The True God

We Must Turn Away From Idolatry And Turn Toward The Living God.

Jordan Hill
Sep 6, 2020    50m
In times up upheaval and stress it can be so easy to feel far from God, and inadvertently replace Him with false idols. This message reminds us that for true peace, we must turn away from idolatry and turn toward the living God. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Jordan Hill : 00:07 Nothing compares, indeed. Good morning 121, it's great to see you. Grab your Bibles, let's go to Jeremiah chapter 10. While you're turning there, let's kind of just recap a little bit, just talk to you about how we got here. We got here because we've been going through the Book of Jeremiah this entire fall at 121.

Jordan Hill : 00:25 And so last week, Ross kicked us off in the Book of Jeremiah, really it's Jeremiah calling the people of God to repentance. He's trying to call them to turn away from what they were pursuing, things other than God, they were pursuing idols, to try to get them to come back to the true God. And so we looked at what does it look like to truly repent, to truly turn away from one thing, and to turn towards another thing. To own it, to accept it, to just say, okay, this is my sin, this is where I messed up, and then to turn and find yourself towards the living God. And Jeremiah, over a hundred times in this book, calls people to repentance. But then we saw that the sad thing is, no one listened to him, no one listened to him. Only two people did in his entire ministry, but Jeremiah was still faithful to call others to repentance.

Jordan Hill : 01:21 And that's where God has us today, so we're going to have a conversation. The scripture of the text, is going to call us to then turn away from idolatry and turn towards the living God, that's where we're at. And so to give you just a rundown, spoiler alert, hopefully you don't turn off from my sermon here. But what's happening here in this text, here in Jeremiah 10, is we're going to see what was causing God's people to run to idols, and run away from the living God. What's happening here, the background is there's some cultural pressures, there's some economic pressures, there are just some pressures that are happening outside of them, and it's making them scared, it's making them feel fragile, and it's making them feel anxiety. And so then they look to the culture, and they're trying to see, okay, what's the culture doing? They're doing this, okay, let's go follow the culture. That's going to lead me to comfort, that's going to lead me to peace, that's going to lead to my safety and security, is turning to these idols. And what Jeremiah's going to lovingly do, is try to expose that these idols are worthless, they can't comfort that. Then he's going to try to point his people to the bigness, might, and majesty of God, because all idols fail you, but Jesus never does.

Jordan Hill : 02:42 So when we hear idols, we can sometimes be tempted to think of these like wooden creatures, or these like wooden figurines, or these gigantic like monkeys over overseas, right, that have all these different heads and arms and stuff like that. But not here in America, not here in the United States, we're smarter than that. We're Westerners, right, we don't worship something like that. But all an idol is, is if you value something, if you elevate something more than God. So if your heart is set on something, if your mind is set on something, here's a good way to notice too, if you feel pressure and you instantly run to it, if you try to control it, if you constantly crave it, that's an idol. And the text is going to show us that oftentimes idols can be good things. They can look great, but it's an idol, and it's going to leave us empty and broken, but Jesus never does. I think something that we're going to see, is that oftentimes our idols can actually be more ridiculous than maybe a three headed monkey with a bunch of rubies.

Jordan Hill : 03:57 And here's why we're going to have this conversation now. I mean, not just because that's like what the text say, and that's where I'm at. My fear for us, as things are starting to open back up again, and things are kind of getting back to a normal, which is a good thing. I'm not afraid of that, that's a good thing. I got to watch football last night, and I've been able to go to restaurants with my wife. I mean, these are good things, and we need to continue to push towards. I love seeing people here. I love it, these are good things. But my fear for us, is we're going to start grabbing back onto idols that God has just been lovingly trying to expose, that do not satisfy us. God has been pressing on us, and pushing on us in this season, and he has been exposing what I believe is a bunch of idols in our life that we run to and not run to God. So there hasn't been sports. Have you been let down by people this year? My goodness, I've let down a bunch of y'all, I'm sure. See, my fear is God has been trying to expose some of idols, and if we're not careful, we're going to grab back onto them because things are just back to normal. And we're going to look back on this year, which has been a tough year, it's been a difficult year. I'm not trying to minimize that, it's actually a good thing because God exposes our idols to show that they might seem good, but they'll lead to emptiness, and true life is only found in relationship with the true God. So we're going to see that idols can't comfort, they can't protect, they're nothing compared to God. And all idols will fall in the light of God's glory and his grace.

