Israel's Idolatry is our Idolatry

Tales from the Wilderness

Pastor Leroy Wiggins - July 24, 2022

Community Group Study Notes

In this series, we have live preaching at each campus. If your group is made up of different campuses, you may not have all heard the same message.


    1.    Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture passages and main idea of the message. If members of your group attend multiple campuses, be sure to recap the message from each campus.

    2.    How did Sunday’s message confirm and/or correct your previous ideas related to the message topic?

    3.    What did this tale from the wilderness teach you about God? 

    4.    What did this tale from the wilderness teach you about humanity and sin? 

    5.    How has this tale from the wilderness influenced your trust in God?

    6.    In what ways can you apply today’s message to your life?


Mobilization Challenge


As a group, create your own mobilization challenge. Consider awareness challenges, service challenges, blessing challenges, or sharing/speaking challenges. As you complete your challenge, please share your experience at - we'd love to hear it!


Sermon Transcript

- All right. Well, good morning, Chapel family. It is certainly good to see you guys, my Chapel family online and the folks that I see here, my friends that I see here that haven't moved a single solitary seat in the past eight years. There we go, right, there we go. I know exactly where you are. Super, super grateful for that. The last time I spoke here it was during COVID and there were only, I think a couple things, there was like me, there was like a camera, and there was like 2,400 empty seats. The weirdest thing I've ever done in my entire life in terms of giving a message, but that's what it was, so I'm really, really grateful to be here today and I'm looking forward to catching up with so many of you after service, so definitely wanna make sure we do that. So, we're continuing on in our series, Tales From The Wilderness. I spoke already at the Niagara falls through video. I was at Cheektowaga last week., so in addition to last, wwhen pastor John was talking about five folks that were baptized last month, we had eight more last week baptized, and it was like, so... There was water everywhere. Super, super cool for that. Obviously, I'm here today, next week I will be in Lockport so I'm really looking forward to that. So just good, good stuff. So here's what I'm not seeing is, I'm not seeing folks that have traveled from one campus to come see pastor Leroy, so I'm taking it that everyone's kind of staying put and they're watching the message and they're not being groupies, that's one option, or the other option is simply that Leroy you have no groupies, so that's probably what it really is right there, but super grateful to be here this morning. So we're all kinda speaking from the exact same timeframe in all of our messages. We're speaking about the same people, the Israelites, and clearly we're speaking from the same book, the Bible, so it is very, very possible that there are gonna be some things that each of us from a base level point are sharing with you on a weekly basis. And I'm perfectly okay with that because one of the many things that I love about the Bible is this, something that you read or something that you may have heard last week, when you hear it this week, or when you reread it this week, the Lord may illuminate something that was hidden from you last week, 'cause it still remains the only true book that reads you when you read it. So my hope is if you hear something that you heard before that the Lord will illuminate something to you that says, Hey, now's the time for you to actually pay attention to this 'cause last week you really weren't ready for it. And we have one more in this series next week, someone will be here, pastor Jerry will be here next week, and I hope again that the Lord will reveal something to you. But also, I'm hoping that it's gonna reveal something to me as well, because I'm gonna be talking about Israel's idolatry is our idolatry. You see when it comes to idolatry, I'm not exempt from being enticed, I'm not exempt from being tempted to bring out my own idols 'cause I have been there before as well, and I don't wanna go back there ever, ever again. So even though I've asked the holy spirit to join me in my preparation, I've asked the holy spirit to join me in my delivery, I've asked the holy spirit to join in the reception, I know for a fact that the Lord is like, well, Leroy whatever you're saying, do not forget please that this is for you as much as it is for them. So that's my hope that the Lord will reveal something to me as well. Like I said, I've been in my wilderness and I bet you've been in yours but let's talk a little bit about Israel's wilderness first. So when we say Israel's wilderness, what is it we're actually talking about? And if you've been tracking with this, you kinda know some of this already, but there may be folks under the sound of my voice that this is their first time, so we're talking about that time in Israel's history where they have left Egyptian bondage, where God has released them from