Sunday, May 8, 2022

THE CONSEQUENCES OF IDOLATRY & BREAKING THE YOKE

 


Idolatry is an issue whenever anything in a person's life takes priority over God. God frequently warns against Idolatry in the old testament so much so that in the 10 commandments, the first 2 take a direct stand against worshipping anything or anyone other than the Lord God Himself. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

PRAYER & FASTING FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: PRAY FOR MY BRIDE AGAINST IDOLATRY

 DAY 7: PRAY AGAINST THE IDOL OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE: 1 JOHN 2: 22-25


Let's be clear. It is God who created this world, gave man his breath along with the power and knowledge to fill the earth and to subdue it. That means the body of wisdom that was required for science and technology to exist comes from God. Furthermore, the innate longing or desire in man to continue acquiring knowledge and understanding of how things work or have their being also comes from God. He is not opposed to His children being curious or inquisitive but you must seek that wisdom from Him and not science (see James 1: 5). It is the perversion that comes from sin that has allowed man idolize or put his trust in science and technology, giving it space to thrive rather than in God.

It is easier for man to believe the claim that we originated or evolved from monkeys because it can be explained as opposed to the notion that a supreme being in the heavens formed man in His image. Simply put, today's culture wants you to reject any idea that has no scientific backing but God is above science and nobody on earth will ever fully be able to grasp His absolute Sovereignty and reign.

Technology is another idol that has replaced God and our love for Him in the lives of many today. Our appetite for more and more ungodly consumption of news, gossip, pleasure and mindless entertainment on our TV screens, smartphones, laptops and every conceivable man made device is rapidly eroding our hunger and thirst for His presence and His Word. I myself am especially guilty of consuming so much reality tv as I've shared multiple times here although my taste for celebrity news and gossip has been greatly reduced and I attribute that to emptying more from that cup and re-filling it with God's Word.


Question: Do You Trust More In Science & Technology Than You Trust In God?

If you trust more in science than you do in God, ask yourself why? When  did you make the choice that God was not as trustworthy as science? And ask the Holy Spirit to give you an open discerning heart so you can learn from the One who created science. You can not trust a product more than its manufacturer can you? If your Apple laptop was to suddenly malfunction and you could not figure out why on your own, you wouldn't wait for the laptop to fix itself correct? You would take it to the Apple store aka the Creators of Apple! In the same way when we struggle with understanding anything, we go to the One who created ALL things for clarity.

Our anchor scripture in V22 says 'anyone who says Jesus is not the Christ is a liar' and calls them 'the anti-Christ' those who deny the Father and the Son. So not only are you practicing idolatry when you believe in science and tech over God, the bible also calls you a liar and the anti-Christ. 

The repercussions of idolatry are pretty severe and I've touched on it a little over the last few days but will dive a little bit deeper into how God typically responds to idol worship and why it is so important and urgent for us to repent quickly. I would hate for idolatry to be the thing that separates us from the Father here on earth and in eternity and neither is it God's desire to see any of His children perish (see 2 Peter 3: 8-11). We have to guard our hearts with all diligence and distance ourselves from the various idols clamoring for yours and my worship. Do not ever believe the enemy for the Bible calls him a liar and a deceiver; trust only in God, the author and finisher of your faith.

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, there are so many idols competing for my heart and worship but those are reserved only for You. Help me to guard my heart with all diligence, to pick up and use my weapons of warfare so I can fight against the idols seeking to bring my soul to destruction. I declare this day that I belong to You and so does my worship. In Jesus' Name, AMEN.


💓💓

Ibogirl

Friday, May 6, 2022

PRAYER & FASTING FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: PRAY FOR MY BRIDE AGAINST IDOLATRY

 DAY 6: PRAY AGAINST THE IDOL OF SIN & PLEASURE

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE: COLOSSIANS 3: 5-6

Culture today loves for you and I to idolize sin and pleasure. It wants us to scream in support of the arrogant mean girl who puts other women down because she's more fun or great for TV. It wants us to regard sexual immorality as not a sin because 'it's your body' and 'you can do what you want with it'. Sin and Pleasure are the biggest idols of modern day but the very ones that Satan would have you and I believe is nothing but harmless fun and 'vibes'.

