Seduced Soul

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And we’re thankful for what God’s given us today. And I’m thankful we’ve been going through this, this series together called, um, Soul Soul Detox. And the reason I’m thankful about it is because we’ve gone through the Book of Psalms, and what it’s really taught us together as a church family is to be open before the Lord, and in bringing ourselves to him, that he he could just lift us up and encourage us for what he has created us for. And, um, if you’re interested in learning a little bit about the Book of Psalms, I’ll let you know. This is the last day we’re going through this series together and so on. The information table outside, when you leave, there’s a sheet called Know the Psalms. And so if this is encourage you to to get to know the Book of Psalms a little bit more, there’s information made available for you, uh, to be able to partake and just dive a little further into God’s Word and understanding the Psalms. And today we get to talk about the maybe the, I don’t know, maybe the most controversial, the biggest subject at all, the the series that we’ve gone together and that is the seduced soul, which is perfect leading up to the Super Bowl. Because if anyone does cheer for the Seahawks, we will perform those exorcisms at the end of the service. Right. So so for the seduced soul. And the point is this for us, your soul is important.

God made your soul to connect to him and to glorify him. And that’s us to the world. Or last, bring it forth to really soul. It helps just to to fill us, fills us to fill our from God. And and our soul needs to be cleansed before the Lord. Hence detox. Just as we would go through a detox physically. So it’s important in our spiritual selves to to go through a detox in our relationship to to the Lord. We need to be able to draw near to him. And enjoy him. And God has created you to reflect and enjoy his glory in the life that he’s given you. And so this morning, I’m going to invite you to turn to Psalm 24. As we study this Psalm together, Psalm 24 has been highlighted as a psalm we have used to to connect our soul to God. It’s a part in the book of Psalms of what we call the the messianic Psalms. Some of the the most popular messianic psalms found in Scripture are are Psalm 22 to 24. Speaking of Jesus’s first coming, his suffering, what he is as a shepherd, and his second return for the church. When Herod’s Temple was built for Israel. They sung Psalm 24 every Sabbath. The early church when they would celebrate the day of Pentecost, which was 40 days after Easter. They would sing this psalm, Psalm 24 that marks the return of Christ. The the day of Pentecost was the or the day that Jesus was ascended into heaven.

The church was left with a reminder that Christ would return for them. In Psalm 24 gave him that opportunity to rejoice. David wrote Psalm 24 as a psalm of celebration. When the Ark of the covenant finally arrived into Jerusalem for the first time, that that the people of Israel in their capital city could celebrate the presence of the Lord. David through the Psalm remarks for us as people. That while God’s presence was coming to Jerusalem. That doesn’t mean that God was near to their hearts. Their souls. We’re going to draw near to him. As his presence came near to them. As David writes this psalm for us and talking about the seduction of our souls as people, he reminds us of one central thought as he begins this psalm in verses one and two. It’s this for the sake of your soul. Don’t make an idol. Your soul is vulnerable to worship idols. And in Psalm 24 and verse one it says this the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains the world and those who dwell in it. For he has founded it upon the seas. And establish it upon the rivers. The psalmist recalls here the beginning of Genesis, when it tells us that God formed the earth, and then the water covered the earth, and the earth was in chaos. And then God created the land. And as he creates the land, he puts everything on the land, including us.

And he says to us in this passage that that we are created for him, that all of these things within the earth reflect his goodness and glory, intended to inspire within our souls worship towards the Lord. You were created for worship. When the as we curse this passage in 19 refers to the Lord’s saying, as we’ve said in the other, the word or offer of which creature references within scripture. Seal of 858. He is the I am or the that’s referred to in this chapter. Three folks gave us hope there, which was the Lord, Psalm 24 and verse to make it one and all, 15 to 17 to of all things were created through him and for him. And by it we call all things consist. He holds all things in reference to Jesus. You were created for worship. And worship for us as people is more than just what we do. It is who you are. Which is why throughout Scripture, God warns the nation of Israel about idolatry. Every root sin of of life is centered around the seduction of the soul into idolatry. We believe and think something else is more worthy than God, and so we draw our attention and give our praise to it rather than the Lord. And so, throughout Israel’s history, God constantly reminded the people of their need to worship him rather than idols. He says in Exodus 20 and verse four, you shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

