“Idolatry is always the reason we ever do anything wrong,” wrote Timothy Keller in Counterfeit Gods.

Why do we ever disobey? Isn’t it because we desire something other than what God commands? When one of my children refuses to do homework, it is usually because they would rather be playing. The desire to play beats out the cost of doing homework. But stopping all play does not remedy the problem. The homework must be done.

Keller writes that we can’t simply forsake our idols (whether they be materialism, achievement, lust, the desire to please, food, porn, reputation, or anything else). Instead, we must worship that which is higher. 

Our spiritual lives get off track when we allow something, even if it is small, to create separation between us and God. Then, we go on living, expecting that God will be okay with what we’ve done. We go on attending church, Bible studies, prayer groups, revival services, and missions events as if the tiny mark on the chalk board did not exist.

And then the tiny mark begins to silently grow.

When we explain away our disobedience, our spiritual lives become stagnant, even if we never stop going to church. But Christ finds the lukewarm heart repulsive. Revelation 3:16 We are lukewarm when we are not opposed to Christ but not completely sold out to Him. We don’t want to openly reject Him, but we aren’t going to give Him our all either.

So, why are you following God in 2017? If prayer doesn’t work like it used to, if your faith lacks power, or God seems far away, it could be an indication something is wrong. We can’t really call ourselves followers of Christ when we allow sin to separate us from Him.


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    Climbing the Money Tree


    R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) and founder of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc., a non-profit organization providing financial planning services to low-income households and households experiencing financial strain.

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