Egyptian bondage and the time period that they're going up to the land of Canaan, the land that God has given them, the land they told Abraham was theirs, the land the Bible says milk and honey, right, flowing with milk and honey. If you were looking in the books of the Bible that'd be from Exodus all the way up to Joshua, so we're talking about that timeframe right there as well. But I do wanna back up for a little bit, just back up and how did all this happen? Just for a little bit of context, we know that Israel had been in bondage for hundreds and hundreds of years under the Egyptian Royal, pardon mean, Israelites were in bondage through Egyptian bondage. And despite the fact that Joseph in Israelite actually was the second in command at one point in time, some years had gone by and there were new Egyptian Kings, and new Egyptian king wasn't familiar with Joseph so he wanted to do what he wanted to do, and he enslaved the Israelite and that's where they were from there but God heard their cry. And eventually Moses and Aaron show up on the scene and they help as Israel escapes from bondage. God sent some plagues, 10 different plagues, a whole bunch of plagues, but He sent some plagues on the Egyptians and that very 10th plague, that last plague, it was the plague of the death of a firstborn. That was when Pharaoh finally relented and he allowed the Israelites to live, and then we're, all of a sudden, we're introduced into a Passover in just a beautiful time. Israel leaves, they get out into the wilderness, and then just a little while longer Pharaoh changes his mind. I gotta go get those folks, someone's gotta get this work done here, so he relents but then he changes his mind, he hunts down the Israelites as they're in the desert and then they get to the desert and then God does what only God can do at that point, He rescues his people from the hands of Egypt in some really, really miraculous ways. He sends a pillar of fire at night to guide them, He has a pillar of a cloud during the day to guide them as well, and the Israelites are now at the Red Sea, they get to the Red Sea and then they see this water, and now what do we do, how do we get across? God does again what only God can do, God takes the water wall, downstream makes a wall, He does the same thing upstream, and then all of everything that should have been wet, the scripture says turns into dry ground. And the Israelites begin to travel through that. The Israelites escape through the Red Sea, and then the Egyptians are like, well, if they do that, we can do that as well. So they enter into the Red Sea as well, they get on that ground that is dry ground and the Lord says not so fast. That ground turns back into the mud that it was, that wall of water upstream, that wall of water downstream collapsed on the Egyptian army and the Egyptian army parishes right there in the Red Sea, and now Israel is free, they're in the desert, and they begin to grumble, they begin to grumble about water. And I believe pastor Jonathan talked about that as well, and God does what only God can do, and God brings them and gives them water. And still in the desert, Israel begins to grumble again, they begin to grumble about food and then God does what only God can do, and He gives them manna from heaven, bread from heaven, He gives them quail for meals. and then Moses makes sure that the Israelites know that all of these things are provisions from God, which reminds me of another name for God, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord provides. But he also makes sure they recognize that God is doing this and they have to remember to be obedient, and they're to remember to be faithful as well. So safe by day, safe by night, food and drink daily, that's God doing only what God can do. And now the Israelites get to the land of Horeb-Kadesh and right at the border of Canaan that same land that God has promised them, and the Israelis decide, okay, you know what, we need to go in and spy this land out. Now, there was no reason to spy it out because God had already given it to them, but they decided they would go in and spy it out and they would spend 40 days, they're spying it out, to look to see what the land looked like. How fortified was that land? What did the people look like in that land? What were they eating in that land? So they spied this out for 40 days and then the spies come back. There were 12 spies they sent back, there 10 of the spies though, they came back and they started to strike fear in the whole community of the Israelite by saying things like, "There's no way that we can take over this place, look at those people." And remember, God had already promised them this land. So why the Israelites, why those spies did not believe that? Well, we'll find out a little bit more about that, but God had already promised them that. God had visibly demonstrated His power day in and day out. So there should have been no doubt that God could do what God wanted to do with the Israelites in that land but they didn't follow through. Listen to God's response to Moses here. "How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I've heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them as surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say." So fear begins to overtake the Israelite community as we just talked about a second ago, those 10 spies, again, they start talking about that, they are stronger than we are. And listen to what they say in Numbers 13, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there were of great size." And it goes on again, in Numbers 13, "We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them." And then, you should hear this one, "We should go up and take possession of the land for we can certainly do it." That was the two spies, that was Caleb and that was Joshua. They saw the exact same things that the other spies saw but the spies, the 10 spies, they saw something entirely different, they were fearful of what they saw, basically they were wimps. And when they had said earlier in Numbers 13, that we were grasshoppers in our own eyes, basically they were just a bunch of wimps. But here's the thing, it wasn't about their eyes, was it? Regardless of what they saw, this is about what God had already said, what God had already spoken that this land was theirs. And I think sometimes we do the same thing those 10 spies do, don't we? We see our problems and we think that our problems are bigger than God. That we say, you know what, now I have fear in my heart, fear in my life because I believe that my problems are something that God will not be able to take care of. We forget what God has done in our lives, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, we put that aside and we live in fear, just what the Israelites did as well. But there were two spies, again, Joshua and Caleb, and I believe pastor Edwin's gonna be talking about those, that saw something entirely different. Well, the mob of Israelites actually won over Aaron in that whole argument, and they said something as ridiculous as this, "If we only would've died in the desert." So the assembly of Israelites decided that they weren't gonna go in. And to their disobedience, to their disobedience, this is what God says in Numbers 14, "The Lord says to Moses, how long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me? In spite of all the things I have performed among them, I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they." And then after hearing that, Moses had to go before God as he's done before to really just intercede, intercede on Israel's behalf. And God hears those prayers, God hears that intercession for them and He decides that He forgives them. He decided though this, although they were forgiven, that is when God decided that they would get one year in the wilderness for every day of spying, that's where those 40 years actually come from. Listen here again in Numbers 14, "Not one of them will ever see the land promised on an oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to and his descendants will inherit it." And then we hear this in Deuteronomy, "You", this is God to Moses, "You shall not enter it either." See Moses had his own thing going on that God had to deal with as well, so God made it clear, "You should not enter it either, but your assistant Joshua, son of Nun will enter it. Encourage him because he will lead Israel and inherit it." The result was 40 years in the wilderness because of Israel's disbelief and because of Israel's disobedience. And then listen here again to Numbers 14, "So tell them, as surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say. In this wilderness your bodies will fall, every one of you, 20 years or old or more, who is counted in the census and who was grumbled against me." You see the Israelites were living by sight and not by faith, despite all of the things that God had done for them daily, they were living by sight and not by faith, and it costs them 40 years of wilderness. And we read this in Deuteronomy 1, that really strikes the court, "It takes 11 days to go from Horeb-Kadesh to Barnea by Mount Seir Road." Which should have taken 11 days, ended up taking 40 years. 40 years because the Israelites chose to go outside of God's design, to go outside of God's protection, to go outside of God's plan, 11 days now turns into 40 years. And I wanna ask you this, and I wanna ask myself this as well, have we ever found ourselves in the wilderness because we chose to go outside of God's design, because we chose to go outside God's plan, because we chose to go out of God's protection? Yeah, God, maybe, I know this isn't the greatest relationship to be in. I know we're not living it the way you would want us to, but I'm gonna stay in this because I really need this relationship. And we enter the wilderness. Or maybe, well, God, thank you for this job right here, I know it's not the best job for me, there's some things that are sketchy, but man, the money's good. And we enter into that. Next thing you know, we're in the wilderness. Or maybe there's a purchase that you want to make. This has everything I want, I know this doesn't really fit within my budget, but God you brought it to me, so you must want me to have it, so I go in and do that and we enter into the wilderness because we've gone outside of God's design, we've gone out of God's