All anyone needs to do is look around to see just how deep depravity and debauchery have eaten into society and how trivial the topic of sin has become. The lines between what is sinful and what's not have gotten so blurred and skewed that we are unable to tell that it has become an idol in most of our lives. It's almost as though any and all things are acceptable these days and if you are not actively participating or God Forbid, being openly critical of ungodly lifestyles and behavior, then you must be a miserable unhappy troll who is discontent with your own life.

If we call ourselves Believers (not just mere Christians), then there is absolutely a standard to be adhered to. That standard is and will always be JESUS. Anything less than Him or that shifts our focus away from Him is tantamount to Idolatry.


Question: What Sinful Pleasures Are Currently Being Idolized In Your Life?

Sin is often disguised in pleasure and the enemy is aware that this is how he would be able to lure God's people away from Him. We have become so pre-occupied with having fun and doing what 'feels' good that nobody has stopped to consider if these kinds of 'fun' we are having are acceptable before God. Satan wants us to believe that God is a party pooper and does not want us to enjoy life. If he could trick Eve in the very place that was the complete expression of God's love by telling her if she ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then she would not die; lying to her that God just did not want man to be as wise as He was (see Genesis 3: 4-6), why would we not feel that he could trick us in the same ways? Eve's desire to 'enjoy' what she thought God was depriving her of caused sin and separation from the Father. It's the same trick the enemy uses today - lie to you that sin isn't sin at all and that there's nothing wrong with having a little fun. His goal is always to de-sensitize us to sin so he can separate us from the love and protection of the Father and thus become condemned as he is. But may that never be yours or my portion in Jesus' Name. Amen!

Our anchor scripture tells us to "put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within us. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires. Don't be greedy for a greedy person is an idolater; worshipping the things of this world..." I believe that God wants us to confront and reject the temptation to sin the way David confronted and killed Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:45-47 is the exact approach we should have with the sins and pleasures of this world. 

There is no temptation that God has not empowered us to escape and there is no temptation so great that others have not encountered before (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). Most times we know what to do and how to flee these temptations but because our relationship with God is so weak and we do not spend enough time in His presence to receive the strength we need, we are overwhelmed by these sins that so easily ensnare us. My prayer for both you and I is that we would make God our priority every day all day so we can receive what we need to fight against the idol of sin and pleasure because the truth is that this and all other idols we have looked at this past week are all battling for our worship and reverence. Only God can deliver us and that's why fasting is so important. Some spiritual attacks require us to be spiritually sensitive and equipped otherwise, against them we would always fail.

PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I thank you because I know that whenever I call on You, You always hear me. This day, I repent from making sin and the pleasures of this world my idol. Let Your Holy Spirit transform and renew my relationship with You so that I can give you the reverence and praise due to You alone. I recognize that on my own I have no strength to walk away from giving my worship to sin so help me Holy Spirit to do so boldly in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen.


💓💓

Ibogirl

Thursday, May 5, 2022

PRAYER & FASTING FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: PRAY FOR MY BRIDE AGAINST IDOLATRY

 DAY 5: PRAY AGAINST THE IDOL OF SELF

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE: 1 JOHN 2: 15-17


In all my years of living, there has never been a time where doing whatever to please oneself or make oneself happy has been preached more voraciously than today. The 21st century seems to demand that man idolize and prioritize himself above God. Almost all of us are guilty of idolizing ourselves at one time or another. Doing what we want how we want when we want 'as long as it makes us happy and is not hurting anyone' is the new normal and narrative. But often times doing what makes us happy is not what makes God happy is it?

