3 May 2015
With What Are You Filling Your Life?
NOTE: This is a written version of the message I delivered on May 3, 2015.
There was a story where two characters, Rygel and D'Argo, shared a conflict. Rygel was a selfish sort and D'Argo was an angry sort. Rygel overly enjoyed food - loved it, adored it. One time, D'Argo caught Rygel hording crackers and eating them up. In his anger, D'Argo yelled at Rygel, "You want crackers?!" and proceeded to jam cracker after cracker into Rygel's mouth. Rygel nearly choked! He was terrified! The object of his affection nearly became his doom! Through various trials in that story, Rygel and those around him eventually realized that crackers really do not matter.
There was a scene for the ancient Egyptians where the object of their affection brought doom. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the goddess Heqet. She was depicted as a frog and "represented fertility" as "the frog was a symbol of life and fertility, since millions of them were born after the annual inundation of the Nile, which brought fertility to the otherwise barren lands" (source: Wikipedia). However, when Pharaoh continued to keep God's people in slavery, the LORD brought about the Plague of Frogs.
Exodus 8:1-15 (NASB) describes the Plague of Frogs:
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs. The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and into your kneading bowls. So the frogs will come up on you and your people and all your servants."'" Then the Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.'" So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Entreat the Lord that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord." Moses said to Pharaoh, "The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?"
Then he said, "Tomorrow." So he said, "May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your servants and your people; they will be left only in the Nile." Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord concerning the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh. The Lord did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, the courts, and the fields. So they piled them in heaps, and the land became foul. But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
There are a few things to consider from this Scripture:
- The idol -- Heqet -- overwhelmed the Egyptians.
There were frogs everywhere: in the River, in the bedroom, even in the bed, in the oven and in the bowls! Have you placed other things, circumstances or people at the same level or above God? If so, you will be overwhelmed by them and they will fail you. Nothing and no one
can satisfy as God does.
- Pharaoh wanted the frogs - a symbol of Egypt's idolatry - removed. He actually loathed the symbol of his idol.
Are you loathing your idols? Are you hating sin? This doesn't mean you never sin, but are you hating it and repenting of it? Are you taking the next step and trusting in the work of Christ to hold the power of sin in the place of death at the Cross?
- Heqet didn't hold up her end of the bargain
Heqet was supposed to be a goddess of fertility and life. However, her very symbol -- the frogs -- died, were piled in heaps, and made the land foul. Do you realize the trap in idolatry, the lies of idols? Consider Proverbs 3:4-5 (NASB) where the verses depict an adulteress, the very one who is an idol:
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
It's like a golden ring in a pig's snout as Proverbs 11:22 mentions. It looks good, but it isn't. Are you putting your desire for idols to death rather than letting them take you down? Do you realize how foul they are?
And smoother than oil is her speech;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death
- Pharaoh hardened his heart.
Once the LORD brought relief, Pharaoh hardened his heart as he had done before. He rushed back to his idolatry and as a
result, plagues and grief followed. Do you go to God only in times of trouble? When He brings relief, do you return to your idols?
With what are you filling your life? Matthew 6:21 (NASB) says, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Where is your treasure? Is it life-giving or life-taking?
Just yesterday, our family went to a picnic a half-hour from home. When it was time to eat, I realized that I had forgotten to grab
insulin for my son who has diabetes. I wondered what to do. Also being diabetic, I knew that insulin was life-giving when dealing
with high blood sugar and carbohydrates. I was wearing my insulin pump and decided I would take insulin from my pump to give to my
son. After a couple of tries, I was able to get insulin into a syringe to give my son what was life-giving. This made me think about
an illustration. Is your life filled with the Holy Spirit Who is life-giving that He may overflow in you and benefit others?
With what are you filling your life?
Is it honoring to God or idolatry?
Are the objects of your affection bringing doom? We are designed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and glorify Him!
I like chocolate and I hate Brussel sprouts. I have sometimes wondered why Brussel sprouts are good for you and candy bars bad for you. Why didn't God make it the other way around? I've said and written before: We have to eat because we are
designed to depend on something outside ourselves. And though chocolate tastes better, Brussel sprouts are better for you. We cannot
find eternal satisfaction in the things of this world.
We need something not of this world that both tastes good and is good. We need that Someone.
Psalm 34:8 (NASB) says the following:
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? Have you placed your trust in Jesus Christ, that He died on your behalf on
the Cross, taking your sin and giving you His righteousness? Are you taking refuge in Him, relishing the walk with Him or
are you wasting time with idols? In the end, you will realize that your idols - crackers or otherwise - do not matter.
Pastor Mark Carey (Fellowship Bible Church) said years ago that in the Christian walk you will walk in joy or grief. Joy comes with making God your all.
Failing to let go of idols results in grief. With idolatry, the very things you intended for
good end up being bad. With God, it is the opposite. What man or the enemy intended for evil, God makes a way for a good outcome.
That is the story of the Cross of Christ. The Crucifixion was a horrible thing, but the story didn't end at the Cross. He rose
again! The power of sin and death - yes even the enemy himself - were defeated!
God brought forth multiple plagues upon Egypt, not just the frogs. What more will God need to do to get your attention?
In the book Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, one reads where the demon Screwtape has an insatiable apetite, wanting to consume even his
own nephew Wormwood, a stark contrast to God's principle to fill His people with His Spirit. God wants to fill and the enemy
wants to consume. And idols will consume us. Only God perfectly fills us. Are you trusting Him to do that today?
Are you trusting in the only perfect One - Jesus Christ - and His work in His life, death, burial and resurrection? We
so easily attempt to fill our lives with things that in the end consume us. May we be filled instead with the Holy Spirit.
With what are you filling your life? Rather, with Whom are you filling your life?
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