Believer, how is it that you think of The Lord? What do you consider Him? It is good to reflect on how you envision God and what and who He is to you. Some people consider Him a sort of Santa Claus/Papa in the sky, doling out gifts to the good children. Some people see Him like a vending machine, ‘I want this so I do this, pray, and receive what I want.’ Others see God as an angry mythical being, far removed and sending lightning bolts down to smite those who offend Him. He is none of those things.
But when we do not know the true God, we are likely to warp His image and therefore our relationship with Him. Malachi addressed the second chapter of his book to priests. That is you and me Brothers and Sisters. (1 Peter 2:5). Verses 1-2 read,
“And now, O priests, this command is for you. 2 If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.”
God is deserving of our deep respect. He is The LORD! He created the universe with only spoken words. (Genesis 1). He created man with his hands and the dirt of the earth, and breathed His own life into him. (Genesis 2:7). He is Almighty God! Yet I see so many people who claim to be Christians muddy who He is, call Him someone He is not, and treat Him like a god of their own making instead of God. Just last night, I prayed for a man, who called himself a Christian but referred to Jesus, not as the Christ, but as the greatest guru of all gurus.
This mixed up false religion does not affect only the person practicing it, it affects our children as they learn who God is from us. It affects the people on the outside looking in as they expect us to lead them to Jesus. How can we lead them to Jesus Christ if we are pursuing Guru Jesus? Verses 3-9 read,
“Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. 4 So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. 5 My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name.6 True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity.7 For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 8 But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, 9 and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
The malarkey so many are teaching as a path to god is so offensive to God that He calls it, their offerings, and their worship poo. And says he’ll take that manure, the refuse and leftovers they give Him and spread it on their faces! All that dung is ritual. It is all following the rules of a god we made up and has nothing to do with God. He wants a relationship. He wants us to know the real Him. One of my favorite verses is Hosea 6:6. It reads,
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
Jesus quoted this scripture in Matthew 9:13 and Matthew 12:7. It is knowing the real God which allows us to follow Him, recognize His voice, guard His Word, and instruct others in the truth. It is that relationship which allows us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
When we worship God, we can’t simply worship the parts of Him we think are good, like the man I prayed for. He worships God as a teacher, a beneficent being, and “love.” But he misunderstands who and what Love really is. He ignores the parts of God that don’t fit his new age religion. He ignores our Righteous Judge, The Lord God of Hosts, and Savior. He isn’t worshipping God. And God is not interested in this man’s worship.
The messed up worship of God is profane to God. He calls it dung, the feces of a bull. I didn’t write that, He did. We want to say it is our effort or intention that counts. But real effort means seeking the truth, pursuing God as He is, not god as we make him. That is an abomination to God. It is idol worship. And it is done in His name! We may as well get a pig, slaughter it, and drink its blood, if we are going to worship our god instead of The One True Living God. Verses 10-12 read,
“Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!”
Are you worshipping The LORD or are you worshipping a god you envision. Perhaps your god would never send someone to Hell or let people suffer. Maybe your god makes you perfectly healthy at all times, sends sickness to punish, and wants you to be rich. Or maybe your god wants you to be sick, and he doesn’t love you as much as he loves Billy Graham. Perhaps your god gives you everything you ask for and doesn’t care about your sin. Or maybe he considers you a sinner and you have to do great things in order to be considered good enough for him. Is that really what the Bible says about God? Is that who God is? No! He is not those things.
What do you do about it, if you realize the god you’re pursuing is an idol? Do you cry and hope God becomes the idol you worship? Do you plead with God to change? Do you decide it’s all futile and give up? Many do. Rather than give up their idol and get to know who God is, they prefer to stay where they are and give up on God.
When you first learned who Jesus is, it was simple. You understood it with child-like faith. But it got mucked up by someone and instead of seeking the answers, you sought the lies. You turned from God and made Him into someone else. You became faithless. You cheated on Jesus Christ with Guru Jesus or Prophet Jesus, or Good Man Jesus. Verses 13-16 read,
“And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
Have you cheated on God with a god you created? If you have, repent and turn to The One True Living God, get to know Him by all of His names, by all of His works, and by all of His greatness. If you have not turned from Him, guard the Truth with your entire heart. Be diligent about following God and don’t let the lies in. Proverbs 4:4-5 reads,
“he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.”
All paths do not lead to God. If it was a sin 10,000 years ago, it is a sin now. If it was a sin 100 years ago it is a sin now. The lies are so easy to fall into. “It isn’t wrong to kill an unborn child if you don’t want or can’t afford to be a parent.” “You can cut up and restructure your body if you don’t like who you are.” Real love lets people live and do whatever they please.” Verse 17 reads,
“You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
Keep your focus on Christ and don’t flit from this to that. Keep your focus on Christ, be in constant communication with God through prayer and God will give you peace that cannot be understood by the lost who watch you. He will guard your heart and your mind. You’ll know God, since you are always in fellowship with Him. Philippians 4:4-9 says it this way,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”