plan, we've gone outside of God's protection, and then what do we do when we're in the wilderness, we are prone to do this, then blame God. That's what we tend to do at those times as well. And it's during this time that God actually gives the Israelites, the 10 commandments, during this wandering, God gives the Israelites the 10 commandments, as Moses is on the hill. Listen here, if you go to Exodus 20, "And God spoke all these words, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, you shall have no other God's before me, you shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven, above or on the earth, beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord and your God am a jealous God." So God covered everything up above, on earth, down below, make no other gods before Him. And while Moses is up on the mountain, now, Moses is getting these exact words from God, look what happens below down where the Israelites are in Exodus 32. "When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't even know what's happened to him." Well, Aaron gives into the mob, the mob does what they do, Aaron gives in and begins to make a golden calf for them, and then has the nerve to say in front of all the Israel community in Exodus 32, "These are your god's Israel who brought you up out of Egypt." The audacity of what all the things that God has done and how quickly they turned to another god and gave those other god's credit. And to that, God says this in Exodus 32, "Then the Lord said to Moses, Go down because your people-" Now, God's like, those are your people, not my people, those are your people, "Your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I have commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and they have sacrificed to it." Now that is a lot of history to get to where we wanted to get to, that's where I wanted to land here in Exodus 32, I know that's a lot there, hopefully, I've captured that rightly and correctly, but if not you can go ahead and start reading Exodus to Joshua this week, and just check that out for yourself. But I wanted to get to Exodus 32 again. "They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol." Despite all that God had done for them daily, despite all that God had done day after day, year after year, water, manna, quail, protection in battles. Now, you won't see this on the screen, but God actually says, "Their clothes didn't wear out, their sandals didn't wear out." What I wouldn't do for a pair of Vans the last 40 years, but none of those things happened, despite all that God had done, they rebelled against God quickly when they didn't get what they want, when they wanted and how they wanted it. And it's easy for us to kind of say to ourselves, how on earth could the Israelites do that, despite all that God had done. But I don't think we should be so quick to judge because I don't know that some 3000 years later that we are really any different. That we are really any different from them, that despite what God has done in our lives, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. How many times have we done the exact same thing and made and created our own idols? You see, while we wander in our wilderness, which possibly is a wilderness that we've created on our own because we've gone outside of God's design, God's protection, God's plan, we also can be prone to fall into idolatry. And idolatry is simply this, it's anything that comes before God, any person, any place or anything that becomes the center of our lives, that becomes the center of our joy, that becomes the center of our contentment, or maybe even becomes our identity. God's very first command was to have no other gods before Him. And while you may say to yourself, well, Leroy, I don't have a golden calf. Okay, well, you probably don't have a golden calf, but there are many other idols that we can fall victim to in our lives as well. And one of the first idols that we can fall victim to is the idol of control. We can fall victim to Satan's lie that says, okay, well, listen, it's not happening when I want, how I want and where I want, so I will just take control of things, I will just control everything. Not wanting to wait on the Lord, not wanting to wait on His plan, not wanting to let Him clear the path, not wanting him, maybe to bring other people around you, to help you in your decisions. You decide that I will take control of this. I'll take control of this situation. Maybe I'll take control of these people. Maybe I'll take control of everything. Maybe I'll just take control of my finances, 'cause yeah, thank you God for the job but it is my money, so I'll just take control of the finances now. Or maybe it's my time. Thank you God for life, but this is my life and my time so I'll take control of that. Or this, well, it is my body so I'll take control of my body and I will do what I want to do with my body. That we looked to take control over these things. The idol of control manifests itself in a pursuit of power and the pursuit of security. Maybe that's where you land in your wilderness, the power of the idol of control. Maybe in your wandering, and you're not wanting to wait on God's design, not wanting