Jordan Hill : 05:44 So go with me to Jeremiah chapter 10, starting at verse, "Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity." So what's happening here is again, there's like some cosmic stuff that's going on. There's like some meter showers, stars are kind of aligning. And then they're also looking up and they're seeing, okay, a great army is assembling and it's taken down cities around them. And the people of God are looking up, and there's real things that are happening outside of them. There are very real things that are happening, and it's causing them to get anxious, and it's causing them to get nervous, as it probably should. These are real things, but what happened was they forgot that it's the God of the universe that is in control of every single molecule that is in the universe, and he's causing the stars to do this. And so they looked towards the nations because that's what they could see, and see how were they responding? What are they doing instead of running to God? So they were trying to find comfort because things are happening, I don't know what's going on. What do we do? How can I get control back? And they're running to things, they're running to idols, that do not comfort them. They're feeling pressed and pressured by culture, and pressed and pressure by things outside of them, and they're running to idols. Jeremiah's then going to try to show them, why are you running to this? Don't run to this, this thing can not satisfy you, this thing cannot comfort you.

Jordan Hill : 07:27 Let's go back to Jeremiah. He says, "They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move." He's saying these idols you're running to, they're not even beautiful on their own, you have to decorate it with silver and gold. It is not valuable on its own, you make it valuable. And then he's saying, you're running to this thing for protection, you literally have to nail it down so it doesn't fall over. How can that thing protect you? That thing, how on earth can something protect you, if a little bit of wind knocks it over? That's the thing you're running too? You got to be kidding me. He goes on, and he describes their idols. He says, "Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field." I love that. So he's describing it in such a way, where he's saying like, hear me, so a scarecrow actually does something, right? A scarecrow keeps demon birds away from you. I say demon birds, because I'm actually terrified of birds. And if you knew the truth about them, you would too. But so when a cucumber grows in a field with a bunch of other cucumbers, it grows, and it grows in such a way where it has all of these, like it has these massive leaves that actually grow above it. So you've got the cucumber down below, and you've got all these leaves protecting it from above. So when a crow, when a bird flies over a cucumber field, it looks down and all it sees is nothing but a bunch of leaves. And so it thinks there's not fruit there, and it doesn't stop. So what he's saying is, you don't even need to put a scarecrow up in a cucumber field. It literally, you could put it there, but it will do nothing. It's a waste of your time, so don't. That's what these idols are like, why are you running to that? It's like a scarecrow in a cucumber field. Y'all didn't know I was a farmer. He says, he goes on and he says, "And they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”. He's saying they don't even go before you, you have to literally carry these idols with you to protect you. It does not go in front of you to protect you, you have to bring it with you, it can't do anything for you. This is what you're running to for protection? It's nothing, it cannot comfort you.

Jordan Hill : 10:09 So again, what's happening is, some real things are happening. And I believe God is pressing upon them, the idol of control. So some real things, some things that are bigger than them are happening outside of me, so I've got to make sure I can pull things back down in my own little world, and I've got to get my hands on it, and I've got to comfort it, and I've got to make this thing because I can control this. Because some very real things are happening that are bigger than me, they're outside of me, that I can't control, so I've got to get my hands on something so I can control it.

Jordan Hill : 10:39 It's nothing new to the people of God. When Moses went up to the mountain to be with God on Mount Sinai and receive the 10 commandments, the people of God got afraid because they thought Moses was taking too long. And so they then ran to Aaron, and they pressured Aaron to make an idol for them to worship and protect them. Aaron caves, and he makes for them a golden calf. Now what's so interesting about that is, Aaron took a pagan idol from Egypt that was a bull, so a bull was something to be feared. It because it presents strength, you don't go near a bull, obviously, you run away from a bull. But do you know what he did? He made a calf. Why? Because you can get near a calf, it's approachable, you can actually wrestle with a calf. So again, he's taking this big thing, and what do we do when we feel out of control, I've got to try to pull things back down into my little world so that I have control of this thing. God sometimes will lovingly show you, you and I are not in control, and it's a good thing. So he will press on us, he will push on us, and he will remind us that you're not in control.