Solomon was a man who started his reign over Israel well by seeking God and doing what pleased Him. God responded by prospering him in wisdom, wealth, possessions and success over his enemies but after a while, Solomon veered off course and decided to do what pleased himself by worshipping the idols of the women he married and building temples to honor them. God's response to that was to strip away 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel from the lineage of David. See 1 Kings 11:1-13. Pharoah was also a prideful, wicked and arrogant king who thought himself and his idol gods to be supreme over the Lord God. He ended up losing his son, allowing the destruction of his people and possessions and ultimately losing his own life. 

Whenever the Bible talks about idolatry, it is typically followed by the raising or erection of an 'Asherah Pole'. An Asherah Pole according to my research is the representation of Asherah, a Canaanite fertility goddess who was also regarded as consort of the gods. She was the mother of idol god Baal and supposed partner of idol god, El with whom she creates 70 other gods. It is an occult representation of pagan worship and is seen as a major rival to the worship of God.(see Exodus 34:13 and Deuteronomy 16: 21).

When I think of an Asherah Pole being erected in relation to what we do as people who have turned ourselves to idols, I think about how we have put our own needs, wants and desires before God. Our desires are direct rivals to the Will and worship of God that have become our absolute pre-occupation and taken reverence away from the Father. This culture of ' Do what makes you happy' is many times never mirrored against what God's Will is because if 'having an open marriage or having sex with every boyfriend, doing drugs, drinking and partying any and everywhere etc' are things that make me happy, it means I have raised an Asherah Pole in my heart that now rivals my worship of God.

Question: Have You Prioritized Doing What Pleases You Over Doing What Pleases God?

Our anchor scripture warns us "not to love the world nor the things it offers for when we love the world, we do not have the love of the Father in us...". It goes on to say that " the world only offers cravings of physical pleasure, everything we see and pride in our achievements and possessions...". Isn't this how we are and what today's culture wants us to give our time, focus and worship to? The things that give us pleasure, our possessions and achievements are of the world and the Bible says that this world is fading away. 

None of what I've said here means that we should not work or enjoy the fruits of our labor, by no means is that what I'm saying however, anything that we have been given; resources, physical and spiritual gifts, opportunities etc are all for the glory of God and for the benefit of His Bride, the Church. Self Love, Self Care, The Soft Life are all fine things to desire but should not supersede God or doing what pleases Him. If you or I can dedicate any amount of time to ourselves but not give God the same time or more, then He is not priority to us. WE are our priority and that means we are idolizing ourselves above Him. May that not be who we have become but if it is, repentance should be swift and honest so as not to risk the abandonment and wrath of The Almighty.

PRAYER:

My Loving Heavenly Father, thank You for creating me in Your image and likeness. This means that I am the express representation of You and should carry myself as such. You formed me, breathed life into me and so deserve my unrivaled worship because I belong to You. Forgive me for being so arrogant to place my desires, wants and needs above Yours when everything that I have is because You have so graciously allowed me to have it. Remind me Holy Spirit that God wants relationship with me not for me to want relationship with things or other people above Him. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


💓💓 

Ibogirl

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

FASTING & PRAYER FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: PRAY FOR MY BRIDE AGAINST IDOLATRY

 DAY 4: PRAY AGAINST THE IDOL OF THE TEACHER

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE: DEUTERONOMY 13: 1-5


Who is a Teacher?

Webster's Dictionary defines a teacher as 'one who teaches or instructs; one whose business or occupation is to instruct others, an instructor, a tutor'. It also defines the teacher as 'one who instructs others in religion, a preacher, a minister of the gospel; sometimes one who preaches without regular ordination'.

Ephesians 4:11-12 lists the teacher as one of the gifts that Christ gave to the Church aka people. Along with the Apostles, the Prophets, the Evangelists and Pastors, a Teacher's responsibility is to equip God's people to do His work and to build up the body of Christ. 

