The Prostitution of Idolatry

We have whorish hearts. Every human being has a sinful nature that lusts for creation rather than the creator. Rather than embracing God, the lover of our souls, we run into the arms of false lovers. The heart behind all our sin is idolatrous adultery.  Hearing that we are all spiritual prostitutes might sting a little, but sometimes the truth does. Yet the good news is that there is a relentless lover of our souls who seeks after us.

The Rebellious Whore

In the Bible the book of Hosea describes and illustrates the spiritual prostitution that comes so naturally to our hearts. Hosea 9:1 states, "Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute's wages on all threshing floors." Hosea goes on to describe how the people of God whore themselves out to food, drink, and pleasure in idolatrous worship.

Not only was this the heart of Hosea's message, Hosea's life was a living illustration. His own wife Gomer continually whored herself out to other men. Hosea not only preached about the heartbreak of adultery that God experiences in our own idolatry, he lived it.

Where are Your Idols?

Where are your idols? To which lover do you whore yourself out too? Are you fully and completely devoted to God? Although many westerners think we have progressed beyond the place of worshiping gods of stone, our society is just as pagan as ever. You can just watch a commercial break on TV and identify the idols we worship.

Sex. Money. Pleasure. Drunkenness. Partying. Ease. Comfort. Security. Success. Work. Fashion. Romance.

The list can go on and on. Although our idols are no longer carved out of wood does not mean that we are not an idolatrous culture. Despite the ways we whore ourselves out to these false gods, there is a God who is a loving husband and the greatest lovers of our souls who will not be content till we find all our joy, hope, and pleasure in Him alone.

The Lover of Our Souls

The God of the Bible is the great lover of our souls. He is the broken hearted husband who wants to love and cherish His bride. He is a jealous God who is not pleased when his children bend their knees to worship fake gods. He is a God who seeks us, who pursues us, and who resiliently chases after us. He made a way to purchase our freedom from the the spiritual sex slavery in which we find ourselves.

God purchases our redemption from the chains and control these idols have over us. He did it by laying down his life for us. He is the husband who came and took on the punishment, shame, and wrath that you and I deserve. His name is Jesus and on that cross the great lover of your soul provided a way for you to find true joy, peace, and pleasure in the warmth of His glorious presence. Where those false lovers disappoint and seek to use and abuse us, God loves us unconditionally. Despite our sin and disobedience He washes us and makes us clean in Jesus Christ.

Run to the Arms of Jesus

I do not know how you stumbled across this blog, but if your reading this the great lover of your soul longs to have you for himself. Turn away from the false lovers in your life that leave you empty and unsatisfied. Run to the arms of Jesus and grab his nail pierced hands. Stop prostituting yourself out to idols and turn to your savior and place your faith in Him. The great news about God is that not matter how great our sin may be, His grace is greater still. He extends His love to all, even to whorish spiritual prostitutes like us.

Have You Turned Your Spouse Into an Idol?

Marriage seems to be falling apart. We live in a society that is just plain confused about marriage. The high divorce rates are an indicator of the many unhealthy marriages and unhealthy homes in our society. Even many Christians have marriages that are seem to be toxic. Within marriages there can be adultery, anger, bitterness, porn addictions, verbal abuse, sexual denial, physical abuse, financial secrets, distrust, and the list can go on and on. Your own marriage might be filled with some of these same problems and issues. If so, you need to get some marriage counseling from a good biblical counselor or pastor. Yet, behind much of the great disharmony in marriages is the root of idolatry. More often then not, a man or woman has turned their spouse into their supreme idol of worship. The heart behind sin is idolatry. Idolatry is when we worship and serve created things rather than the creator God.(Rom 1:25) Although we might not literally bend our knee to these created things, we look for satisfaction, rest, and lasting joy from our idols rather than God. One of the most common idols people worship is romance. We have a passionate, desperate, and idolatrous longing for another human being to satisfy our roaming hearts. Not only does the idol manifest itself in the dating and hook up culture, but even within the sacred walls of marriage.

Marriage as Idolatry

Is your spouse your idol? Some questions to diagnose your heart:

  • Does your world revolve around your spouse?
  • When they disappoint you are you devastated?
  • If they fail you do you go into a full depression?
  • Do you place unrealistic expectations on your spouse?
  • Do you demand a certain lifestyle and luxuries that your spouse must provide?
  • Have you turned your spouse into an object of sexual pleasure? Do you become passive aggressive or bitter when you don't get your way?

Idols have grand promises, but never deliver. Spouse Idols make the same promises. They promise your marriage life will be as romantic as a Nicholas Spark's book or that your wife will be like June Cleaver with dinner on the table when you walk through the door. Idols make grand promises that cannot be delivered. They promise lasting joy with no sorrows and no hardships. Many newlyweds enter into marriage with these idolatrous expectations about their new marital bliss. Often times they live on that fleeting promise that spousal idolatry gives, until they get so frustrated and disappointed they just give up on their marriage and become another divorce statistic.