Jordan Hill : 11:59 Has that not been this season? I guarantee, I bet you've canceled plans. Oh, I was just talking to several brides and grooms because they've had to just change plans for their weddings. And it's tough, I get it. But instead are we reacting in such a way where we can hold open handed with the things that God has done before us, or we just growing bitter and angry and trying to grab on to every little thing we can grab onto, and pull it down into our world because I'm the center of the universe. See, that's an idol of control, and ultimately it will lead you to fall away from the living God, because idols can't comfort. You isn't that so sad, they were so worried and afraid of real things that were happening. And so they were trying to find comfort, and instead they ran to something that couldn't actually give them comfort. That's the cruel irony of idolatry and sin. We think if we can get more of the thing that does not satisfy us, that ultimately it will then satisfy us. When God sometimes wants to just press us and push us, and help us feel the weight that I'm not in control, that then forces us to go running into his arms because that's the safest place that you and I can be. Because God is the God of all comfort.

Jordan Hill : 13:23 So when you press more into idolatry, and it doesn't fill you, you continue to double down and you go and you go and you go. And the sad thing is, Psalm 115:8 says, "You make idols in your fashion, and then you become like them, empty." Because idols cannot compare to the living, massive, mighty, omnipotent God of the universe. Jeremiah then starts to make the distinction, he's trying to then now show them, okay, idols can't comfort you because here's why, because they can't even compare to the God of the universe. Jeremiah verse 6, "There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might. Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men." See you catch that, he's saying it can look real good, sometimes idols can look really nice. They can be good things, but hear me, when you elevate a thing that will not, that cannot satisfy you, and you elevate it to an ultimate thing. Ultimately it will fail you, and it will crush you, and it'll expose an idolatry that is going on deep rooted in your heart because they are not like God,

Jordan Hill : 15:10 And this is so good, because even though it's a good thing, even though it looks great, even though by itself it could be intrinsically good, it will not fully satisfy you. Because there's nothing on this earth that can satisfy you like the one true God. So it's a good thing when we feel that these things don't fulfill us. Oh, they can be good things. First Corinthians 8:4-6 says, "Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." See all idols will fall in the light of God's glory and grace, in his son Jesus Christ. Because we weren't made to be in relationship with these idols, we were made...the whole purpose of why you and I were made, is to be in relationship with Jesus. So as you push more into idolatry, you will push more into emptiness because that's not what you were made for. You were made for relationship with Jesus Christ, that is why you exist, that is why I exist. So when we started trying to find things outside of him, we will find further emptiness, because it's not what we were made for. It's like trying to use this table as a fork, it will go bad because it's not what it was made for. You and I were just made to be in relationship with the living God.

Jordan Hill : 17:03 So God will constantly press and push on idols going on, because idols take root and they start in the heart and they play themselves out in the surface. So God will push and he'll push and he'll expose idols that are going on, and he'll expose these things for being worthless and empty. And here's the problem with idols, here's the problem. and here's why we have to have a candid conversation. Here's why literally from Genesis, basically the entire Bible, God is constantly, constantly, constantly warning his people of idolatry, because that leads you to death, because it's not what you were made for. And here's what happens, when you have an idol and an idol is then exposed for what it is, it'll come into contact with the character and nature of God and why you exist. And you will then do one of two things, you'll either A. Suppress the truth of Jesus, suppress the truth for why I exist, or you will then grow bitter at God, and you'll start to question the nature and character of him. Because how dare he take this idol away from me? He can't be good, I can't trust him with that.

Jordan Hill : 18:25 This is why idolatry is so, so, so awful. And this is why we have to press in, and we have to examine our hearts. And hear me, this is often why God exposes idols by pushing us, and pressing upon us, and making things difficult for us. And it stings, and it can hurt, but ultimately it's a good thing because God is heaven bent on making sure that you and I find the fullest of life in him. So it's a good thing when he presses on us, it's a good thing when he actually exposes the idols that are going on in our heart.

Jordan Hill : 19:11 Jeremiah goes on and he says in chapter 10, and he says in verse 11 here, Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” See, he wants his people to say it. Thus, you shall say to them, just say it. This is the only verse in Jeremiah that's in Aramaic, and scholars are kind of, they go back and forth on why that is, and who are they actually saying it to? Are they supposed to just repeat it? Are they talking to the people who are about to put them in captivity? So there's some back and forth there, but here it's one thing that is abundantly clear, Jeremiah wants his people to say it, to confess it, that these idols will fall. Say it, because again, when you say it out loud, idols, take deep root in your heart. When you can say it, and then you confess it, and you own your idolatry, then can they find grace and mercy in the arms of Jesus Christ.