to wait on God's plan, not wanting to stay in His protection. Maybe you fall victim to this next idol, the idol of significance. Here you might say to yourself, okay, well, I get it, I'm not really in control of everything. However, I deserve to be honored, I deserve the respect, I deserve the acknowledgement, I deserve the recognition. And when we fall into the idol of significance, we end up living a life full of our superiority, a life full of arrogance, which ultimately means that we are demeaning other people, we're thinking more highly of ourselves than we are of others when we fall victim to the idol of significance. And this could show itself as unhealthy in relationships, and when it turns to approval of others. This was one of the idols that I fell victim of when I first started here, the idol of significance. I came out of a corporate job for 20 something years and a lot of people who were around me and those below, and those that were above as well, and I would get 80 to a hundred emails a day from clients overseas, from potential clients overseas, folks that are in the building, vendors as well, and pretty like one of the big guys on campus, right, so that's what 20 years of that did. And then God did some things in my life and then I'm here and I follow what I believe the Lord has led me to do, and to be the- At that point in time, the men's ministry pastor, I start my very first day on the job, it was a Sunday, so it was a beautiful, beautiful day, and then Monday morning, I'm in pastor Jerry's morning devotional meeting, and it's pastor Jerry, and pastor Dary and God rest his soul, and pastor Bob and Pastor Skip, and pastor Dion and pastor Dave, and some other pastors and Leroy. I'm like, what the heck did I do? I could just leave now and everyone would say, we knew this wouldn't work, but he'd be more than a day. But I started to feel this, I'm not the big man on campus anymore. This isn't gonna work. I don't really belong here. That it even got to this point, I remember talking to my administrative assistant, Holly, at the time, Holly, does email work? She's like, yeah, why? Nobody's emailing me? I get a hundred emails a day last week. How about the phone? Yeah, they work Leroy, you're calling me on the phone. But does anyone even know that I'm here? This went on literally for months because of that idol of significance. And then the Lord did something in a relationship and a gentleman that I had an opportunity to talk to on the phone, where the John 3:30 came, and to be in remembering, the Lord placed it on my heart because of that conversation with this gentleman that you must become less and I must become more, this is not about you. But I went through my wilderness of, I'm not the big man on campus. I'm not getting 80 emails a day anymore, no one knows that I'm here. And here it is, almost a dozen years later, and I'm getting those 80 emails and I wish you'd stop emailing me. God gives you what you want, right? But for months, I struggled with that idol of significance. Maybe that is where you have landed in your wilderness of going outside of God's design, and God's plan and God's protection. But maybe while wandering in the wilderness, while not staying in protection and plan and design, maybe you fall victim of the idol of comfort. You're like, Leroy what is the idol of comfort? This one is insidious because this one says, maybe to avoid stress, maybe to avoid hard work, maybe to avoid the responsibilities that life has given me, maybe to avoid all of those things, maybe I wanna avoid being the husband I know I should be, maybe to avoid being the wife that I should be, or the son or the daughter or the employee, maybe to avoid all of those things, I'd rather just choose the idol of comfort. Then maybe life would be a little bit more easy for me if I just walked away from this relationship that's so hard. Maybe to walk away from this job that I have, let me just live a life of ease, but unfortunately, when we do that, that becomes the life that wants to be lived for pleasure. It's a pleasure that maybe it's a drug that you're going to, maybe it's an alcohol that you're going to, maybe it's sex, maybe it's pornography, maybe it's relationship, all of these things that I want to escape from because the idol of comfort says, I want little or no responsibility, and I fall victim of that. So that is a very, very difficult one, right there. Maybe that's where you land in your life in your wilderness, the idol of comfort, the idol of control, the idol of comfort, the idol of significance. I heard it put this way though, that an idol is anything that overrules God in your decision making. An idol is anything that overrules God in your decision making. And that can happen daily, that can happen moment by moment, where the Lord says something here and you choose something there. That you've chosen something over what the Lord has clearly illuminated to you the way in which you should go, that can become an idol. And you might be saying, okay, well, Leroy, that doesn't really describe anything about me whatsoever. But again, let's not be too too quick on that. There's a Christian counselor and author David Powlison