True Joy in Jesus

True joy and satisfaction cannot be found in your marriage but in Jesus. He delivers on the promises He makes. We must orient our worship towards the right object. We are not to worship creation, but the creator. We are not to worship our spouse but to worship Jesus Christ. In Jesus we receive lasting joy and lasting peace. Jesus as the son of God comes to the world as our savior, delivering us from the penalty of our sin through his death on the cross. As Jesus rose from the grave after three days, he guarantees his offer of life and life abundantly. He offers us life free from the shackles of the slave driver of idolatry. He frees us to find true joy and lasting peace in Him!

You see marriage is an absolutely wonderful thing. Marriage can be a source of incredible joy. God designed it for the good of humanity. Marriage is a great gift of God that pictures the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, sin can distort, twist, and destroy what God has created good. Marriage was not designed to complete us, but was designed for two souls to find their completion together in God.

Marriage as True Worship

Marriage was designed to be something much bigger than just a man and a woman being googly-eyed over one another. Marriage was designed as the foundational vehicle for bringing God glory. A man and woman must not turn inwardly to each other to find their purpose and joy. To turn our attention in our marriage inwardly is a quick path to idolatry. However, when we turn our attention outwardly towards God and his mission, marriage becomes a beautiful partnership of worship. Your marriage isn't about you and it isn't about your spouse, but it is about God and his glory. Your marriage has a purpose, and its not about your needs or getting your way. It is about bringing glory to God together as a couple. As you seek God's glory together as man and wife in worship, you will receive life and life abundantly through Christ.

A marriage focused on God is a marriage that will endure. Rather than seeking to use your spouse to serve your wants, you will serve your spouse so they can flourish in their worship of God. I'm convinced this great change of perspective is essential to developing healthy marriages within the church. When as a couple you are living for God's glory and advancing God's kingdom, it is amazing how much sweeter the intimacy can be with your spouse. As you both grow closer to your God you will find you've grown closer to each other. Together hand in hand you will spend your life fighting through hardships, discipling your children, serving your world, and proclaiming the Gospel all for the glory of God. This is worship and this makes marriage a glorious gift from God.

One of God's greatest gifts to me is my wife Kaitlyn. Not only has she given me so much joy, I'm thankful for my partner in ministry. I'm thankful that we can live our marriage to God's glory, and I praise God that he can take two rough sinners like us and by God's grace sharpen one another for the cause of Christ. Looking forward to as many years as God gives us to serve the Lord together as one.

Addiction to Performance

I am doing my best to get back into my blogging ministry.  Prayers are appreciated as I get used to life with a baby.  It has been a wonderful pass few weeks welcoming my son Jude Pierce Deeter into the world, but I'm still figuring out how to get back into the swing of things.  Starting today, I'll be picking back up my blogging ministry and will continue to post around three times a week.  As always thanks for reading! As the first post coming off of a paternity leave, I'd figure I'd share a video I found yesterday on Justin Taylor's Blog.  It is a powerful testimony of a pastor who got so caught up with the idolatry of performance that he nearly lost everything, including his marriage.  Since then, the Lord has restored him and has transformed his marriage and ministry.  As I watched this video I couldn't help but connect.  The idolatry of performance and people pleasing is a sin that lingers and so often deceives my heart.  Check out this video. Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

httpv://vimeo.com/45947083

Cupid vs Jesus

It is February and that means Valentines Day is right around the corner. For many this is a day of great joy, for others it is a dreadful holiday better known as “single-awareness day”. I remember being in high school on the dreadful day. For some reason our SGA came up with a great idea to let students buy roses for those special somebody’s. As a result, all the popular people received a ton of these roses while those losers (including myself) received zero. Although this little fundraiser sounds so trivial it was devastating to so many students. We were finding our worth and our significance in how many roses we could collect. Many of us still try to find our worth and significance from the roses we can collect from the opposite sex. Everyone is looking for love and romance. In fact, if we don’t have love and romance in our lives we think that in some way we are less than complete. So many of us have turned cupid into an idol we worship. Have you ever thought the following?

  • If I just had a girlfriend I wouldn’t feel so lonely.
  • Maybe if I have sex with him, he would love me more.
  • Why Can’t I find a guy like the one in the movie?
  • Once I am able to get married, then I won’t feel unwanted.

If those four statements sound anything like your thoughts, chances are you are worshiping cupid. In Romans 1:25, Paul tells us that we desire worship created things rather than the creator God. This means that by nature we look to the things the world has to offer to satisfy us. For many of us this idol we worship become some mythical prince charming to save us from our circumstances. Now don’t get me wrong, romance and love are not bad things. In fact what Satan tends to do is to take good things that God created and make them into god things that we worship. Romance and love are great as long as they do not become your god. Listen very carefully, no man or woman will be able to satisfy the longing of your soul. You are looking for earthly things to fill what only Christ can! Many single and married people alike fall victim to this mistake. Even in marriages, we look find our joy and hope in our spouses rather than in Christ. Jesus is the only one who can satisfy the longing of your soul. He alone can make you complete. He alone can give you joy and peace. Don’t make to the mistake of believing the lie of Cupid. Romance will not bring you peace, only Jesus.

My prayer for you is that you would repent of your idolatry and worship Jesus. That you would ask him to forgive you of your vain pursuit of Cupid and give yourself totally to Jesus Christ. After all, He is the one who loved you enough to lay down his life for you. He is the one that went to the cross to bear your sin and punishment. No other man or woman will ever be able to do that for you. So Cupid vs Jesus. Who wins? Jesus every time.