Jordan Hill : 20:13 So when we get confronted with idolatry, it's in these moments where we have the opportunity to truly repent, to truly lay it down and then be reminded of the fact that these little gods cannot compare to the big God. Jeremiah then says, "It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. See, God will flex his might often, to remind you and I, and it is a gift that we are small, we are not in control. And this thing that I have built up to be my life, to be my worth, to be my everything. When it comes into contact with the real living God, it will fall. So God is going to push, he's going to press, because he wants to expose all idols going on in our heart. And he wants to expose them for what they are, they're counterfeit, they're not real compared to him.

Jordan Hill : 21:36 So what are some of these idols? I've been thinking through a lot of it, because there's so many of them, right? We think about maybe money, right? Money can easily and quickly be an idol, especially because you use money to basically control things, and you can control my little world. And I got to make sure I have more and more and more and more, despite the fact that the Bible constantly says, if you love money, you will be unsatisfied by money, because it can never be enough. Now, if you are struggling financially, like you cannot pay your mortgage, there is something to biblical stewardship. If you cannot pay your mortgage, please reach out, we have ministries and people who would love to help you. That's not what he's saying here. What he's saying is if you make money, the ultimate thing, you will be unsatisfied, and it will leave you bitter, and angry, and trying to constantly control your little world. Because I've got to get it, I've got to make sure I've got enough. I've got to make sure I don't go back to where I was before, and I need more and more and more. See it's the love of money, that's the root of all evil. It's not even the love of money, it's the love of anything other than God.

Jordan Hill : 22:51 Kids are another one, right? Kids are a good thing, they're a great thing. But when you elevate your children, parents, when you elevate your children to the ultimate thing, you will put a weight, and you will put an expectation on them that they cannot and will not ever meet. And it will lead them to being crushed by you, and they will grow bitter towards you, because they weren't meant to fully satisfy you. When you go all in on your hopes and your dreams that your kids will see out, you will crush them. And what was meant to be a gift of God's grace, to remind you of the fact that you are not in control, and that you are just oftentimes a dumb little kid, no offense to dumb little kids here. I heard a, hey. Will then turn into the very object that will oftentimes lead you to hating God. Now. I mean, again, kids are great, kids are awesome. I'm about to have one born here in October 25th, and I'm super excited for it. But hear me now, I'll say this, if Knox ends up with my athletic genes and Ashley's height genes, I've got a big leaguer on my hands. I'm just saying, I got a shot, we've got a shot. My dad's 6'2", my mom is like the furthest thing from 6'2", and like all of Ashley's parents are like really tall. So like my brother and I just kind of like met in the middle. Obviously, I love baseball, and I've seen this. Parents, if you really put all of your hopes and dreams that your kid will make it to a place that you never did, they will be crushed by it. I saw it as a college player, as a college coach. Now hear me, I hope if Knox loves baseball, that will be amazing if he gets to the big leagues. But it's so rare, it is so incredibly rare. Here is how rare it is, so next year will be the 150th year of major league baseball in its entirety, of just however the sport began with Abner Doubleday, til now it's 148 years. So I've been very fortunate in my time, I've just had players that I've coached, who have made it up to the big leagues and it's been pretty cool to see. This last month, I've had two guys just see their dreams fulfilled, i's really amazing and I'm super pumped and proud of them.

Jordan Hill : 25:21 But now this number could have changed from yesterday. It could change today, so don't fact check me on this, but there have been 19,853 players to play in the major leagues since the very beginning of baseball. To put that number into perspective, 19,853 players, since the very beginning of baseball. To put that into perspective, the seating capacity for the renovated Globalized park in Arlington, right where the Rangers play, the seating capacity there is 49,183 players. So if you got every single player that has ever played major league baseball at the highest level, since the beginning, if you got them all together and you put them at ranger stadium, you wouldn't even fill up half of the seating capacity. That is so rare. Now, if Knox makes it there, amen. But hear me, if Knox doesn't make it there, I won't care because that's my son, and he is a gift from the Lord. And my job is not disciple him to be a major league baseball player, my job is to disciple him to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. So if I put my hopes and my dreams, that he'll make it further than I ever did, I will crush him, and then he and I will have a strained relationship. And then what's going to end up happening is that I'll then turn to the Lord and I'll say, but I was doing, I was pushing him, right? I just wanted to see him succeed. And then now I'm growing bitter at God because my relationship with my son is torn, but that was never supposed to fully satisfy me.