who wrote a few things in his book, "Seeing With New Eyes." And there's some questions here that I'd like to kinda share with you to maybe give you an idea, maybe this might help you either discover or uncover something that may potentially be an idol in your life. That first question, what do I worry about the most? Maybe that right there is something that you need to give consideration to as an idol. What is it you worry about so much from the moment you get up to the moments you go to sleep at night, you are worrying about this. Maybe that this is an idol in your life, or becoming an idol in your life because it consumes you. What, if I failed or lost, would cause me not to want to live? And you think about that one, like, well, I don't really think there's anything that if I lost or failed to lose would cause me to not want to live, but again, let's not be too quick. On that one, right there, I had a relative who played a professional sport in the '70s at an extraordinarily high level professionally. When that career ended, when he was no longer in the spotlight, when he could walk on a plane and no one knew who he was, when he would walk into a restaurant and no one knew who he was, his idol was the idol of significance and he could not stand any longer, not being recognized, and he took his life. There are many people that have made their jobs their identity, that would say, oh, that's not me. But once that is gone, that might be something that they would fall victim to. What do I run to for comfort when things go bad or get difficult? Life gets bad, life gets difficult. What is it you're running to during those times? Again, that might go right back to the comfort, right back to those things that will take me away from this situation, little by little by little, next thing you know, there's an irresponsibility there. But what is it you run to, again, this doesn't have to be huge, this could be just every day when something happens- oh, this happened bad, I'm gonna run to this drink. I'm gonna run to this right here, I'm gonna run to this activity right here. You might not think of that as an idol, but that's something that is replacing God in your decision making, that's an idol folks. What do I do to cope, to feel better? What do I do to cope, to feel better? Maybe it's a shopping thing, I don't know. But if there's something that you're doing to cope versus taking it to the Lord in prayer, versus taking it to your friends who are believers in Christ to help you navigate, if those are things that you are running to, to cope, there's an idol there folks that you need to be paying attention to. What often preoccupies my thoughts, my times, my daydreams? Again, is there something that occupies so much of your life, so much of your time, so much of your energy, that there is no time for anything else? It has the possibility of being an idol in your life. And then lastly, what prayer, if unanswered, would cause me to think of turning away from God? What prayer, if unanswered, would cause me to potentially turn away from God? There's some heavy prayers that I know that you're praying right now. I'm praying some as well. We have to recognize that not all of those prayers will be answered, right? There are folks who, you may be praying for someone who is ill, who's struggling with something. How many of you may be are praying for a son or a daughter or a spouse to come to faith in the Lord? It hasn't happened yet. It's a beautiful thing to see that baptism day of how that does and how God can do those things and lives are changed because of that. But what prayer, if unanswered, might cause you to walk away from God? Maybe that prayer, that person may be associated with that, may have become an idol in your life. Here's what we see in Jeremiah 2, "My people have committed two sins, they have forsaken me, the spring of living water and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." The idols in our lives are just that they are broken cisterns that cannot hold water they weren't designed to. And then Jesus tells is to the woman at the well, "Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from them." And then in John 7:8, "Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never go hungry, whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." Folks, Jesus is the only thing, the only person that satisfies. He's the only one who can fulfill all of our needs. How does He do it? I don't know, He's Jesus, but know He does it. Whatever those needs may be, Jesus is the only one, the only person, the only way to have those things fulfilled. But we have to ask ourselves this question, now what? What do we do with all of that? We should be asking ourselves that question every single Sunday, because each and every one of us has been found guilty of worshiping something or someone over the creator of the universe, over His son who He sent to save us from our mess. How many times has something else overruled your decision that God has made? Something else has overruled that. What I want us to do before we close here in just a moment, is just take a moment to go before the Lord, personally, in prayer. And there's a couple things I