Well, when you say it like that…

Sometimes I feel like I would devote my whole life to destroying idolatry in myself and others.  But then other times I wonder, do I have an idol discrimination issue? Are there idols I hate and idols I’m willing to invite over for tea?

Here’s the litmus test for me today from the Word of God: do I want people to worship God even if it costs me my glory, even if it causes me discomfort?  Or am I willing to allow, even encourage others to serve idols if it benefits me?

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.10.28 PM

After Solomon’s rule, the people of God divide into two kingdoms, with two kings: Jeroboam and Rehoboam.

Jeroboam is thrilled about his new role as King.  The only problem he has is that the Temple, (where people can go to offer sacrifices to God), is in Rehoboam’s kingdom.  Jeroboam is nervous that if the people go back there to worship, then they might get ideas about returning and his time as king would be over. So, Jeroboam makes two calves of gold and he puts them up in his kingdom and he tells the people “Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”

Messed up, dude. Messed up.  Seriously, Jer.  You’re so concerned with your kingship, your glory, your interests that you would actually facilitate God’s people worshipping idols?

When you read this is sounds INSANE.  It is so clearly horrifically offensive to God and you can see the darkness of the human heart.  When you see a guy building golden calves for people to worship because he’s so insecure about his interests, it’s really clear that that’s pretty sinful.

And this is why I love the Old Testament. It’s full of stories that make you go: uh, what?? And then you realize that they’re this really clear external picture of what is going on internally in all of us.

Our New Testament lives are full of stories like this if we have eyes to see.

Sandra & Ted have two kiddos: Suzy and Lucy. Suzy is wrestling with what she believes. She often finds herself asks her parents ‘why’? with a genuine hunger the understand the heart behind the rules her parents give.  Sandra is often embarrassed by the questions Suzy asks and Ted is infuriated by them, viewing them as disrespectful.  Lucy, Suzy’s sister, on the other hand, worships her mom and dad.  She is desperate to please them and is terrified of their disappointment.  Sandra and Ted often joke about the convenience of her people-pleasing tendencies.  They point to Lucy as an example for Suzy. 
As for Ted and Sandra’s house, they will serve the approval of mom and dad because it makes their reign and rule a lot easier.

Joseph was working on a new book about finances.  He was thrilled at the content, convinced it was from God and could really help set people free from their love of money.  6 months before his book was to be released he saw a book in Barnes and Noble with the exact same content.  It was doing tremendously – on the best seller list – and everyone was raving about it. Every time he heard someone mention it he felt resentment bubble up in his heart.  Every time he heard another story of how someone was feeling free of their love of money, he was annoyed.   
Joseph would rather people worship the idol of money for an extra six months, than see them be set free through someone other than himself.

Bob often brags to the guys at work about his wife.  She puts his and the kids needs consistently first, always making sure everything gets done.  One night she confesses to him that she hasn’t spent time in the Word for months and she can’t remember the last time she felt close to God.  She is fearful that she is falling away from God.   Bob comforts and encourages her telling her she is the best wife and mom in the world and that God is really pleased with her service.  She doesn’t need to worry so much about that kind of stuff.  After all, isn’t loving one another fulfilling the whole law?  Isn’t caring for people well the only thing that really matters? 
Instead of being willing to do whatever it takes to help his wife prioritize her worship and intimacy with God, Bob is willing to watch her worship the idol of family as long as he benefits from her idolatry.

Well, when you say it like that…

Can we pay too much attention to God’s Word

I told you that I spent some time alone in Scotland recently.  What I didn’t tell you was about the night I laid in bed in the middle of nowhere while 110-120 mph winds tore at the cabin so ferociously that I was prompted to lean over and grab my phone to ask google:”Do cabin roofs blow off in 120 mph winds”- which is when I learned that I had lost power and with it any connection I had to the outside world. No cell phone.  No internet.  No electricity. No water.  Just Fabs and God and some sheep on a hill (if they survived the storm).

The dangers of walking

If you’ve ever trained for a marathon: sorry.

If you haven’t: don’t.

Actually ,you know what?  The training for the marathon definetly wasn’t the worst part.  I learned a lot about discipline and perseverance and such.  I remember my first run over 15 miles.  I learned a lesson that I promised myself I would never forget.  I was SO done and close to the end of my run, so I thought: if I walk for just a minute, it will help me run faster and be done sooner. Big mistake.  HUGE.

Spiritual Bootcamp Resources

[If you want to get a free cool bookmark and guide to help you do Spiritual Bootcamp in January, just complete this form!]

Alright guys.

We’re getting close to the start of a New Year, so I’ll tell you a couple of things I know to help if you’re a resolution-y sort of person:

1. There is only one thing that is necessary.

2. Time with Jesus matters more than most resolutions on your list.

3. Discipline is not legalism

In light of those three things, here’s my suggestion for your New Year: commit to fighting for time in the Word.

Three years ago

Three years ago today I wrote these words:

I have friends who are like family to me and they’re moving to the other side of the world for the sake of the Gospel.  They don’t just say they believe in Jesus and His mission.  They have sold their house and all their possessions and, with their 5 month old baby in tow, they’re running full speed to a pretty dangerous place.