exodus; then he sends Gideon (Judges 6:7-12)
  • Fifth cycle: God says “no”. (Judges 10:10-13)

That’s the one that really gets your attention.  God says, “Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!” (Judges 10:14).  Israel insists that they really are serious about serving God and prove it by getting rid of their idols.  Then the Bible says God could spare their misery no more, so he sent Jephthah to rescue them.

When we forget God we fall in love with our idols.  When oppression comes into our lives we suddenly remember God and cry out to him.  But how can he continually deliver us when don’t get serious about removing the idols from our hearts?  Eventually we have to choose: God or Idols?  And choosing God means the idols must go.  Keep the idols from your heart by remembering what God has done and loving him in response.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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One Response to “The Canaanized Church”

  1. avatar Tommy says:

    Welcome back Pastor Fike!!!! Loved the message yesterday. This chapter on the Judges shows me the issue with keeping God on a pyramid scheme; you know, the one where God is on top, than family, than whatever, than self on the bottom. The story of the Judges shows me that this way of interpreting God in our lives is doomed to fail. Why? The intention of the pyramid is gracious (because we say God is number one) but ineffective because we forget to include Him in the other strata’s of our lives.

    Not sure if I’m getting completely off topic here, but i’m going to continue on!

    I cannot remember the name of the particular personality chart, but it consists of circles. There is one big circle, which I would say is our foundational relationship with God. Then there are, perhaps, several small circles inside the bigger circle. These would be different relationships we have or behaviors at school or work or home, but they all kinda collide and intersect with one another- all within the bigger circle- which is to say that we do not act completely different at home than at work, but we also do not act the same; there are minor and sometimes (unhealthy) major differences…which is not my point here, my point is that no matter who we are at the time or what we’re going, God is still with us, within every bubble of life. This may seem like a like of hog wash to some, but to me, this helps me remember that God is not separated from the different parts in my life, He is the complete all of it. Remembering that God is in all aspects of my life helps me keep back the idols that tempt me, not to say that I do not forget God is there- I very much do forget sometimes, but being able to say that while at work, God is here with me, and while at school, God is here with me, and most definitely at home, God is here with me, helps keep my mind and heart focused on the bigger bubble, which gives a more concise and better- clearer definition of all the other smaller bubbles.

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