Cheating on Baal

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In this month’s series, Cheating: Breaking the Rules, we’re learning how we can step out in faith away from the faulty system of rules set up by society and break those rules to follow GOD.  This week, we’re taking a closer look at Baal  the pagan god who personifies our desire for self-sufficiency and control.

 

How do we worship Baal in today’s society?

 

Seeking Control

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6, NLT),

As Christians, we are called to submit our lives to the sovereignty of GOD and to follow His good and perfect will for us.  When we instead opt to go our own way and to control ourselves, those around us, or the direction of our lives, we worship at the alter of Baal.  Paul states clearly that when we ourselves strive for control, our sinful natures will lead us to death.  All along that path, we worship Baal, insisting that we know best and know what we want for ourselves.  Furthermore, when we have the audacity to submit others to our self-guided decision making, we only pull them further from the path GOD has ordained for them as well.  The more we seek to rule over, the more we lead astray as we worship Baal and the idols of control and self-sufficiency.  

 

Refusing  to Be Held Accountable

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16, NLT) 

Similarly, when we feel entitled to control and self-governance, we refuse accountability.  Instead of participating in mutual submission that allows for iron to sharpen iron, we place ourselves above those who are placed in our lives to pursue GOD alongside us and refuse to listen to anything that contradicts our own lofty views of ourselves.  Out of our pride and desire for self-sufficiency, we push away those that are called to minister in our lives and walk the journey of faith with us.  In doing so, we worship Baal and turn away from GOD and His will for our lives.  

 

Refusing to Sabbath

“‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between Me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy” (Exodus 31:13, NLT).  

Finally, in believing we are self-sufficient, we worship Baal by denying GOD’s command to Sabbath.  To Sabbath is a GOD given blessing to allow us to rest, but it also proves Him faithful and in control.  In refusing to Sabbath, we suggest that we don’t need GOD’s ordained period of rest, and that continuing to produce and staying busy is more important than following His will.  We also suggest that we don’t believe in His faithfulness and that He will provide for us if we take 24 hours off from producing for ourselves.  In both cases, we turn from worshiping GOD to worshiping at the alter of Baal and the ideas of self-sufficiency.  

 

How do we cheat on Baal?

To turn away from our society and sin nature’s propensity to worship the pagan god of Baal and the idols of control and self-sufficiency, we must consciously decide to worship GOD on a daily basis.

 

Sabbath Weekly

“GOD’s promise of entering his rest still stands,” (Hebrews 4:1, NLT).

First, we must honor His command to Sabbath weekly.  Not only is this time of rest crucial for us to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, the practice of not producing for twenty four hours is a small way to show GOD’s faithfulness as He provides for us even when we are not producing for ourselves.  As we turn one day a week over to GOD as a holy day of rest, we must also seek after Him on a daily basis as well.    

Seek and Follow Jesus Daily

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16, NIV).  

We must start each day with a sincere recognition of GOD’s presence and power in our lives.  When we acknowledge Jesus’ sovereignty in our lives, we begin to turn away from seeking our own way instead of His will.  Once we recognize His place on the throne of our hearts and over our lives, we must submit to His authority and the Godly leaders He has placed in our lives to hold us accountable.  Finally, we must then follow the commands, examples, and mission of Jesus as laid out in the gospels.  If we live each day in such a way of recognizing and submitting to being controlled by the Spirit and live in accordance with the message and mission of Christ, we can break away from society’s worship of Baal.  Instead, will find ourselves thriving in the thick of GOD’s will for us and His direction for our lives.  

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