Many people have managed to make these teachers of the gospel their idols, unable or unwilling to make decisions without first seeking their input or approval. There is nothing wrong with honoring men or women who have been mandated and anointed by God to build us up in the faith but when they replace God in our lives, then it becomes idolatry. As ministers representing God on earth, these men and women have a duty to lead God's people like Christ did to the truth. This role is a very delicate and sensitive one because God's punishment is severe towards any who mislead His Bride (see Jeremiah 14:14-16) and even to any who believe their teaching (see also 2 Peter 2: 1-22).


Question: Is Hearing From Your Pastor/Preacher More Important To You Than Hearing From God?

1 John 4:1 tells us to test the spirit to see whether these teachers or ministers are actually from God, sent by Him to equip the saints. 2 Timothy 4: 3-4 even points out that a time will come when there will be some who no longer want to listen to wholesome teaching but will instead look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear and that they will reject the truth and chase after myths.

It can therefore not be overemphasized for us to be very careful and spiritually sensitive when listening to any who claim to teach in the name of the Lord so we do not make them idols. Even I need to be careful and mindful about what I write here because I do not wish to mislead any and therefore incur God's wrath /punishment. Also, we should learn to seek God for ourselves so we do not become one of those who reject the truth and seek out teachers who only tell us what we want to hear rather than what the Word of God says.

Scripture recognizes that there are lots of false prophets in the world so when we start making statements like "My Pastor said this" or "Mummy G.O said not to do that" , make sure you also ask yourself "What Does God Say?" because God can speak directly to you too. The problem with many of us is that we want other people (aka our pastors, preachers or teachers) to pray for us, talk to God on our behalf and seek His face for us when the Bible makes it clear that we will find Him if we seek Him. 2 Chronicles 15: 2 says "The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with Him! Whenever you seek Him, you will find Him..." The key words to note here are  if YOU seek Him, not if your pastor or teacher does, then YOU will find Him. The Bible even says that we do not need anyone to teach us the truth because that is what the Holy Spirit has come to do (see 1 John 2: 27).

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I am thankful for all the teachers who you have sent to build me up in faith and to equip me for Your purpose. I recognize that many of them have been anointed and sent by You so help me to honor them but never to make them idols or to take Your place in my life. Open my spiritual eyes and ears so I may see and know when a false teacher is speaking that I may guard my heart and flee from them. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and I can not get to You except I come through Him. Today, I ask for your Holy Spirit to teach me Your truth, re-route and re-direct my steps back to Your loving arms through Christ. In Jesus' Name. AMEN


💓💓

Ibogirl

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

FASTING & PRAYER FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: PRAY FOR MY BRIDE AGAINST IDOLATRY

 DAY 3: PRAY AGAINST THE IDOL OF RELATIONSHIP & MARRIAGE

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE: ROMANS 1: 21-23


When it comes to relationships of a romantic nature specifically marriage relationships, it appears as though many have made the desire to be married or being in a relationship an idol. Not only for single people wanting marriage but also for married people; the ones who decide to stay in violent or abusive marriages.

When it comes to this type of marriage in particular, the word the Holy Spirit has been consistently highlighting to me is CHOICE. God allows us the choice to either choose Him over sin or vice versa. He does not demand this of us even though He has the power to make us do His Will. God Himself chooses not to force us to serve Him and if the Creator of the universe recognizes choice and permits us to make our own decisions with the option of life or death, why do we continue to choose death? The death that results from sin and the death that too often results from staying in violent marriages.

Choosing to stay in a relationship or marriage that is emotionally, verbally and physically abusive is equal to choosing your emotional, spiritual and as we are seeing more and more these days, physical death. Proverbs 14: 12 says "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death". God hates divorce is not the only scripture in the bible to attribute to marriage. When the choice is made to remain in a marriage that ultimately kills you, that marriage has undoubtedly become your idol and you get no brownie points in heaven for that.


Question: Has being in a relationship or married taken God's place in your heart? 

