Man, I Love These Things..

(Today's post is by Marc Cannon)

Judges 6

Sports
Beer & Wine
FOOD!
Hunting
Fishing
Women
Money
Social Media
Work
Cars
Clothes
Sleep
FOOOOOOOOD!
Friends
Church…yes even church.

Man, I LOVE these things; every one of them! So much so at times in my life I have worshiped them all. All have at some point in my life have been my god and many at the same time! These are things I look forward to the most, some way more than others. These are the things that have given me comfort in the past; especially the relational aspects of the list above.

When you look at the Israelites and compare them to the group of men that are reading this blog I cannot help to compare who we are to the plight of the every day Israelite. Think about it guys. These folks, like many of us, found favor with God became comfortable for a while and then said “You know what, we got this…” and as soon as they let that little crack of sin in their lives ‘WHAAAAAWPOW!!!!! it manifested into full blown idolatry. So what does the Lord of the Universe do? He honors their decision. He hands them over to the sin they’re wrecked with and they are ravaged. Their lands are taken, their food is stolen, their way of life is totally dismantled. He gives them over to the Midians and they totally ruin the Israelites lives. These people, God’s people, cannot even prepare food from a harvest for fear of being raped of their sustenance. I can relate…All too well. Those things I listed above, well, they’ve been the Baal in my life. I’ve built altars to each of them in my time. We all have…We ALL do. And just like with the Israelites the Lord gives us over to those sins if we choose those over him. What does that mean in our lives? For me, at least, it’s meant a lot of hurt, pain, anxiety, false hope, and terrible decisions. And sin still wrecks lives in this day and age.

In those times I’ve turned to food, or drinking, or relationships or activities to try and fill the void left from turning my back on the Lord. I’ve even turned to the church. They’re a fleeting fix that can quickly become the permanent focus in life. The Israelites were mired in worship of false gods equally as destructive. In walks Gideon.

Gideon is a meager man from a meager family and God picks him to change the fate of his people. He sits Gideon down and says “Look, Gideon, I want you to tear down the alters the Israelites have been worshiping (Which meant he could be killed or even worse!) Then wage war against those who have persecuted you”. And just like I’ve said hundreds of times to the Lord Gideon says, “Uh, Lord, are you talking to me? You want ME to do what? Come’on man, REALLY? Me? Okay Lord….But, only if you give me a sign that it’s really YOU asking me”… Then Gideon does what I do all the time…”Lord, give me a sign”…. “You want me to end this relationship that is marred in sin? Give me a sign”… “You want me to live a healthier lifestyle to better serve you ? Give me a sign”. Ye of little faith we are. I mean the Lord lit a ROCK ON FIRE for Gideon! A ROCK! I’ve seen this in myself and in my brothers countless times when we put things before the Lord. We question and point blank lose faith.

But God is merciful and patient. He knew what Gideon was capable of so he kept proving himself to him. He knows what each of you are capable of. He has a plan for each of us in his Kingdom and it’s not a meager plan! It’s a plan to do great things if we just step out in faith and tear down those altars!

Are there any “altars” in your heart today where you sacrifice to your god(s)?

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • Britt Ozburn

    My altar: my body. For the past year and a half I’ve dove in all the way to pumping iron and eating right. I have an image in my mind of what I want to look like. This involves plenty of early morning cardio and afternoon weight lifting. For a long time, my personal time with God, including His Word, has taken a back seat to getting over to Alcovy Fitness to log in my time on the elliptical before 9:00am work. It’s like going without breakfast: After a while I feel spiritually hungry. It takes a stronger desire to grow closer to God and develop a strong spirit, rather than a strong body, which will perish with time. Seeking first His kingdom is something I have to learn to do every day.

    • Marc Cannon

      I have been in that exact spot, BOzburn! Actually worrying about what I look like more than it’s a health thing!
      1. Spiritual Health
      2. Mental Health
      3. Physical Health
      In that order. I’ve operated in the other direction for a lonnnng time!

  • Personally I create altars of productivity, structure and driven-ness. I love to see movement. I love to watch the team strategically move the ball down the field. And many would tell you that is a good thing..but what am I sacrificing on that altar? Time. Energy. The “best” of me? What does that leave for my family? Aren’t they the number one disciples I am charged with leading? Yeah..Gideon, Marc, Jeff, Steve, Scott and God have all spoken to me this morning. I’m thankful for you all.

