Obedience, Idols and the Cost.

Today as I was reading Jeremiah the word of the lord really impressed on my heart so strongly about obedience and repentance.

In fact, there were so many false prophets in the book of Jeremiah. When he was calling out for repentance and telling the people to turn away from their disobedience and worship to idols if not God was going to bring punishment and destroy them by famine and the sword, they did not believe him.

There were many false prophets that prophesied lies that they would be set free from bondage and that there would be PEACE in the land but the Lord told Jeremiah they were not sent by him and that those who are prophesying peace in his name are LIARS!

In fact even thought the king Zechariah half believed Jeremiah, he was still more afraid of what he thought the Babylonians would do to him than what Jeremiah said GOD would do. He feared the people more than he feared GOD himself through the word of the prophet.

It came to a point where the people were completely conquered and they approached Jeremiah to ask him to please pray to God for direction and for a word for them. They even promised that they would do whatever God says whether it is good or not good news . BUT after he told them exactly what they did not want to hear, which is that GOD SAID DO NOT RETURN TO EYGPT and to stay where they are and submit to the authority of the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar who was serving him ( not a jew but he called him “my servant” ), THEY WENT AND DID THAT EXACT THING HE TOLD THEM NOT TO DO.

THEY ASKED GOD FOR A WORD but when it was not what they wanted to hear, they immediately turned around and called Jeremiah a LIAR !!!!! They asked not because they were ready for the truth and to obey. The wanted to get a word that would support whatever they wanted to do – which was to go to Egypt!

HOW CRAZY is it that ONE MINUTE they are asking GOD for what to do and the NEXT MINUTE, they are completely disobeying what he tells them to do or not do????

I was just stunned and shocked at the disobedience of the people of Judah and even those in leadership! The kings that Had been put in charge to lead the people ! Those were the ones that were mainly responsible for leading their people into disobedience and destruction. When Kings and leaders OBEY GOD and repent, God is ever ready to be merciful and to withhold the destruction that he pronounced would happen if they did not turn away from their idols.

Even when God told them to stop worshipping Idols like the “Queen of Heaven”, they replied saying that in fact when they were worshipping the “Queen of Heaven” that all was going well for them! And that they would continue to worship this “god” because she had brought them prosperity.

How often is it that when things are going well, people think that whatever they are worshipping has blessed them? The world is worshipping “The Universe”, “Mother Nature”, “Mother Earth”, and all the things their hands have made these days. Turning to these man-made gods rather than GOD himself the creator of the universe… they worship the universe.

Rather than worshipping the God that has prospered them and given them the trees, the animals, the land – they make these things their Gods. They worship the trees, the spirits of animals, make gods in the images of elephants, and bow to the earth that God has given them all authority of.

How infuriated God must be and how just is his wrath and punishment????

Once there was NO WAY OUT from this wrath and punishment but now if we were to turn to JESUS and make him LORD in our lives, remove ourselves and every other idol we worshipped as KING and make JESUS the KING in our lives, then the kingdom of GOD HAS COME UPON US. We need to REPENT and turn away from our wicked ways and thoughts and turn away from the things and idols that we were worshipping and worship only jesus! We need to DIE to ourselves and be born again and receive the holy spirit. We need to be aware that we are the temple of the holy spirit and allow him to work in and live in our lives so that we can literally host the presence of God in our lives as the new temples.

Christ himself has been sacrificed as the FINAL SACRIFICE so that we might be able to come into his presence as Kings ( of the old testament) and Priests ( of the old testament). We are all called to be kings – meaning we have all been called to rule and have authority and lead others into the kingdom of God as we serve him like Nebuchadnezzar did – and with all the other kinds like David who INQUIRED OF THE LORD and worshipped him and led their nations into prosperity as they fought their battles and conquered enemies with the help of the Lord when he was with them.

We are all called to be Priests and to usher in the presence of God and to come to God with our sacrifices except that we come to God with the LAMB HE GAVE US to sacrifice. Daily we can come to his presence with the offering and sacrifice that HE HAS GIVEN US to offer back to him. To remind him of the sweet fragrance and incense of his son Jesus Christ – that perfect offering that has been made – so that we we carry that and offer that which we have accepted – what has been given by his grace and his grace alone – then we can enter into his presence to commune and have communion with him. Only when we have communion and union with the father son and the holy spirit do we then have ETERNAL LIFE which is to KNOW AND BE KNOWN BY GOD.

ETERNAL LIFE isn’t going to heaven by saying a sinner’s prayer. If you ask anyone today if they would rather go to heaven or hell if there was one, and all they had to do was to say a sinner’s prayer and that was it and that was that simple, then WHO WOULD NOT SAY IT?

BUT JESUS said the opposite when it came to following him and to be his disciple. He said things like this in Luke chapter 14 :

The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

What does “give up everything” mean to you?
What does ” giving up your own life” mean to you?
What does ” carry your own cross and follow me” mean to you?

Whoever has ears, let him hear.

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