Am I the only one around here who is thirsting for the truth? Praise God, I wake up and I'm parched, I'm hungry, and I just want to devour sermons, the word, books, spend time in prayer. WAIT... not because I'm so godly, that is not the case. I have been praying for this, and He is faithful. The past 3-4 months looked nothing like this. I had to make myself read, make myself focus, I thought I wanted it, but it was hard to do. So I give Him all the glory for the grace of being hungry at all.
This morning I listened to two sermons from one of my favorite churches. When I lived in Cary, I had the pleasure of attending The Summit Church, and I rarely listen to a message that doesn't leave me thinking or examining myself. God has definitely used Pastor Greear to speak truth into my heart. Anyway, one of the messages I listened to was The Gospel vs. Idolatry Acts 19:11 - 41.
In the message the pastor talks about how people needed to defend their idols (man-made Gods) back in the day, and how we do the exact same thing. We are willing to fight for what we trust in, what we love, what comforts us, and we have to fight for them because unlike God they can't fight for us. So we protect our gods (shouldn't they be protecting us?).
In my life, I have seen this in many ways.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE music. Seriously, I don't know what I would do in a world without music. So I have fought to listen to secular music. I have justified what I listen to when asked by Christian friends and I've even fought with myself over it. I do everything I can to justify listening to certain songs because they make me happy or are a part of who I am (I'm telling you, I love music, if you don't this may be hard to understand). So what is the point of this? Am I about to say you need to toss that sinful Katy Perry CD out the door? NO! Who even has CD's anymore, silly?!
I'm not. I am looking at myself and wondering why I have to fight for my music. Is it because it is so important to me that I would be lost without it? Hmmmm that makes it seem kind of like an idol. Is it because I want other Christians to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me listening to secular music? Hmmmm that makes it seem like other's respect, or acceptance, or agreement with me may be my idol. And if I'm being honest this is probably more of the case. I don't want others to judge me or doubt my faith because of anything I do. Though, if I want that above being peaceable and keeping my mouth shut, I'm starting to think I am my own idol, because God has not called me to change the world in regards to secular music.
It also made me think of another situation (since we are talking about Katy Perry). Remember when Natalie Grant walked out of the Katy Perry Dark Horse performance? Some said that it's stuff like this that makes Christians look bad, or they felt like she was wrong. Why? What inside of us, which of our personal beliefs makes what she did wrong? There is a reason it stirs something inside us, and it most likely it's not our appreciation for the Holy Spirit's work in her life. Why must we defend what we do or believe? If we believe what God has placed in our hearts, it doesn't need defending, does it?
Am I saying that no one should ever confront someone on any issue? No. God places people in our lives for that very purpose, but to cause dissension just because we can, seems to serve a different god.
The sermon today made me question why I feel the need to protect or fight about any topic, because I'm sure if I examine myself long enough it all comes down to idolatry. If we are walking in God's will for our lives and fully secure in Him, there is nothing we have to fight about because we know that it's His Holy Spirit that convicts hearts, not our constant badgering. We also know that if we are living for Him alone, that it doesn't matter if anyone agrees with us, because who can deny the work of the Spirit (well anyone can deny it, but if they do, you won't care).
If I had to sum up my final thoughts on this post I would have to quote the great philosopher Ice Cube: You better check yo self before you wreck yo self. - Pretty much sums up how I feel about everything in my life right now! 🙂
Music is just one example, there are so many others. Money, Sex, Respect, Admiration, Homeschooling, Getting Married, Fitness, Beauty, Our Bodies. Anything can be an idol, but there is only one true God.
I guess my question is do our choices need justification, and if so why? Also, do you feel like it's your job to police people without being asked for your opinion? If so why?
So yeah, this post may not make any sense to anyone, but I'm a blogger...so I write. If nothing else, at least listen to the message, it's really good! 🙂
Side Note: For anyone who is wondering, YES music has been an idol in my life. There are times when I have closed my ears to the Bible and my personal convictions and discounted the whole "Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth" verse.
"Surely you can't mean that in regards to songs", I would say to God. After all, Lil Wayne is cursing men, I'm just singing along with him. Or "But God"... Dark Horse makes me work out harder. Sure it's about a woman using sex as power over a man, and a man not being able to withstand the power of this sex, and no they aren't married, and yes it sounds like she will definitely come after him if it doesn't work out, BUT I need to go full throttle when I work out and this song totally empowers me and makes me feel sexy (wait, what?).
So yeah, I have justified it because a) I love all music and b) I want to be my own person, do my own thing, I'm a rebel. Thankfully God didn't leave me where I was, and I didn't need anyone to tell me it was wrong. Though I have had many fruitful discussions about music with friends during my Christian walk, and they weren't out to change me. They were just sharing their personal convictions with me.
Oh, and I do still listen to some secular music, just not anything I'm convicted about.