Saturday, July 14th, 2012
American Idols (Part 4)
But the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the Word, and It becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:19 (NAS)
Even in recession, America is the richest nation on earth. We make more money. We spend more money. We owe more money. Undeniably, we are obsessed with money. And we work hard to get it.
Americans are generous, and 'God loves a cheerful giver' (2 Corinthians 9:7). He has blessed us with abundance, and we cannot know our final weigh-in on His scales. But we seem to be growing in pounds, sin, and debt. So we pray.
Which leads us to our next two American idols:
5) Spending: 'You cannot serve both God and money' (Matthew 6:24). Because advertising creates idols, because idols surround us, because idols promise us joy, we want them. Fervently.
Enough to send both parents to work. Enough to send both parents to debt. Enough to send both parents away from their children. I am not condemning. I bought into the American dream and suffered the consequences. Because I didn't know 'the good life' could only be found in God.
6) Success: 'For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?' (Matthew 16:26). Every king of this world will fall--even the most successful pastors--if the world's definition of success becomes their own. Because worldly success is an idol.
I've bought into this one, too. Here's the thing: CEOs are not in charge. Professors don't know it all. Doctors can only 'practice.' Judges cannot be fair. Beauty queens inevitably lose it. Actors just fake it.
God is the CEO, the Professor, the Healer, the Judge, the Beauty, and the Performer. He is our success, and He gives us His success if we follow His rules. But if we don't? Satan can give us success, too. Here's a shocking truth: All success comes from One or the other.
Because Jesus said, 'I can of Myself do nothing' (John 5:30).
If the King as a Man could do nothing good without God, neither can we. So, don't let the pursuit of worldly success become your idol. Instead, pursue God.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the American Idols series.