Substituting Something for the Someone

Grace For The Journey

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22jan  The word “god” (with a little “g”) is defined as “anything that sits on the throne of your life and takes the place of the one true God.”

So the question facing each of us is this:

What is the most likely and dangerous “god” you face today?

From the school room, to the board room, to the locker room, to the family room, there are countless gods that compete for first place in our hearts.  And . . .

We often become quite sophisticated

in substituting something – anything –

For the one all-important Someone

. . . Whose name is Jesus Christ.

We live in a culture that is overflowing with idolatry and unabashed immorality.  Idols of every shape and size are continually calling to our hearts, trying to gain our affection.  Of course today, in our cultured “sophistication,” we do not bow down to a golden calf or a sacred wooden image; no, we find our ‘gods’ in our relationships, our hobbies, our professions . . . even our church service!

Take a moment today to examine your heart . . .

Have you allowed anything other than God

To sit upon the throne of your life?

Have you substituted something for the only One

Who deserves first place in your life and in your heart?

From a spiritual aspect, idolatry is anything that cools our desire for the Kings of kings and Lord of lords – for knowing Him, surrendering to Him, serving Him, and being His witness.

May it be said of all of us what the Lord said of Caleb, who refused to substitute something for the Someone: “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.”   (Numbers 14:24)

What does it mean to follow the Lord wholeheartedly?  What does it imply?  Let me suggest three things:

  1. Following the Lord wholeheartedly implies concentration.  To follow the Lord wholly means to concentrate all, everything, on doing this one thing.  We get a perfect illustration of this in the case of the apostle Paul, who said in Philippians 3: 13, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”  Paul was determined to do one thing, and one thing only, and that was to follow the Lord wholeheartedly.  To follow the Lord wholeheartedly implies an undivided loyalty.  Jesus reminded us of this in His searching words in Matthew 6: 24, “No one can serve two masters; for etither he wwill hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other,.  You cannot serve God and riches.”  The Psalmist sums up the whole idea of concentration and absolute allegiance to our one rightful Lord and Master when he says in Psalm 16:8, :”I have ste the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”
  2. Following the Lord wholeheartedly implies completeness, as in “following the Lord completely.”  To follow Him completely means to follow Him utterly, absolutely, with heart and soul, and without any reservation.  It means to follow Him in all that we are, in all that we do, and in all that we say; and to do this wherever we are and under every circumstance – completely:

My heart to love Him,

My will to obey Him,

My mind to think of Him,

My feet to go for Him,

My voice to sing for Him,

My hands to work for Him,

My eyes to see for Him

And

My lips to speak for Him.

It means more than giving Him all that we have; it means yielding to Him all that we are.  It is what the Bible says in Romans 6:13, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to Gold as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness of God.”  God wants our gifts and talents, but most of all He wants – us!

  1. Following the Lord wholeheartedly implies constancy. Most of us are far too             intermittent in our following.  We follow wholeheartedly one day, and only half-     heartedly the next! –Peter’s intention recorded for us in Luke 22:33 was undoubtedly            to follow the Lord always, yet, in Luke 22: 54, we read that he completely failed to do          this.  Peter was not constant.  To follow the Lord wholly is to follow Him all the time,        and to go on following Him all the time.  It means to be a one who has but one set           purpose.  That purpose is to know and surrender daily to the Lord with such passion      and spiritual determination that we are like our Lord when He “steadfastly set His        face to go to Jerusalem.”

What is the secret of wholeheartedly following the Lord?

The real question is “Who is able to do this.”  We cannot wholly follow the Lord in our own strength.  Yet Caleb did wholly follow – so what secret did he learn?  It is an open secret, and Numbers 14:24 reveals it.  Caleb wholeheartedly followed the Lord because he had a different spirit with him.  Now, there is the key is.  Jesus lays it out in John 14:16-17, “And I pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world canot reeive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be with you.”

There is the secret:

Strength and power to follow the Lord wholly

Is not in ourselves, but it is in the Holy Spirit

With the Holy Spirit indwelling

We can then do as Caleb did

Wholly, fully, follow Him, our glorious Lord!

To follow God “wholeheartedly” does not mean perfectly. We are imperfect people and everything we do we do imperfectly, including following God.  But we follow wholeheartedly, even when we are messing it up, when our heart still beats for Jesus.

Now that’s a beat worth marching to, wouldn’t you agree?

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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