Jordan Hill : 27:10 Have you been upset by friends this year? Oh my goodness, how many difficult conversations have you had to have? I know I've let you down. If you're new here, give me enough time, I'll let you down. Right? But here's the thing, this is what I love so much, I'm not supposed to be Jesus for you. Ross is not supposed to be Jesus for you. One of the things, if you and I have sat down for counseling, one of the things I've constantly tried to remind you of the fact is this. I'm not the one who has all the answers to your problems, Ross isn't the one who has all the answers to your problems, our job is just simply to point you to Jesus. So when you put all of the weight and expectation for your little friend group, or your life group, or your pastors, to figure out every single problem that's going on in your life, you will then be met by failure because we weren't supposed to be that that's supposed to be Jesus. And so what'll happen then is you'll say, they're not good friends, that's not a good pastor, these people don't really care. And then you'll leave, and you'll grow bitter, and you'll just miss the fact that they weren't supposed to be that for you.

Jordan Hill : 28:21 Now, praise God for counseling, praise God for amazing pastors like Ross, because all we're supposed to do is just remind you of the fact that, hey, Jesus is greater, Jesus is more important, Jesus will comfort you. So when you elevate good things, and you elevate them to ultimate things, they will all fail you. But hear me, all idols fail, but Jesus never, never does. And so it's a good thing when he presses on us, and he shows us the weight and the fact that these things were empty all along, because it forces us to go to him. It's a good, good thing, but it's a difficult thing, is it not? Like it's hard? This has been a very hard year, but he says in his word in James 1:2-4, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." See God is going to be heaven bent on the fact that you and I will be perfect, complete, lacking in nothing. So while it may hurt, the good physician is constantly just making sure I need to cut here, press here, pull out here, because he wants to expose all of the idols that are going on in our heart. And I'm glad it's difficult, because I don't want to let these things go, and it's tough and it hurts. But he's right there, and he's saying, I'm the one who comforts you. I will never fail you. Because see, oftentimes God will be heaven bent to expose these idols, and the best way sometimes guys is to just press and press and press on us.

Jordan Hill : 30:32 We see here, Jeremiah then saying in verse 17, "Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it.” They're going to feel all the stuff pressing upon them, they're going to feel the culture pressing on them, they're going to feel the fact that their leaders are failing them. They're going to feel it, because it's going to bring them to God. Jeremiah, then speaking for Israel, he says, "Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, “Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it.” My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again and to set up my curtains. For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!— to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals". Again, it's a kindness of the Lord for us to feel the weight, and to feel the pressure all around us, that it's failing us. I mean, he just said it right there. I see something's coming to city, the people of God they're hearing about all the destruction that's happening around them, and they're seeing their leaders, their governmental leaders. That's what the shepherd is right there. They're seeing their leaders are abandoning a failing God. But hear me again, they're not supposed to be their King. Doesn't that sound like us today.

Jordan Hill : 32:16 Now hear me, we as believers, we absolutely need to be involved. We need to vote, we need to be educated, but our political leaders are not our King. And now if you just heard me say this, and you just instantly thought, wait a second, are you're talking about so and so, are you about to say this? I guarantee you, if you acted like that, that's an idol. That's an idol in your heart, because that leader is not supposed to be your savior, and they will let you down. Have we not seen that now? Now again, we need to be educated, we need to vote. We need to make sure and vote your conscious, and be educated and participate. It is a gift of this beautiful nation, but hear me, this is God's church, Jesus is our King. And when we put all our hopes, all our dreams into a political leader, they will fail us because they're not supposed to be. Jesus is the only one who will never truly fail us, so it's a good thing when he presses on us. And it's actually a kindness of the Lord that he can make it difficult, and I know that is so hard sometimes to hear, that is just so difficult. Because we just think, Jordan, it just has felt like wave after wave after wave in this year.

Jordan Hill : 33:40 But sometimes, Tim Keller says it in his book, Counterfeit Gods. It's a great book. He says, "As many have learned and later taught, you don't realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have." So maybe you've lost your business this year. Maybe you've unfortunately lost a friendship. Maybe some of your friends have passed away, like some of mine have. And I wish they were here, but ultimately those things will never ever fully satisfy me like Jesus.

