Who Is Your God?
by Jeanniene Lee
Well, who is your god? You can ask almost anyone this question and, in most instances, the answer will be "God is my god." Occasionally, the respondent will attach a name to their god.
Dear reader, my question to you today is who is your god? Do you really know who your god is? If you do not, it is my prayer for you today that before you finish this article you will truly know who or what is really your god! Now, don't just assume that just because you're "saved" and "born again" that God is really god in your life!
Where is your heart? What is the focus of your heart? Who or what has your heart? What is the priority of your heart? Who or what do you love?
Whoever or whatever has become the PRIORITY of your heart has also become your god! Whoever or whatever has become the PRIMARY FOCUS of your heart has become your god! So, who is your god?
When God gave Moses the ten commandments, the first commandment He gave him boldly declared that we are not to allow any other god to be positioned in our lives before Him.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Deuteronomy 6:5 states that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might. Thus, your heart's focus and who you love with all your heart is closely related to who your god is! Whoever or whatever is the priority of your heart is your god!
In reading the ten commandments, I found it interesting that God stated that we are to have "no other gods" before Him: gods, plural, not singular.
God in His omniscient, all knowing nature, knew that we would be warring with many things that would be after our heart's focus. Many such things would be warring for the position to become gods in our lives. Not only things but people would want to become the priority of our heart. That is why He stated that we are to have "no other gods" before Him.
What god is before you?
One of Webster's definitions of the word "god" is a person or thing of supreme value. Something or someone that is esteemed at such a high level that it is literally worshipped. To worship something or someone implies that the thing or person you are worshipping has become the primary focus of your heart, thus becoming your god. So, who is your god?
Has your spouse become your god? Have your children become your god? How about your job, has it become your god? Or your business, has it become your god? Has your pursuit of success become your god? Has your pursuit of an education and a degree become your god? Have your material possessions -- your car, your boat, your house, etc. -become your god? Has your ministry and the work that you're doing for God taken priority over God Himself and literally become your god? Has your denomination or particular church become your god?
Remember, one of Webster's definitions of the word "god" is a person or thing of supreme value. The word "supreme" is defined as something or someone that is highest in rank or authority and the word "value" means importance. Therefore, a god is something or someone that has been granted the highest level of importance in your heart and life. Nothing ranks higher than that thing or person.
One of the most profound illustrations found in the Bible of how subtly something else can become the chief focus of your heart above the living God Himself is recorded in the Gospels. In the account of the rich young ruler and his conversation with Jesus, we see how his possessions had become god in his life.
This story is recorded in Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-30 and in Luke 18:18-30. Herein we shall discuss Mark's account; however, I suggest you look up and read all three accounts and study them closely.
Before we continue, however, I would like to point out that in these writings no where is it implied nor stated that God is against the rich or against us being successful and rich. It just so happens that this story is about a young ruler who was rich. As we study this together you will notice that it was the fact that his possessions had become his god that kept him from inheriting eternal life NOT BEING RICH! Remember, whatever has become the priority of your heart has become your god! Whatever you love with all your heart, soul, and might is god in your life!
An often misquoted scripture is I Timothy 6:10. Many people state that it says that money is the root of all evil, but it does not say that at all. Money is not the root of all evil, the LOVE OF money is.
I Timothy 6:10
10 For the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Now, let's look at the account of the rich young ruler and his conversation with Jesus.
17 And when he [Jesus] was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, ONE THING THOU LACKEST: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Notice in verse 19 that Jesus began to answer the young ruler's question by saying "thou knowest the commandments." However, Jesus did not mention all ten of the commandments he was referring to, He only mentioned six. The six that he mentioned obviously were the six that the young ruler observed and kept. Jesus is omniscient and all knowing as is God; therefore, He already knew which of the commandments the young ruler observed and kept.
The young ruler, who knew the ten commandments as Jesus stated he did, must have realized that Jesus did not mention all ten of the commandments and especially the first which stated that he was to have no other gods before God.
Jesus' statement, as recorded in Mark 10:21, in response to the young ruler's answer that he had observed all the commandments that Jesus mentioned in verse 19, made it clear that the young ruler was not observing the first commandment to have no other gods before God. Jesus informed him that there was one thing that he lacked and that the one thing he lacked was the most important of all, for his inheriting the kingdom of God was contingent upon that one thing.
Jesus finally, clearly, and directly answered the young ruler's initial question of verse 17, "what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" He told him to "go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."
