She [Israel] has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and the gold—which they used for Baal.
What a parallel to the Western church worshiping the gods of this age! We have bowed to the Baals of productivity and power. Seduced, we have pursued our plans for growth—to be the largest or fastest growing denomination, to build the largest buildings, the biggest congregations, and the most successful programs. Of course we say, “It’s for the kingdom.” But we are self-deceived. We come near to the Lord with our mouth, but our hearts are far from him (see Matthew 15:8). We hold our worship events, our conferences, celebrations, and services, but He says:
I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
Amos 5:21 NASB
Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
God sees through the volume of words and music to the heart. We say, “I am rich…and do not need a thing.” But Jesus says we are deceived:
You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
The Sin of Pride
Behind idolatry lies the sin of pride. The Lord declared through Amos:
I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city.
Our fortresses of pride—of self-sufficiency and independence—do not impress Him. The Western church has come under a dealing of God because of its spirit of pride. Our cities have been delivered up. More importantly, the city of God itself, the church, has been overrun. The wall has been breached, and we have been occupied. Many have a vision for city-reaching, but how can we deliver the city when the city of God itself is captive?
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