Jordan Hill : 34:20 And hear me, we're not alone in this. I want you to hear from our brothers and sisters in Yemen, and how they have been describing this year. So Yemen, on open doors is ranked like eighth, it's ranked eighth in the most persecuted areas for Christians. And so a couple of things, the people there have described what has happened with COVID, that it has just completely and utterly collapsed the healthcare system. And here's, what's happening to Christians, when they are stepping out and they're going to actually receive healthcare. They're not only being denied, they're then getting followed back to their homes and they're being slaughtered. And then somehow if they make it to their home, they're then put on quarantine. But here's what's happening, people are setting up outside of their homes to then make sure that they don't leave to go get food, and so then they starved inside their house. Why? Because they follow Jesus.

Jordan Hill : 35:21 But here's what they said. Even in the light of difficult conditions we're facing, we feel that the Lord Jesus is with us. We feel his mercy and closeness to us, said a believing sister. A lot of people complain about the emptiness and boredom because of the need to stay at home more, but I found it to be a valuable opportunity to pray, draw closer to God, and feel the affection of his hand outreach to his children. I and many others are feeling great pressure that the spread of this virus has added to our lives. But when I searched, I find that we, the believers, carry a hope that helps us with the certainty that tomorrow will be better. And that by the will of our Lord, we will pass through this, and all the anxieties and fears and dangers surrounding us.

Jordan Hill : 36:19 That is why we're doing this underground church movement here in the fall. It's not so we could play this thing called underground churches, because we're trying to learn from our brothers and sisters abroad that are experiencing persecution, the likes of which you and I do not know. And what they have found is that Jesus is enough for them, and in fact, they are now loving God in such a way that they would never know unless they had felt that persecution. So we're learning from them, that's what it looks like to love God. And so, yes, it's difficult. Yes, it hurts. But underneath all of that, Jesus is there. Because all idols will fail, but Jesus never does. So when we feel this, when we feel the pressure of this world, when we feel circumstances that are just getting outside of ourselves and I can't grab it, I can't control it, I can't grab onto it, I feel out of control, I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. We need Jesus.

Jordan Hill : 37:38 And in John 10:9-11, Jesus says, "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd." See, the good shepherd is the door, and he leads you out to pasture. And we know this, that the good shepherd makes us lie down by streams of living water. We know that Jesus is the good shepherd and I shall not want. We know that it's Jesus, that's actually leading us through the valley of the shadow of death. And so you might be in the Valley right now, you might be experiencing so much just hurt and loss. You might even be feeling some persecution at your job or wherever. But hear me, the valley is not Satan's playground, it's actually Jesus who goes before you with a rod and a staff to comfort you. And it's Jesus who leads you through the valley, and then ultimately it's Jesus who will then set a table before your enemies, and he will anoint your head with oil that your cup so much will overflow, and that surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. The valley is not Satan's playground, it's Jesus. And he's leading you through it because he's leading you to ultimate holiness and life found only in him. So it's a good thing that it's been hard. It's a good thing that these things have failed you, because God is exposing these idols for what they are, counterfeit. And he's the good shepherd. Because again, ultimately all idols will fail, but Jesus never does.

Jordan Hill : 39:32 So we see that Jesus is the better Jeremiah here. So God has exposed the idols, and he's now led us to a place where we can repent. And we see, okay, God, this is nothing compared to you, I just want to repent. I know that I have failed you, I know that I have done wrong, help me, father Jeremiah here, he sees that for his people, and now he starts to then falls on his knees, and he now it starts to pray a prayer of repentance for his people. When he says, "I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing." Then in verse 25, "Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, and on the peoples that call not on your name, for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation." So Jeremiah has seen what has happened, he's seeing his people, he's seeing his leaders all turn away from God. And now he's trying to repent for his people, but here he knew I can't take it all on my own. I can't do this God, so can you just, I know we deserve wrath, I know we deserve to be smited. I know, I know, I know, but can you just make it pass over and put it on these other nations because they're the evil ones.

Jordan Hill : 40:55 And ultimately this, Jesus is the better Jeremiah. Because what Jesus did, he came in and he said, no, no, don't put it on anyone else, put it on me. Put it on me, and forgive them Father for they know not what they do. Put it on me and I will go forth, and I will be the one who takes on all your sins. All of the times that you have ran to an idol, you justly deserved wrath for this, you and I both do. But Jesus came in and he said, no, I will take it all on him. So now the promise is this, that if you run to God, if you do repent, and you go to Jesus as your Lord and savior, he is just and gracious to forgive you. And now you will be then sealed and grafted in to Jesus heart. Every single time you do run to an idol, every time God presses on you and exposes an idol in your heart, you and to have an opportunity that we can approach the throne and not just find wrath, but instead find grace and mercy. That's the good news.