want you to walk through as you take that time this morning, and there probably won't be a huge amount of time that we can do that but I would encourage you as I encourage myself to do that throughout the course of this week, right here. One, you want to take a time and reflect on what God has done in your life. The simple fact that you're here this morning, God has already done a miracle. Okay, do not kid yourself, God gave you breath this morning, He gave you a heartbeat, and He wants to use you today. He wants to say something to you today. He gave us this day, He gave you yesterday. Let's not be like Israel and not remember what God has done for us daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. But I want you to take a moment in just a moment to think about what God has done in your life. And then I would want you to repent for running to those other things. You know what those things are, I don't need to know. You know what those things are that you run to, but you need to repent from those things, repent to the Lord in this time that I'll give you in just a moment. And then thirdly, if you're a believer, I want you to restore. Restore God to the rightful place in your heart because your heart still has only one seating capacity, and trust me, ladies and gentlemen, it ain't you. That seating capacity is for Jesus and Jesus alone. So as a believer, I want you to reflect and repent and restore and maybe do that throughout the course of the week as well. But you also might be under the sound of my voice right now, and you aren't a follower of Jesus Christ, here's what I want you to do. I want you to realize your need for a Savior because one of these idols or others are more than likely in your life someplace, and you know, as well as I do, it hasn't proven to be successful. They're broken cisterns that cannot and never will not work for you. So if you're a nonbeliever, I want you to realize your need for a Savior and that today be the day that you would step into that relationship with Jesus Christ so that He can fulfill all of those needs. So why don't we do this? If every eye could be closed right now, and just take a brief moment. A brief moments to reflect. Reflect on what the Lord has done in your life. Reflect on what the Lord has done in the lives of those who are near and dear to you, that list can go on and on and on. Reflect on the prayers that you have given to the Lord and those prayers that He's answered, or maybe the strength and endurance to navigate through this while you wait for an answer. But just reflect on those things. Maybe take a moment now and maybe repent for when you've replaced something else in His rightful spot. Because when we go to those idols, we do intentionally take Jesus off the throne and we intentionally put something else there. That's worthy of repenting. To repent for those things. That might have been this morning, it might have been last night, that you took Him off the throne and put something else there. Repent with a grateful heart. And maybe having reflected, maybe having repented, restore. Restore Jesus to that rightful place, where He belongs. Remembering when you placed your faith and your hope and your trust in Him the first time, or maybe as you recommitted your life, but restore Him to where He belongs, to place Him on the throne. Well, He is more and you are less, but you're covered in His prayers. And if you're here again under the sound of my voice, and you've yet to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, I want you to realize your need for that Savior. Let today be the day that you allow Him into your heart. He's not gonna break it open, He's done all that He needed to do, He gave His life for you, rose from the grave, ascended to the father, proven victory over sin, over death, made a joke of Satan, He did that for you. When we close here in just a moment, if that's what you would like to do, I would ask you to just step over in the fireside room, there's some folks there that would love to spend a moment with you. Maybe that's where you just need to go to pray through some of those things, some folks there would love to spend some time with you. But definitely stop there if you'd like to accept Christ as your Savior. If you're listening online, you can go to and connect there, and someone will reach out to you. But don't let those broken cisterns stay in your life. Father, we thank you so much for this morning. We thank you for the time that you have given us in your word as we navigated through what Israel's idolatry was and recognize Lord that ours is no different. But as we have taken a moment Lord here to reflect and to repent and to restore, and maybe for those who realize, Lord, we thank you for allowing us to come before you this morning. Super grateful God for all that you have done in our lives, which we will not forget. The things that you are doing in our lives we will not forget. And Lord the things that you will continue to do in our lives as we move forward, that we hopefully wait for, God, thank you for this day for in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior. Amen.

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