I don’t know about you. I can make pretty good, um, uh, application in my life at the end of this verse, I’ve never felt the need to worship a fish. Right. And the next verse in Deuteronomy, he says this and be aware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the the host of heaven, and be drawn away, and worship them, and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to the peoples under the whole earth. Now, direct application for us is, um, you know, I don’t I don’t feel the need to worship planets or squirrels. My mom and stepdad make a trip every year to Haiti. They go twice a year to do mission work in in Haiti and in Haiti. They worship chickens. That does not that does not interest me in sacrificing of that stuff. That’s not that something that draws my attention. But but what this passage is saying to us, the interesting point of Deuteronomy chapter four and verse 19 is this thought of of drawn away. Some trainers will use the word seduction. Seduction for us as people means that the drawing away of this idol is so powerful that you don’t even recognize the own idols that you worship within your life.

We’re blind. That it. It’s seduced our soul. It’s robbed us of the worship for which we are created and the joy in which God would bring. Seduction can be so powerful within our lives that we are apt into the fact that we’ve even been duped into believing a lie. Or maybe for us, seduction could be so strong that we understand who God is and our purpose in existence. But the lust for that idol overpowers in love that we carry for God. Morning. And the psalmist starts off in Psalm 24 and verse one, and he just reminds us as people that though God may be near to us, we in our hearts may not be drawing near to him. And begins to recognize for us. Just coming to church on Sunday. You may not ever still engage in worship. But you were created for that worship and just taking a step back and recognizing it in life. I should say this. It’s it’s baffling to look at God like he is a killjoy. Sometimes in a religious mentality. We look at God that way, that God is all about what he doesn’t want me to do. He’s a killjoy. We look at God like he’s a killjoy when he’s the one who created the things that we enjoy. Everything about life and anything that we make idols over. God designed those things that we may see the joy of it, and in it delight in him.

We were designed. And the joy of those moments to return praise to the creator who has given it to us. But there are times in our lives where the seduction is so strong we don’t even recognize it. The reality is in our lives that we will reflect what we devote our time towards. And if our mind sets itself on little gods, the goal of our lives will be to find the pleasure of what those little gods have to offer. The way that we know what we worship as people. They. There have been a few ways I’ve heard throughout years that people recommend to identify what it is that we we truly praise within our lives. And they say, they say this when you get away from your Sunday morning worship, what is it you devote your time to? What is it you spend your money on? And what if you would move the entire schedule, typically have one more opportunity to, to to to be voted into? What would Jesus sacrifice? He tells us. Where do your conversations gravitate? To operate within the Bible. I b there are a few words that we hear s for to remind us of her. He talks about money. He talks about pleasure for us as people. He talks about the worshiping of self. You know, when I think it comes to the thought of of money. I don’t I don’t look at money and think, you know, it’s it’s, um, I’m not rich.

So that’s not a struggle for me, right? I don’t think it’s the wealthy that have the struggle with money. I don’t think that money recognizes the class of anybody, I think. The struggle that we have with something like money is. Contentment. And it doesn’t matter what socioeconomic class you’re in. Contentment in the way that God provides. You know, I think I grew up in a, in a generation today that has a lot of entitlement or thinks that they do. Right. And chasing the American dream and trying to have what my parents have long before my parents had it. And the struggle isn’t how much money is in my account. The struggle is being content with what I have. Because when I’m not content, then I go into the world and I strive for things that, um. My life becomes about gaining more because I don’t ever feel like I have enough. And if I ever do have, I feel like I have enough. Then the struggle becomes, where do I really put my hope? And the security of finances. Or God. You know, and just being transparent with you. If I were to tell you this morning, you know, Nathaniel, you’re talking about idols. And, you know, I don’t want you to look like a holier than thou person. Where is where is your struggle, buster? Pastors, I got to tell you, out of all the things this morning, I would say it was probably money.

Not because I’m rich. And maybe some people hear that wrong. Because I will tell you this living in Utah, I get that question more than anything. You know, I get this thought or this persona from people that think that I joined ministry for money or something. I don’t know, I don’t get it. Like I got a jumbo jet somewhere. Every one of my cars are more than ten years old. Just saying. Just so you know. But here, let me tell you why it’s a struggle for me. Um, it’s because living in Utah, until this year, I’ve never made over $30,000 to do ministry here. I’ve never met a pastor that’s in it for money. As a matter of fact, most of the pastors I know always work a part time job. But here’s where the struggle is for me. Um, being content. Being thankful. Not looking at what other people have and feeling like I deserve it too, but just simply just thanking the Lord for what he gives. Not only money can be a struggle, and I don’t want to harp on that. But what about entertainment? I mean, we work tons of hours just to go out and and be entertained with things and finding breaks with family to be entertained. But but what about taking the time within that entertainment to recognize that the joy of that entertainment came from somewhere? And the pleasure of seeing the beauty of the things that you’ve experienced in this world, just stopping with your family where you are and just taking a moment to worship.