Jordan Hill : 42:02 So how do we then constantly fight idols? Because they're going to keep popping up, right? We live in such an area, especially, where there's just so many idols for us to grab. How do we do that? Well, here's how I believe, Jude 1:20-21, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life." First John 5:20-21 says, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols." So how do we fight idols? How do we keep ourselves from idols? We fan the flame of passionate, unashamed worship of God. Because the more we fix our eyes on him, the more he will push and press out all idols. And the more we fix our eyes on him, the more we will come to understand that these things like money, my job, my kids, these are good things, but they're not ultimate things, and I can then place them in their proper place. And the more I pray and I abide with Jesus, and I worship Jesus, and then get around other believers who want to point me to Jesus, the more and more and more he will press out idols and bring forth real life. Because Jesus came so that we can have life, and have life abundantly. Here's the promise of Jesus, this right here is the promise of Jesus, that if you approach him, you will find that he will satisfy you more than you ever thought possible.

Jordan Hill : 44:01 In John 7:37-38, we see a time where there's a great feast. And some Pharisees have been questioning Jesus on who is he? What does life really look like? And there's just been this back and forth, and then the disciples now are just kind of growing a little nervous. Because man, there's just been so much hesitation, there just seems like so much people are just not liking what they're hearing from their teacher. Jesus. So Jesus, on the last day he stands up and he says, John 7:37-38. He stands up, "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." So Jesus stands up, he's at this great feast and I love it, he says, he cries out. He's got this angst in Jesus, there's an angst in him. I know often we think he's just like monotone, and like right here, he stands up and he can't take it anymore. And he says, are you thirsty? Can you feel there's something going on in this world? There's something going on in you where you just feel like there's more, there's got to be more than this, I'm missing out on something, this is not fully satisfying me. Do you just have a desire and you want more, and you want more, and you want more? He says, come to me, come to me, I am the living water. Come to me, all who are thirsty, I will give you living water. And then what does he say right here? He says, out of your heart will then flow rivers of living water. So the more you press into Jesus, the more the living, life giving water will flow out of your heart. That's how you fight idols. You press more into him because when you press more into him, he will then press more into you., and it's this awesome relationship where life and freedom and hope come bursting out of us. That's fighting idols.

Jordan Hill : 46:17 And the promise is true, that he is an inexhaustible well of joy. So the more you abide with him, the more you pray for him, the more you press into him, you will find more and more and more life. So are you thirsty today? Are you hungry today? Are you tired today? Lay it down, and go to Jesus. See, I think so often our walks with the Lord are actually, they look more like we're just defeated. Like just by this gut punching. just nonstop works, that will lead us to failure. Oh, I messed up again. I did it again. I need to read more. Okay, I know I should pray more, and I'm not doing it. Okay, they did life groups again, I know I didn't get in on the last one, but I better do it now. That's not living water. Living water, it looks like abiding with him. This is why we're doing in these eight ways. It's not just because Eric, Jessica, and I spent months working on this, it's because the more we abide with him, and the more we pray with him, the more that we actually share God's story, the more we can share it to ourselves when we fall, when we fail, when we stumble. Because all idols will ultimately fail you, because they can't comfort you, they can't protect you, they'll never satisfy you because they don't even compare to the glorious one. Hear me, Jesus will never fail you. Jesus will comfort you. Jesus will provide for you, because he and he alone is the true Lord, and God and God alone is the true God.

Jordan Hill : 48:27 Pray with me. Father, thank you so much for the opportunity to be exposed in front of you. Thank you for the opportunity it is, to just be laid bare in front of you the fact that we can quickly and so often grab a hold of idols in our life. Forgive us when we fall away from you. Father, I pray you will just burst forth and flood rivers of flowing water that lead to life, and life to the fullest in you. Lord help us, we need your spirit. Lord, show us that you are the one who truly satisfies us. It's in your son's name, we pray. Amen.

Jordan Hill : 49:26 Now let's spend a couple moments here, and maybe this is an opportunity where God has just exposed an idol in your heart. Maybe this is a time where you can lay it down. Maybe God has just shown you, yeah, you know what? You have been very frustrated with him, and you haven't even talked to him because you just don't even know what you want to say. It's okay, he already knows, take it to him. May this be a day where you can lay aside every sin and weight that so easily entangles us, so that God can burst forth rivers of flowing life water only found in Him.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051