    • Marc Cannon

      That’s a powerful statement Bro, “The “Best of me?”…What does that look life for me I wonder? Where is the BEST of me being spent? That’s certainly something to examine today and tomorrow and the next day. Where is the BEST of me…

      Also, I’d like to say…You didn’t hear from me. You heard from the Lord. I know my comments above aren’t eloquent but that’s not what I wanted to write about. Every time I would write a sentence about what I wanted to write about I was prompted to erase it and start over. Then I would write about the first thing that came to mind and had peace over it. When I was done I started getting hammered by the enemy telling me it was garbage, it doesn’t make sense and that it doesn’t have anything to do with the scripture you’re discussing. To the point of not being able to sleep over it. And the Lord set me at ease. But the Lord wanted me to speak more on our stuff worship than our uncertainty. I’m overwhelmed this morning by the fact that I prayed yesterday to use me to say those things that are on His mind and not my own. This is assurance that he did just that! Overwhelmed! I appreciate all of y’all! Thanks for allowing me to share my comments, Trey.

  • Our pastor Scott Moore sent this to the team this morning..it was just as timely as Mr. Cannon’s word from the heart.

    The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” (Judges 6:12 NLT)

    Hiding in a winepress threshing the wheat so not to be attacked by the raiders, the Lord addresses him as “mighty hero”…seeing and knowing what He will accomplish
    through Gideon.

    Gideon didn’t see it.

    “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” (Judges 6:12, 15 NLT)

    How many times has the Lord heard the phrase “But Lord…”

    But Lord…I am too weak.
    But Lord…I am too ignorant.
    But Lord…I am too old.
    But Lord…I am too young.
    But Lord…I am too tired.
    But Lord…I am too poor.
    But Lord…I am too broken.
    But Lord…I am too weak.
    But Lord…I am too dirty.
    But Lord…I am too ashamed.
    But Lord…I am too scared.

    And He says “Mighty Hero…”
    I will be with you.
    I will guide you.
    I will strengthen you.
    I will fill you.
    I will protect you.
    I will teach you.
    I will comfort you.
    I will equip you.
    I will deliver you.
    I will provide for you.
    I will care for you.

    I love how God takes the weak and demolishes the powerful. I love how uses the “unusable” to accomplish His will. I love how he redeems the broken and rescues the hurting with them.

    Amazing.

  • Steven Gregory

    Isn’t it crazy that even after seeing and speaking with the angel of The Lord Gideon still in fear waited until night to destroy the alter of Baal. I guess sometimes our lack of faith as man drives us to dependency on other things which we turn in idols.

    • Marc Cannon

      Dude, I do it all the time…Could be making a phone call or leading a group. I question the calling and do it with one eye shut and the other eye squinted. So as to not have my eyes blown out if this ISN’T what the Lord wants me to do. Even when I do step out and faith and it turns out light years better than I thought it would I ‘Rinse & Repeat’ the same process as the last time he asked me to do something. That’s when the thought “I’m a Dummy” streams into my head. O Ye of little faith!

  • Jeff Morton

    First of all I cannot read about Gideon with out hearing veggie tales voices! Marc you nailed it, I love how God prepares us for what he is about to teach us. The altars in our lives……. I am currently writing my testimony and got frustrated because the list was so long and I’m trying to narrow it down last night. I have an addictive personality, which leads to lots of idols. The worst I’ve ever dealt with by far was bucking horses. It consumed my every thought and action for ten years. I was good with Jesus cause I wore a Cross on everything and pointed at the sky when I got off my horse right? Great tie thank God for all you guys and your honesty!

    • Marc Cannon

      Man I can relate! Mine was UGA football. If I missed a game I was depressed for a week. I’ve missed family events, birthdays, important life events, scheduled my life around it…And no one, not even God said or did anything to change my mind back in those days. Turns out I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). For some reason my mental health is directly related to the sunlight and in the fall I go off the deep-end. So Football for the better part of 15 years was my crutch to get me through the tough times. Now, I may get to 2 games a year and I’m not all that excited to go. It’s more of hassle to me than it is a pleasure. I even spent the entire off season planning and salivating over the upcoming season. NUTS! Don’t get me wrong I love my Dawgs but I’m more in tune to the important things in life and God has showed me it’s not where my comfort lies. I still have friends that suffer from the same thing…It doesn’t matter what exactly it is…If we put it before the Lord and his will…We’re worshiping that ‘Thing’ over him.

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