And sometimes our goal for entertainment is just to find something fun to do, and we just attach our entertainment from even, even our relationship with the Lord. But God is the one who created the things that entertain us. We worship self, we get obsessed as a culture with the outer self, and we never spend nearly as much time devoted to the inner self that God wants to create, beautiful in his eyes. Can I tell you? None of the things I’ve mentioned, um, are bad in themselves. None of the things that I just said are entertainment. It’s not a bad thing. But when it begun and too bad is when part idolize it apart. Say God who gave it to learn to honor him in his glory. And when I read something like Psalm one, we i-2 this is this is the from the God I would to us makes me pause and for him. My concern isn’t. Isn’t for someone who’s going out and just living for the world. My concern is one who is complacent, holding on to the to the 1 or 2 idols in justification before God. When we stop within our hearts and we just say, you know what? What’s the big deal? And what is sin and why is my my one little sin compared to his? Why? Why is that a big deal? Let me let me give you an example to think about.

Um. The offense that you bring against someone, the magnitude of that offense. Is delivered by the author. Remembering one that’s been offended in his life. For example. If I do something against a rock, no one cares. The rock has no value unless maybe it goes through your window. But that offense is against you too. If if I were to come before my brother and and we were to get in a fight and I smacked him in the face, you know, we would care for like, two seconds and then we’d be over it. Now you come and do that to my mama. Heads will roll, right? My little man, Miss Adams being upset. So and so. You’ve offended my little kingdom. Now, if I were to walk into the street and do it to a police officer. I’m going to jail. What about bringing an offense to leader of a country? You’ll be drug off and no one will ever hear from you again. But what about the King of Kings? The magnitude of the offense or the magnitude of the individual determines the magnitude of the offense. That’s why in Isaiah chapter 36, when Isaiah makes his coming before God, you know, I look at all the gods made and all the glory that’s there. And Isaiah tells us after six comes before season. And I would think the Isaiah would say, wow, you know, God is beautiful. But they said.

As wo. I’m a man of unclean lips. The magnitude of the king determines the offense that we bring. His glory. And complacency has us in a place of seduction, in fact. Revelation chapter three helps us not to downplay the importance of your soul created and worship to God. It says in revelation three, I know your deeds. That you are neither cold nor hot. You’re complacent. And I wish that you were cold or hot. So because of you, you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold. I will spit you out of my mouth because you say I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are a wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I mean, that is that is a downer. What is this passage saying to us? Um, I learned a lot about, uh, water and the temperature of water when we. The first Sunday we ever had our church. The first Sunday that we had a public service was in the Best Western Hotel in the conference room, and my family actually flew out. They wanted to be a part of it. And we went to Park City the week before and was enjoying a vacation with my family. I think it was her first time out and we got in a hot tub. Well, not me, that’s I think they’re gross, but my family got got hot tub and and and they got out of the hot tub.

And then a few days later, all of a sudden they had my, my youngest niece looked like she had chickenpox. And we were like, we’re all, we’re freaking out here. And then all of a sudden, a few other people in our family look like that. They’re getting chicken pox, too. And we’re like, what’s going on? We’re all sick. It’s supposed to be the first Sunday of church, and then I’ll learn something. They caught this sickness, caught hot tub folliculitis. I’m not making that up. That is a real word. Hot tub. You lick colitis and the way that grows, it’s a bacteria. And it turns out the temperature of that bacteria keeps nice in a lukewarm setting. Hot tub. Woah, this is being right turn nation ahead of Israel or it’s for the land of Turkey. Actually this church that it’s better that certain to there’s a a warm scolding and out of that warm air flows water, and as the water trickles down, the people began to notice something as they drink this warm water. And it’s not as healthy. As water is a boiled spring or water that’s spring. It carries this bacteria with it. And Paul is saying to me, excuse me. What John is saying is he writes revelation in verse 17. Let me tell you how you get there. You just you’re just content. In verse 17 he says, I’m rich. And he says, I have need for nothing. My dependency is not on the Lord now, but on things.