If so, that should never be the case because no human being should take God's place in your life. Our anchor scripture tells of how man chooses to exchange the glory due to God alone for idol images of other ordinary people, animals, birds and reptiles. Even though man or people today know God, just as in the scripture, we are choosing not to honor Him and instead give that honor to our relationships, marriages and spouses. When we honor marriage in the way that we should honor our God, we think we are being wise but v22 of the scripture calls us utter fools. As long as we are separated from grace, our hearts become darkened, seeming it wise to make an idol out of a person or something that was created by God Himself. In v24 of this scripture, what ends up happening is that God abandons us to do whatever shameful things our hearts desire.

When God abandons you or I, we start to believe we are wise and the result is doing whatever depraved, vile and wicked things our hearts want to do. That is definitely not any way I want to live my life, to trade God's truth for a lie. In other words and simply put, when we choose idolatry, God abandons us! He has already told us that He will not share His glory with any one (see Isaiah 42:8) but when we choose images and people in His stead, His presence leaves and we do not want that because when God leaves, we are at the mercy of Satan. God Forbid!

PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I am grateful for the choice You give me to decide if I want to serve You or man. I make the decision today, here and now to honor You in my life and with my heart. Please forgive me for making my desire for a relationship and/or marriage an idol and allowing that desire to take your place. Turn my heart back towards You Lord. I do not want to be at the mercy of my enemy, Satan or abandoned to do anything outside Your Will. In Jesus' Name. AMEN


💓💓

Ibogirl



Monday, May 2, 2022

FASTING & PRAYER FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: PRAY FOR MY BRIDE AGAINST IDOLATRY

 DAY 2: PRAY AGAINST THE IDOL OF FAME & POPULARITY

ANCHOR SCRIPTURE: PSALM 16:4


The influences of other practices in culture today have taken God's place in our lives. We can not and MUST NOT prioritize other things as much as or above God Himself and one of those things that tend to compete for man's attention and heart is the quest for fame and popularity.

This quest has led many into absorbing a lot of non biblical ideas of the world in order to be seen, noticed and accepted. It would appear that we have become more interested in doing what pleases others than doing what pleases God. Most notably on social media platforms, there is an overwhelming lust for fame, popularity and notoriety. The things we say, the images we post, the numerous challenges we want to participate in just to be seen by other people is a subtle but determined type of idol worship many are unaware of.


Question: Have You Idolized Fame & Popularity In Your Life?

Our Anchor Scripture is unambiguous about what happens to those who run after or seek out other gods. Fame and Popularity is a type of idol that wants man to run or chase after it, doing any and everything to achieve it. The promise of social acceptance, wealth, the admiration and respect of others continues to drive the one who has become a worshipper of fame and popularity yet is oblivious to how far they are willing to go or may have even gone to attain them. 

This is the question to meditate on and for us to ask ourselves if we have made fame and popularity an idol. Do we desire it for ourselves or are we pre-occupied with those who have it? Has it taken God's place in your heart? Is it the first and last thing on your mind each and every day? If your answer is in the affirmative, then repentance is required. Colossians 3: 1-6 tells us to set our hearts on things above not on earthly things because we are now hid with Christ. If we do not put our earthly nature to death along with all our evil desires of lust, greed and idolatry, we are warned that the wrath of God is coming.

Fame and Popularity used to be my goal when I first joined YouTube, Instagram and started blogging but I very quickly realized how consumed I was becoming with likes, views, stats and reach. The more I chased it, the further away from me it got and the further it got, the harder my pursuit. It got to a point where I had to give up that idol and follow God. Now I know that whatever I don't desire has no power to tempt me. Our hearts belong to God but we must freely give it in order for Him to come in and purge us from chasing after the idols of this world.

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy and grace that I am undeserving of but that you choose to freely give me. I confess that I have given my heart and worship to the idol of fame and popularity and repent of it here and now. I recognize that there can be no other gods in my life besides You and today I choose to serve, worship and reverence no other god but You. You are my Father, Creator and Friend and my desire is to please You now and forever. In Jesus' Name. Amen!


💓💓

Ibogirl