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That Old Familiar Feeling
We all love familiar things
- Favorite chair
- Pair of jeans
- Or restaurant
- Old Song
We are DRAWN (pulled) to familiar things
- Makes us feel safe
- Makes us feel at peace
- Makes us feel comfortable
Mentally and Spiritually we are also drawn to familiar things:
- Way of thinking
- Old Habits
- Style of worship
- Favorite Bible translation
But there is a DARK SIDE to our desire for familiar things
- Things that we are used to
Familiar destructive: (Over and over)
- Bad Habits
- Unhealthy Relationships/People
- Destructive Thought Patterns
- Poor Choices/decisions
Let’s look at a story about the power “Familiar” can have over us
We start in Exodus:
- People of Israel have been freed from 400 years of slavery in Egypt
- They take riches with them as they leave
- They cross the red sea
- God sends them Mana, quail, and water from a rock as they travel
- They get to Mount Sinai
Moses goes us the mountain to meet with God
- God gives him the 10 Commandments and the rest of the law
32 When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make gods for us who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!”
2 Aaron replied to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from them, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf.
Then they said, “Israel, these are your gods, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”
Why did the people choose this symbol as the “Gods who brought you out of Egypt? The answer was partly a matter of the strong attractions of idolatry, partly a matter of the absence of Moses, who was so closely associated with Yahweh’s presence, partly a matter of the passage of time during which the obvious presence of Yahweh in the pillar of cloud and fire was lacking, partly a matter of the attractiveness of the idea of a syncretism of Yahwism with the Egyptian bull cult, but mostly a matter of something that continues to plague even Christian people today: an inability to see that the spiritual world is primary to and in control of the physical and visible world. In order to help his people understand the truth, Yahweh insisted on being believed in rather than being seen. It was so much easier to believe in something that could actually be seen. The Israelites were powerfully attracted to the latter option.
They chose what was… FAMILIAR
Really today is about Idolatry
- Often think of statues and people bowing down to them
What are your FAMILIAR IDOLS?
Idol – Anything you elevate above God or give to God’s rightful place in your life
People of Israel decide question when Moses will return
- Force Aaron to build a Golden Image of a
Where are they?
- In a new place
- They were bored
- They are looking for something familiar
They chose something they knew well
- The pagan Egyptian gods
If find it interesting, that they decided to believe that the Gods of the people who had kept them in slavery for 400 years, would be the God that randomly decided to free them
- Double down on a bad idea
Familiar idols don’t free us — Never have, Never will
- They keep us in familiar patterns and bondage
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
We think we want freedom in our lives, but we will often choose to live in the same bondage we are currently in because it is familiar.
The fear of the unknown is more terrifying than the mess we are currently in
At least I’m familiar with this mess, I don’t know what is over there?
It is easy to look at a story like this and say, “Those foolish people. If God had done _______ like that for me, I would never choose something else over him…
- Oh yes, we would.
- We do ALL THE TIME
They were not abandoning God, they just wanted him to be in a form that they were used to
- Something familiar
We do this all the time:
- We place something familiar that we think will give us the FEELING that we desire
We’re not worshiping golden cows or statues
- Our Idolatry is much more subtle
- Keep running back to or choose the same type of person
- Fear of being alone
Idol way be
- Desire to be wanted
- Never to be Alone
Idols may be:
- The desire for worth and to be known
Idol may be:
Many of us claim to only follow ONE God, but actually depend on all these FAMILIAR little Idols to give us what ONLY God can
Only God can give your true security
- Not money/wealth
- Not Power/Force
Only God really Knows you
- No other intimacy will suffice
Only God will never abandon you
Only God can give you peace
Only God can give you wisdom
- Not this world
Only God can give you satisfaction
- Not Lust
What “Familiar Idol” do you keep running back to?
What Feeling does it give you that you desire so much?
What has it actually given you so far?
What will your future look like if you continue to cling to it?
To take the chance with God
- Let him lead you into UNFAMILIAR places
- Let Him teach you UNFAMILIAR things
- Let Him show you how to love UNFAMILIAR people
In this, you will live an extraordinary life
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.