The most dangerous place. As a place of complacency. The Luke overdose or knock with God. And just to play with that when God has created you for much more than that. I knew worshipping of the titles of life that year towards. For us as a body of believers. God’s even saying here that it it he desires to spew it out of his mouth one because it’s sickening. But when the rest of the world sees it. They, in quick lives, can identify your business of who Jesus is that we choose to live system lives for. And so Paul says this for the sake of your soul. Excuse me. David says this in Psalm 24, for the sake of your soul. Allow your heart to draw near to God. The Ark of the covenant is from Jerusalem. You, David, echoing these works, who may ascend into the suite of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy? He who has a clean hand and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and is not sworn deceitfully. David is saying to us, the ones that worship are the ones who who allow their souls to be cleansed before God. Seduction for us in in the Bible as an act of a of a masquerade. In fact, in Mark seven, when Jesus is talking to the religious leaders, he says, and he said to them, right.

Did Isaiah prophesy of you, you hypocrites? As it is written, this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. And this word for hypocrites is where we get our English word for actor. It’s playing a part. Can I just be honest and just saying, as a body of believers, the way that we live, Psalm 24 and verse three and four. Through a simple word of transparency before God. Like, go ahead and start this morning and every day by just saying. God, I’m not perfect. But God, what I am is open to you. And in my imperfections. God, whatever you desire to do within me, God, just cleanse me. Give me a pure heart. James 410 First Peter five six tells us, humble yourselves in the hand, under the hand of God, or before the hand of God, that he may exalt you in due due time. It’s the humility of heart that God desires. If there’s one thing God’s after, it’s it’s the submission of yourself before him that he he may build you up in the way that he desires. That’s to say, just to be to be measured, effective for the day, you just simply have a giant simple enough receive what he says. It’s just coming before him. He would cleanse your heart. In Second Corinthians, Paul wrote this. He says, no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Therefore, it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. This. This word for disguise is literally a masquerade. It’s a ball. And so for us in our transparency, it’s about being being open where we are and being honest with God and how we spend our time, our conversations, what we sacrifice for where, where we devote our lives towards. Who ascends to the hill of the Lord? But he who has a clean heart. If we looked at the backdrop of our lives to simply ask ourselves, are we yearning for him? And so the encouragement then at the last half of the Psalm is this forsake for the sake of your souls, tear down your idols. It’s not about managing them. But about a bit of them. And Jesus said, if your right hand causes you to offend, be offended, or to offend, cut it off and if your eye looks at something it shouldn’t, then poke it out. It’s speaking in hyperbole, so we’re not going to be practicing that literally today, today. But he just wants us to see the the importance of our relationship to God and how it’s the wellspring of everything in this life. He says in Colossians chapter three and verse two. Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on the earth. Make sure as you enjoy the things of life you are returning that that joy to the one who created it for you to enjoy in him.

In Luke 16. God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. Tear. Tear down the idols. Don’t be content. And the result for us. David Wright, 92. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord. And righteousness from the God of his salvation. And this is the generation of those who seek him, who seek his face, even Jacob. It’s saying of the children of Jacob, the one who pursued God, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And now we’re a children of of Jacob by faith and returning praise to God. And and when we devote ourselves, we are blessed through it. And so David concludes with the coming of the ark in Psalm 24 and verse seven, he says, lift up your heads, O gates. And be lifted up. Oh, ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty. The Lord mighty in battle. And then he says it again about this gate. He says, lift up your heads, O gates, and lift up O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts. He is the King of glory. As we go on. We’ve gone through the series of Soul Detox together. Um, this week, uh, someone has been from. Not even in the state has become aware of our ministry here, and they called our church because they’ve, um, gone through a period of hurting.

