Hello, Church Family,
On Sunday, Pastor Lynne shared from 1 Kings 18, where the people of Israel had turned away from their faith in the one true God, Yahweh, and started worshiping Baal. They were divided in their faith. This division was clear when four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal faced one prophet, Elijah. The prophets of Baal built altars and called on their god to bring down fire from the heavens. For hours, they danced, shouted, and even hurt themselves in their rituals, but their god didn't respond.
Elijah, in contrast, repaired and carefully set up his altar, showing respect and reverence for the one true God, Yahweh. With strong faith, he soaked the wood and the offering with water and then called on God to reveal Himself. God's response was breathtaking – fire came from the heavens and consumed everything on the altar. The people witnessing this amazing event fell to the ground and declared, "The Lord is God!"
1 Kings 18:20-39 shows how humans tend to serve many gods, get caught up in idol worship, and become consumed by worldly desires. This isn't a historical issue found in the narratives of the Old Testament; it's a human issue we all navigate daily.
We remain vulnerable to the allure of serving various gods, even if they don't fit the traditional deity mold in 1 Kings 18. Instead, they manifest as power, money, politics, or desires like sex. These modern idols can captivate our attention, distract us, consume our time and resources, and drain our energy. Their consequences are tangible; we may not engage in physical acts like self-harm or child sacrifice, but we can inflict emotional and spiritual harm upon ourselves and others, straining our relationships, fostering disconnection among us, and erecting strongholds that distance us from God.
Pastor Lynne asked us, "What consumes you?"
The term "consume" implies a complete and all-encompassing occupation of one's thoughts, actions, and energy. It's a powerful word that prompts us to consider what dominates our lives. Her question encourages us to reflect on what holds the most significant influence over us and whether it aligns with our faith and values.
We may attend church on Sundays and worship God, but what captures our attention, and what do we prioritize on Monday?
What occupies your thoughts and actions on a daily basis?
Are there areas in your life where worldly desires have taken precedence over your devotion to God?
Are there specific modern 'idols' you need to identify and surrender to God's transformative power?
When we humble ourselves and answer this question, the 'gods' we serve can be revealed. Allow God into this space of reflection and ask Him to reveal and redeem the idols that may have taken root in your heart. When He reveals them, repent. Turn back towards your loving Father. And, remember...
The Lord is God.
May your reflection on these questions guide you toward a deeper connection with God and others and a more faithful walk in His ways.