The Sacred God-Place
Within our lives, we each possess a sacred “God place”—that place designed by God for God. Only He has the right to occupy this position in our lives. From this God place He rules over our souls and replenishes our hearts with His validating love while establishing our identity. When any other entity occupies this place, we are guilty of idolatry.
The Old Testament is replete with warnings and consequences that result when idols invade the lives of God’s chosen people. Although we may dismiss these passages because they are often connected with the pagan gods of Baal or Asherah, these admonitions also apply to modern life where we continuously allow other entities to fill our God place and dictate our lives.
As a result, any substitution for God we permit to establish our identity, love, significance, or security is an idol. These counterfeits break the heart of God. Subsequently, He aches as He watches our foolish endeavors to find completion in our lives through empty alternatives.
Choose no other God.
This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies:Isaiah 44:6–20 NLT
“I am the First and the Last;
there is no other God.
Who is like me?
Let him step forward and prove to you his power.
Let him do as I have done since ancient times
when I established a people and explained its future.
Do not tremble; do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?
You are my witnesses—is there any other God?
No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
These prized objects are really worthless.
The people who worship idols don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
Who but a fool would make his own god—
an idol that cannot help him one bit?
All who worship idols will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can make a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame.
The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool,
pounding and shaping it with all his might.
His work makes him hungry and weak.
It makes him thirsty and faint.
Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood
and draws a pattern on it.
He works with chisel and plane
and carves it into a human figure.
He gives it human beauty
and puts it in a little shrine.
He cuts down cedars;
he selects the cypress and the oak;
he plants the pine in the forest
to be nourished by the rain.
Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire.
With it he warms himself and bakes his bread.
Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it
and makes himself a god to worship!
He makes an idol
and bows down in front of it!
He burns part of the tree to roast his meat
and to keep himself warm.
He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
Then he takes what’s left
and makes his god: a carved idol!
He falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” he says.
“You are my god!”
Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
We can be complete in Christ.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!1 John 3:1 NLT
God wants us to be complete in the person of Christ, the position of His child, and the possession of His righteousness. His love tells us, “You are valued.” As His children, we have significance that states, “You have purpose.” Because of His righteousness, we have security that declares, “You are safe.”
However, by expecting to gain validation from another, we give them access to the God place of our souls—that place designed by God for God. Only He has the right to occupy this position in our lives. From this God place, He rules over our souls and replenishes our hearts with His validating love while establishing our identity.
Who gets the throne?
Jesus said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.”Luke 14:26 NLT
The God place of our souls is designed for Jesus. Boundaries should be built around this sacred place to assure that none other but Christ resides there. It should be further guarded by our fear of God with our appropriate view of God serving as the sentinel. The highest of all that is lofty should be ascribed to Jesus so that He fully attracts our hearts, minds, and souls, capturing our strength with the truth of His glory and virtue. Then Jesus becomes central because He is preeminent. We come to see Him in truth, as He actually is—Lord, Savior, lover of our souls, champion of our hearts.
Put God in His rightful place.
We first establish our identification with Jesus through the salvation of our souls, the sanctification of our hearts, and the renewal of our minds as the Holy Spirit replaces our self-concept with His Christ concept. As a result, this Christ concept asserts that we are a new creation, a restored person possessing a transformed heart, a renewed mind, and a new spirit. We are complete in our union with Jesus Christ.
God validates us as He asserts in both word and deed that we are lovable, significant, and secure. We no longer have to seek, for we have been found. Because of Christ, we have been given an identity replete with a profound understanding of who we are and what we are to be doing. Therefore, grace now empowers our souls to live out our salvation to our full potential, for it is indeed God who is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
God, I give You Your rightful place.
How amazing are Your deeds, Lord! All who delight in You should ponder them. Everything You do reveals Your glory and majesty. Your righteousness never fails. You cause us to remember Your wonderful works. How gracious and merciful are You, our Lord! . . .Psalm 111:2–4
What will you do with your God place?
Excerpts from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis.
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