And that’s what the Psalms really are a lot about you. You have pain, you’ve got suffering, you’ve got the weight of the world. And in all of that, you just want to learn to praise God. And you want to bring him this glory. And this man called our church and just wanted to talk. And it was a wonderful conversation. He was a it turns out he’s a born in Venezuela. He’s almost around his age, unclear. He graduated from Duke University. He’s a virologist and invest and but he told me a story and or the thing in his life at three been affect jackpot he said. Um. I recently lost my wife. And they had been married for almost 50 years. And and he said, you know, I still travel as a cardiologist. And every time I would come home on a plane. Um, she was always there. And this last trip I took and I came home and I didn’t even want to come home because I knew when I got to the airport I was just coming home to emptiness. But then he says, as he’s dealing with the pain in the midst of that. But even in my pain, Jesus has given me such tremendous hope. Because when we were in our 60s, my my wife and I gave our lives to the Lord and we trusted in Christ.

And so in all of that, I know, I know that she is resting in Christ, waiting for me to join her in Christ that we we may celebrate. And he said, you know, the thing that struck me about all of this is that when I came to know the Lord in my 60s, I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to trust in Christ. And I just would think back at my life all the time I had wasted not just putting my faith in him. And he says. But today, as a cardiologist, I’m being used. And he tells me that. He meets with people that literally are at a point between life and death. And while I mean he ministered you dumb physically, he never takes the time to for sister to them. And he said, you know, I don’t I don’t know that I have a whole lot of time left. But you know what I tell them? I always tell them the most important thing, and that is about God’s grace, his love and his forgiveness. God loves them and God forgives them, and God wants them to embrace him. But not only that, life is so pain as God does that, for he wants you to reflect that love and forgiveness in this world. And I love what he did after that. He tells me. And after he does that. He just loves to be transparent with his patients and even let him see his flaws.

And he’s telling me this stuff and I’m just I’m and end. We’ve there to like a baby lot of of the paying man’s going through and the. But he is a story and coming into the flying in life and that that he is her and now. But he does have to even in all that he’s being used of the Lord. And then he says to me, get this. And you know, I still have things to confess. Like what? What do you have to worry about? I mean, you’re older and you’re going through a hard time. Just, just just go to the Lord in that. What? What are you confessing stuff for? And he says this. He says, even still, there are times in my life as a cardiologist where I have to stop on my day and recognize I love medicine more than Jesus. I’m a workaholic. And in those moments, I just paused before God and I say, God, I’m sorry. Lord, I know that you’ve even created this for you. And so he says, when his patients come before him and they thank him for sparing their lives through his hands, what he says to them, he just simply looks at them and says, this I’m just a little hammer. I’m just a little hammer and the hands of my master carpenter. He gets. Then the song. All the joy that you experience in life. He gets the glory. And some of an and this look at the story and things.

Right. Some. You know, when it comes to clean hands and a pure heart before God. How do I even do? That God will forgive me. How do I know that God even wants to forgive me? You know, all of us struggle with that. Yeah, I think there are times where we do something and we fail, and then we put this guilt on ourselves and we put this distance between us and God. And we just wonder, how could someone embrace me? Because if what you’ve done could be seen by a friend, they probably wouldn’t even love you. Can I tell you? And this morning. You need faith for your own forgiveness. Law like this. You need a standard over your own sin. And this is why somewhere along the way, you have believed that your sin was too big, that the magnitude of God’s grace couldn’t cover it. And so you’re treating your sin, wondering if God could ever embrace it, not recognizing that your sin and what you are needs to humble itself before God, because the love of God is far greater than any sin you think you might bring to him. In fact, in Isaiah chapter six and verse nine, it says this for us 63. In verse nine it says, in all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.

I mean, what this verse is saying to you is even in the moments when you feel the weight of sin and you feel that you shouldn’t even be accepted by God, he takes the strength to fight for you. Even when you don’t have enough to muster to come before his presence. Jesus is on your side, lifting his hand on your behalf. How much? So in verse nine it tells us this he is emotionally invested in you. Even while you suffer. He suffers. Even when you can’t recognize the beauty for what he has created you for, he fights in your honor. Even when you don’t even think you deserve forgiveness, Christ forgives. And his love surrounds you. Humble yourselves. Be transparent before God. Stop thinking so much of your sin and start looking at the business of who God is in the. The debt that he has paid. And giving of his whole life as King of Kings, reflects in the beauty of why he has created you for his glory. And some of us would stop and say, you know, there is maybe an idol in my life that I have been struggling with for so long that even if I did that, I don’t even know if I could handle it tomorrow. And I would say to that, let tomorrow worry about itself. Just do it today. Just give. Give God the victory in your life today. Give the devil the worst day of his life today. But letting as this for all.

Tortured Soul

Get Out of the Bathroom