Summary: God requires exclusive love and he achieves it by cutting our the competing counterfeit gods in our hearts
Cutting Out the Competition
Focus: Deut. 30:6
1.A little competition is a good thing. In school and at work it helps us to excel.
2.When it comes to God, he will have no competition. He requires an exclusive love.
3.Moses assures us that God will effectively cut out the competition in our hearts.
I.THE PREVAILING PROBLEM OF COUNTERFEIT GODS (Deut. 29:16-18)
a)Just prior to this discussion, Moses was laying out God’s renewal of the Covenant with this new generation of believers
b)Moses prophesied that the generations to come would be persuaded by the other nation’s false gods and detestable practices and that the consequence of their actions would be that their hearts would be turned away from God and invoke his wrath
c)Idolatry is the prevailing problem for believers and nonbelievers alike. That’s why God’s Law is prefaced the way it is (Exo. 20:1-7)
II.THE ESSENCE OF CONTERFEIT GODS (Deut. 29:19)
a)The essence of idolatry is persisting in our own way with no regard for God and his will. Idolatry is not merely bowing down to sticks and stone but insisting on any other way than God’s way.
b)Tim Keller said in his book Counterfeit God’s that Aphrodite the goddess of love, Ares the god of war and violence, and Bacchus the god of wine and pleasure are alive and well.
c)What idolatry does is to effectively “disorder our loves” as Augustine was fond of saying. Idolatry robs God of the rightful place as the Chief Love of our hearts.
III.HOW GOD IS CUTTING OUT THE COMPETITION (Deut. 30:6)
a)God’s answer to our counterfeit god problem is one of true worship
b)Worship is really a question of what we consider to be of ultimate value
c)God is cutting out the competition through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives in the process of sanctification (Rom. 2:28-29)
John Wesley was a man of single devotion and purpose. He sought to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. He preached with such conviction and power the truth that Christians need to make God the primary object of their love. He taught that as long as sin reigns in our hearts, we cannot give God the entire devotion and worship he is worthy of. Wesley’s teaching challenges us to consecrate ourselves entirely so that God may remove the counterfeit gods that enslave us. It is primarily a question of worship. What are we ascribing ultimate value to?
Wesley had a famous statement that many people know. He said that he was a man of one book - referring to the Bible. But I would like to read the quote in it’s entirety and ask that we would use this as a guide for our prayers this week.
“To candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing,—the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. For this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri.” (taken from Preface to Sermons)