Flint Hills Bible Church Blog - blog from our pastor.

Idolatry (Part 5)

In our last post in this series, we learned that God exposes our idols so that we might return to full and fulfilling worship of the living God.  This gives us some insight with regards to how to rid ourselves of idols.  It should be noted, that idols are often good things that become ultimate things.  For instance, I love and cherish my wife.  But if I am not careful, I can worship her.  I will become slavishly dependent on her, I might abdicate my role as a spiritual leader to appease her, or when she passes on I will become suicidal.  The solution is not to love her less, so much as to love God more.  The ultimate cure for idolatry is to turn from our idols and serve the living God.  The higher, grander, and greater our vision of God, the more weak, impotent, and powerless we will perceive our idols.

When Paul and Barnabas were worshipped by the men of Malta they tore their clothes and said:

Acts 14:15: "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them."

Note how Paul lifts high the greatness and grandeur of our God.  When we allow the fullness of God to fill our minds, this vision of God crowds our idols off of our mental pedestal.  So how do we cultivate such a high view of God?  Well, to know Him is to love Him.  Studying the Bible and theology will fill our minds with such Scriptural truth that we will sense and dispense with all counterfeit.  A high view of God will lead to a greater love of God which will in turn place all rivals, and even all good things, in the proper perspective.

Dave Hintz

Idolatry (Part 4)

In the last post in this series, we learned that God is jealous for you and for your worship.  He seeks to be the soul object of adoration in your life. Now this may sound egotistical, but it is not so for God. In the words of Isaiah 42:8:

"I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.

If God were to reallocate any glory due to him elsewhere, he would be committing idolatry.  The fact is that all the universe exists for Him and His glory.  In light of this, he wants to purge His children of all idols.  And He does so in the following ways.

  1. God’s Spirit works through His Word to convict us of idolatry.  
  2. God may withhold that raise, or pain relief, or an opportunity you really want in order to show you that His grace is sufficient. Therefore, when you find yourself angry, discontent, or anxious about not getting your way, consider that God may be revealing an idol of the heart. 
  3. God may hand you over to your idol, so that you can experience firsthand the misery of idol enslavement. The love of money leads to the bondage of debt, or your anxiety over money creates health problems, or sexual immorality leads to a lonely emptiness.   In the words of Hebrews 12:10: 

"He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness."

All of this is done to expose our idols, so that we can return to the worship of the Living God and not perish with our idols.  So what do you do when your idol is exposed? In the next post we will find out.

Dave Hintz

The Word and Revival

In 1701 a group of ministers established Yale University with the expressed aim of reaching North America.  Over the years, secularism took hold and changed Yale for the worse.  One observer explains:

“The college church was almost extinct.  Most of the students were skeptical, and rowdies were plenty.  Wine and liquors were kept in many rooms; intemperance, profanity, gambling, and licentiousness were common.”

The godless ideologies of pagan enlightenment thinkers undergirded such sin. Yet the flame was rekindled in 1795 when Timothy Dwight became president.  He took on the skeptics by answering the question “Is the Bible the word of God?” with six months of preaching.  Such proclamations demolish secular strongholds and turned hearts to the God of the Bible, the reality of the gospel, and the nature of true conversion.  One third of the students repented and gave their lives to the Lord. In addition, nearly half of the new believers responded to the call of vocational ministry. These Christians became the future pastors and missionaries who fueled a passion for Christ through North America and the World. Rediscovering the Word led to repentance which brought on revival. 

We see this in the Old Testament as well. After years of spiritual apostasy in Judah, young king Josiah discovered the Word of God in the House of the Lord.  Upon listening to its contents the king tore his clothes and led Israel to national repentance.  The glory of God and the revelation of His will led the masses to want to be right with Him. This is a lesson for us.  Before we pray and evangelize we must let the Word of God have its way with us.  We must submit to the glory of God and seek to obey His revealed will knowing that we will never change this town unless the Word changes us.

Dave Hintz

Turning the Conversation to Christ (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my last post in this series on revival in Emporia, the hardest part of sharing the gospel is steering the conversation towards Christ.  Think about it, we can’t jump from the Jayhawks to the Lake of Fire without jolting the conversation with awkward silence.  In light of this, I want to introduce yet another conversation turning strategy – prayer.

When I was in college, a friend of mine asked me to pray for his exam.  So I obliged and prayed that God would bless his efforts. While I was at it I also prayed for his soul. A week later he told me that he did not know what I did, but he rocked the exam.  Predictably, I became his lucky rabbit’s foot and he ritually asked me to pray for every test. After the fifth time, I finally told him, “Bobby, I have been praying for your test as well as your soul.  Tell me, how is your spiritual life going?”  Naturally, this led into the gospel.

Many times we find ourselves in the position of consolers and counselors.  Friends, family, and coworkers will share their concerns with us, and when they do they give us an opportunity.  Tell them that you will pray for their concern.  Then faithfully pray for them.  And when you sense that the time is right follow up by telling them, “I have been praying for your mother’s health.  How is that going?”  And then follow up, “I have also been praying for your spiritual life in the midst of this trial.  How’s it going?”   Naturally, this opens a door for a conversation which can easily lead to the gospel echoing the words of Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”

Dave Hintz

Idolatry (Part 3)

On the last post in this series, we discussed how no one can serve two masters, they will eventually love one and hate the other. This goes to show you that worship of God and the worship of idols are mutually exclusive.  And there is a reason for this.  God demands all exclusive worship.  In the first commandment we read.

Exodus 20:3-6  “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,”

God is not jealous of you, but jealous for you.  And as your God he wants compete devotion from His people because He loves them. 

Let’s say that on your wedding day, your spouse pledges:

I do promise and covenant; before God and these witnesses; to be your loving and faithful spouse; in plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; 99% of the time.  However, three nights a year, I plan on being with your best friend.  Would you stand for this?  You see, you cannot have the benefits of a covenant relationship, without absolute commitment.  In the same way, you cannot enjoy the blessings and privileges as a child of God unless you rid yourself of all idols, and pledge to worship Him alone.   So how does our jealous God wean his children from idols?  In the next post we will find out.

Dave Hintz