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Today’s Manna – Our Daily Bread
http://bible.com/116/hab.2.18.nlt
What good is an idol carved by man,
or a cast image that deceives you?
How foolish to trust in your own creation— a god that can’t even talk!

Life Application Devotional
Idolatry may seem like a sin that modern people need not fear. But idolatry is not just bowing down to idols; it is trusting in what one has made, and therefore, in one’s own power as creator and sustainer. If we say we worship God but put our trust in bank accounts, homes, businesses, and organizations, then we are idolaters. Do you trust God more than you trust what your hands have made?

Observation
Where do we put our trust? What do we desire?

And I’m not asking you religiously educated people who have been taught the right answers. This is not a test of what you know in your heads. It is a question to reveal what we believe in our hearts.

Because if we are doing mental tricks to deceive ourselves so that we ignore the answers of our heart and to listen to practiced answers in our heads,  we are practicing empty religion which leads to damnation just as surely as open rebellion.

If we are putting on a mask to appear religious or good to others, we are simply putting ourselves under the burden of the laws of men. We are seeking the approval of men, because we do not know God. We are ignoring our own child, hardened heart and relying on scholarly wisdom as a means of cheating on the test.

But this test of the Christian life – yes,  it is an open book test. But knowing the right answers isn’t enough to pass the test. Even hearing the right answers isn’t enough to pass the test. Because this is a test of our hearts,  not of our knowledge,  not of our reading comprehension skills. It is about where our heart rests and what our heart produces.

To know where our heart rests, to know where it is planted,  we must ask ourselves where we find our trust. Have we built up idols of wealth and comfort and prosperity that we trust in for security? If the Lord asked us today to sell it all and give it to the poor, would we hesitate and symbols over this idol that we’ve placed in the way of a life dedicated solely to the Lord?

The very things that some religious people call blessings are the curses that will drag them straight into the pits of hell. If you are trusting in anything other than the Lord,  if you have traded your trust in the eternal Lord for trust in the perishable things that will rot and rust and be eaten by the moths – return to God before it is to late.

To know what our heart is producing,  we don’t just look at the physical evidence of our lives,  because our works are worthless in the eyes of God when the “why” behind them isn’t God centered. If our “why” is about earning favor or rewards,  we have tricked ourselves into vanity yet again and it is not being done to honor God,  but to honor self.

We must ask ourselves what it is that we desire most. If we are free to do whatever we like,  with no fear of consequences,  what would we choose. This is the honest answer that will tell us where our heart rests. If the answer is about self, we are not fully surrendered. If our heart’s answer (not our mind) is correct,  then we will know that we are called and chosen,  that He is leading us along this narrow path,  that our heart is surrendered in grattitude for the gift received.

You see, the very freedom promised in grace indicates clearly to us the state of our hearts when we choose to exercise that freedom. If we tell ourselves that grace gives us the freedom to chase after the desires of our hearts,  we couldn’t be more true in our words – but do we misunderstand what we are saying?

Grace gives us the desires of our hearts. If your true desire is sin and separation from the will of God – you will get what you desire – you will know eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. If your true desire is to love God,  to know Him closer, to be in His presence,  to feel His touch upon your life, to see Him alive and working through you, to praise and worship Him without end – your desires will be fulfilled.

You see, the only blessings worth having are eternal and spiritual – salvation and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. In fact,  the scriptures tell us over and over to rejoice that we share in the sufferings of Christ. And they tell us that the harlot of Babylon, who corrupted the world with fornication, and who sought security in the wrong things, in the things of this world,  will be destroyed. These things are not talking about external, visible world’s,  but the state of your heart.

Call to Action
So I encourage you to examine your heart today,  friend. Even if you are in ministry,  you are not immune to the tricks of your deceitful heart. What is your greatest desire? Is it about lifting up yourself,  or lifting up the Lord?

Do not wait until it is too late to find out the state of your own heart and change it. Time is short. The hour is at hand.

We have a God that not only listens,  but that speaks,  and that touches,  and that halls,  and that redeems,  and that lives. Don’t just speak at Him with your prayers. Call out to Him. Ask Him to touch your heart today. Ask Him to replace your desires with His.

Surrender completely,  and know that you are His.