“The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. 12 They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshipping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord. 13 They abandoned the Lord to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth.” Judges 2:11-13.
It was early in the century. I had just immigrated to Canada and the Lord helped us to start Christ Apostolic Church Bethel Toronto. We moved from our apartment to the common room in the basement of the Skyscraper and later secured a multipurpose hall in Kipling and Finch area of Etobioke.
We were always doing evangelism on Saturdays to share the gospel of Jesus with the community.
On this fateful Sunday you could see my joy when a young man we never knew walked into fellowship with us. We prayed for him fervently during the service with all of our intensity and anointing, hoping we have gained another member.
As we finished the service, I approached the young man to express our excitement about him coming to worship with us. I requested his name and address so that we can follow him up. I was shocked to my marrow when he said “Pastor don’t worry yourself I am just shopping around for a church to attend “.
Just emigrating from Africa I realized I am in a new spiritual environment and culture – I never heard that vocabulary used for church or spiritual things. I thought it is reserved for only consumer items market places, malls and airports!
Reading the scripture above , it occurred to me that is what exactly the Israelites did when they got to Canaan land. They started shopping for “gods” of the land, Baal, Ashtoreth and many other idol gods. They had the true God who delivered them from Egypt, led , and provided manna for them , they quickly abandoned the true God and started flirting with the gods of the land.
The Holy Spirit is teaching us, that we should stop shopping for idol gods. Why were they shopping for idols gods?
“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel” Judges 2:10
Before you condemned the Israelites of old check how we the Post- New Testament of today church are behaving. Like the generation after Joshua we have abandoned the true God .
Take for instance the nation of Canada. In 1911 98 % of Canadians went to church. Today it is the total reverse. Why?, because Canadians are shopping for idols . Shopping for same- sex god, marijuana god, abortion god, LGBTQ2 god and eastern idol – gods, God calls it evil . The same Canadians that have gone around the world promoting the gospel of Jesus have gone after modern day gods.
Canada is not the only nation, Europe, America and many nations that have the true God as their foundations have gone shopping for idol gods. Shopping for gods of Islam, Hindu,Sikh, Shintoism, Eastern religion.
Even when we the Christian Church is not shopping around for church the other gods are forcing themselves on us, encroaching the Christian space.I watched a video recently where the Muslims are saying they will take over United Kingdom as they did Turkey. In Nigeria they have been using the gun to encroach the Christian space, forcing one God on a secular nation. One of the flag bearers of the presidential race is embracing Muslim-Muslim ticket intending to use political platform to force another god on the nation!
Apart from nations, like my young man in my earlier story, there are many people today who do not have a clue about the true God and so they are shopping for the false gods by shopping in the wrong places of worship.
How do you know a false god? Read Psalm 115: 4-8. “Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.They have mouths but cannot speak,and eyes but cannot see.They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell.They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound.And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.” What it means is that the false God is blind to the truth, full of hate, and engrossed in killing his human beings in the name of serving God.
How do you know the true God? Read Col 1: 15-20” Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church,which is his body.
He is the beginning,supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fulness was pleased to live in Christ.and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” What it means is that the true God is full of love and cares and his followers follow his principles.
Conclusion. The true God is the Triune God, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God that made the heaven and the earth including you. The true God delivers from bondages as he delivered the people of Israel. The true God saves, heals, delivers, cares, and loves. He is not burdensome to worship .
If you have met Him stay with Him. If you have not, He is where you are right now, he manifested himself in Christ, when you have Christ you have him. One advert on radio in Toronto says “What are you doing with the minimum when you can have the maximum.” Stop shopping for fake and false gods when you can have the True God.
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