In Jesus' response in Mark 10:21, He was telling the rich young ruler to do two things: (1) change the focus of his heart and give up the thing, in his case his possessions, that had become his god, and (2) allow Him (Jesus) to become God in his life;". . . come, take up the cross, and follow me."
The rich young ruler was sad at the saying of Jesus, and he went away grieved. Why? Because he had great possessions and his possessions had become his god. He was not willing to give up his god for the true and living God! How about you? You may not have "great" possessions; but, have the possessions you do have, become god in your life?
Whatever you are not willing to give up for God has become your god. In the case of the rich young ruler, he was not willing to give up his possessions for God, thus implying that his possessions were of supreme value to him and had become his god. His possessions were the primary focus of his heart, the priority of his heart. He loved his possessions more than he loved God Himself; for, he would not give them up to inherit eternal life.
Who or what is your god? What are you not willing to give up to receive the free gift of eternal life from the true and living God? Whatever you are not willing to give up for God not only will cost you a relationship with God, but you will ultimately lose that thing that you were not willing to give up that had become god in your life! Don't be deceived, eventually, it will cost you and it will cost you big!
Don't allow your pursuit for success, riches, your possessions or anything or anyone to become your god except the true and living God Himself! God is not against you being rich and successful but He is against you putting your trust in those riches as you would Him. Putting your total trust and confidence in anything or anyone more than you would God Himself will make it very difficult for you to enter into the kingdom of God. Beloved, it doesn't matter what it is that you're trusting in. You must not allow your heart to wholly trust in anything or anyone more than you would Almighty God Himself. That is very dangerous.
24 ... Children, how hard is it for them that TRUST IN RICHES to enter into the kingdom of God!
Know this, whatever you give up for God, He will give it back to you with much more added. God is not in the subtraction business, He is in the multiplication business.
The rich young ruler missed out on the best business opportunity of his entire life. He missed a chance to increase his wealth beyond his ability and imagination. Holding onto what he had instead of releasing it to God as Jesus directed him to, ultimately cost him all he had plus eternal life.
What do you have clasped tight within your heart and hand that you are not willing to give up for God?
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, WE HAVE LEFT ALL. AND HAVE FOLLOWED THEE.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, FOR MY SAKE. AND THE GOSPEL'S.
30 BUT HE SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDREDFOLD [Implying that He adds to what you give up for him. He is in the multiplication business.] NOW IN THIS TIME, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Notice that verse 30 said we would receive something back NOW in this life and also we would receive something in the world to come and that which we receive then would be eternal life. Many people think that God is only going to give them back what they give up for Him in the "sweet by-and-by." That is not totally true, beloved. Mark 10:30 clearly states that He is going to give back to us in this life, multiplied a hundredfold, whatever we give up for him and then also he is going to give us eternal life in the world to come. The world to come is referring to the sweet by-and-by. Glory to God!
Abraham found this to be true. The Bible calls him the father of a multitude. His name actually means father of a great multitude, father of many nations (Genesis 17:5-6).
Abraham had waited many years for a son and when his son was finally born, God asked him to give Him this long-awaited for son, Isaac. Without hesitation Abraham was willing to offer up his only son Isaac to God (read Genesis 22:1-14).
Remember what Jesus said to Peter in Mark 10:29-30? ". . . Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time ..."
After waiting for many years for a son by his wife Sarah, Abraham was not about to allow that son to become a god in his life. He was not about to allow Isaac to become the priority of his heart. He was not about to love Isaac more than he loved God. Abraham was not about to allow what God had given to him to become god in his life before God Himself. Abraham knew the "great commandment" was to have no other gods before God.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Have you allowed that thing or person that you've been praying and believing God for, that you have finally received from God, to become god in your life? Have you allowed what God has given to you to take His place and become god in your life?
Is your spouse your god? Are your children your god? Is your business your god? Is your job your god? Are your possessions your god? Has the prosperity and success God has granted you become god in your life over the God who gave them to you? Have your ministry and the work that you're doing for God actually become your god?
Let me ask you the same question I asked you at the beginning of this article. Who is your god? By now, beloved, in your own heart you know who your god is? You also know what you must do to inherit eternal life. You know that God's Word declares that you must love God with all your heart. He must be the primary focus of your heart, the priority of your heart.
Knowing what to do alone is not enough. You must do what you now know to do. This is clearly stated by Jesus in Luke 10:25-28.
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mi nd...
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: THIS DO. and thou shalt live.
So, who will remain your god from this point on? It's your choice. It is my prayer for you that you will search your heart now and if God is not the priority of your heart, that you will make Him your God today!