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The 10 Commandments // Part 2

The 10 Commandments //
2nd Commandment

Have you ever been so focused on doing a certain task that you forgot to follow a certain step in the process?

Like making dinner and you forgot to add the most important ingredient.

Or getting ready to take kids to soccer practice when you realize you left them at home?

In life, we can be so focused on the daily events that we lose sight of our relationship with God.

Today you fall in 1 of 2 camps.

Walking close to God.

Or you feel distant from God.

You were on fire for God, but you got distracted, or busy, or life happened and over time other things took your focus away from God.

Exodus 20:4-6
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."

God, gave this to His children because He loved them.

God gives rules because he loves us. Because he wants to direct us.

At the heart of this command is a warning. 

  • God created us to be ruled over

    Last week pastor talked about there being a God void. A place that God created for him to dwell in our lives. Because we were created to be ruled over.

  • Not to allow anything other than God to rule over us.

    Because God knows that something will rule us, if its not Him it will be something. God warns us don't let anything else rule your lives. He encourages us to remember that we belong to Him.

  • He's a jealous God that loves us. And he doesn't want to share our attention with other rulers.

But the temptation is real. The temptation is there to push God off the throne of our hearts and replace him with other rulers.

Because whatever the heart clings to and relies on, that becomes a ruler for us. Anything we love, serve, or value more than God is our ruler.

King David was pretty good about following this commandment.

David had a heart after God and started to direct the people's attention to Him.

Solomon came along and built the Temple and the focus on God really took off. The people of Israel allowed God to be their ruler.

But then Solomon did something that I think all of us have done at times. 

  • See things were going really well for Solomon and the people. They were growing. They were accumulating wealth. All the surrounding countries wanted to be like them.
  • Solomon started to take God for granted. He started to think He and the nation of Israel were invincible. And he started to let His guard down. He started to let his relationship w/ God slip.
  • It didn't seem too serious at first. It started with having wives from other nations.
  • At first he told himself this would be helpful for his nation. But the problem was that these new wives brought their own religions, their own idols to worship. Their own gods that ruled their hearts.
  • His wives asked if they could build places of worship for their idols. Solomon allowed it. After all its not hurting anyone.
  • But what happened is slowly worshiping these other idols became a common practice of all the people.
  • After awhile, years and years went by and the people of Israel didn't just worship God, they worshiped these idols also and they lost sight of what it meant to worship God only. The forgot what it meant to be in relationship w/ God. They allowed other things to rule their lives. And took God off the throne of their heart.

It just took one to affect all the people.

Back to this; command is a warning - He says, "punishing the children of the sin of their parents."

Here's what happened. 

  • Solomon allowed other things to rule his life. He started bowing to idols. His relationship slipped. 
  • Then his children followed in his footsteps. They tried to worship God and these other idols and then their children took it a step further. Their children allowed idols to rule their lives. And down the line it went. 
  • 15 generations of people had been lost, because one person took God off the throne of his heart.

Maybe you've found yourself here. How do you turn it around?

But along came a king named Josiah. And though he was young, God was working on Him. 15th king of Judah.

Today, I want to focus on how to get back into relationship w/ God. How to focus on God again.

And here's what 2 Chronicles says about him:

1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols. 4 Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles and the idols.

Josiah finds himself and the land of Judah far away from God. 

  • His fathers, didn't follow this 2nd commandment. 
  • His Grandfathers didn't follow this commandment. 
  • His country didn't follow this commandment. 
  • They had allowed other things to rule their hearts. 
  • God was pushed to the side. 
  • But Josiah doesn't blame his fathers. He just knows something has got to change.

Are you there? Are you in that place where you realize something has to change?

Do you look at your life and see that you're relationship w/ God isn't what it used to be?

Have you allowed other things to rule your heart? 

God made you to be ruled, but only by Him. He knows that if you don't allow Him to rule your life, something else will.

So how do you allow God to rule your life again?

The first thing Josiah does is…

  • He removed the Distractions
  • He removed all other rulers in his life and his nation.
  • For 15 generations the kings had allowed idols to be built, places of worship to other gods to be constructed. Josiah realizes that if the nation is ever going to turn back to God they are going to have to get rid of these distractions. They are going to have to get rid of these other rulers.

What Josiah realized is that there is no god greater than Yahweh. Everything else only distracts us.

Everything else only interferes with a close relationship w/ God.

The thing about distractions are:

  • What distracts you, will eventually attack you.
  • None of us go home and worship an idol or a statue.
  • But there are powerful things in our lives that look innocent, but have the tendency to distract us from relationship w/ God.
  • And what distracts you will eventually attack you.

Now my son Silas just learned this the hard way.

  • He got distracted by the glory of defeating the American Ninja Warrior course, and forgot that even those tough guys and girls have soft cushions in case they fall.

Distractions eventually attack. Because they become rulers. They grab our heart, and we push God off of his rightful place.

They start out so small, but over time they attack our relationship with God.

  • What started out as I'm too tired, I'll skip church today, soon became I haven't been in church in a month.
  • What started out as a few drinks at a party, soon became an overwhelming problem.
  • What started out as allowing yourself to get as close to the line of sin as possible, soon became a step over the line. And now you don't know where the line is.
  • What started out as I'm afraid, soon became I will serve my fear and not believe there is a God who conquers all fear.
  • What started out as making a few extra bucks, soon became so driven into making money that you forgot your value is in your relationship with God.

It’s a small innocent step at first that eventually leads to the distractions. And what distracts eventually will attack. And it always attacks your relationship w/ God.

Josiah stepped back and took a look at their location and decided before they did anything else, all these distractions had to go. Everything that would take the people's attention away from Yahweh had to go.

  • It may be painful at first to get rid of the rulers in your life, but it will make all the difference for you, your family, and your circle of influence.

He repaired the place of connection with God

The temple was the place where the people connected with God. It was the physical place where God's presence dwelt on earth.

Solomon built it, but then he allowed other gods, other distractions in the land. And eventually, these distractions made their way into the temple. And this place of connection with God, became a storage place.

After Josiah removes the distractions here's what he does next…

  • In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the Lord his God.

Once the distractions are gone, he can then turn his attention to the place of connection with God.

Our faith is built on our relationship with God. Its built on intentionally connecting with him.

God wants to connect with you. But what happens is we allow the distractions to keep us from attending church, or reconnecting with God through the week, or reading our devotionals, or praying. And what happens is over time, it becomes harder and harder to reconnect.

But God is a God that longs to connect with you. He's waiting right where you left Him, He's begging us to put down the distractions and reconnect with Him. Get back to the basics of our faith.

Anymore we get to the place where we don't talk about prayer Monday through Saturday. But God wants you to pray. He wants you to rebuild the place of connection with him.

Connecting w/ God is more than a Sunday thing. Its an everyday thing.

Please hear my heart, I want so badly to communicate this to you in an encouraging way. But if we don't work on our relationship w/ God during the week, we're missing something.

He recommitted to God

And while they are cleaning out the temple they discover something.

2 Chronicles 34:15

Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan.Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.

As they are doing spring cleaning they stumble upon the Law of God. For 100's of years this has been lost. All started when Solomon let his guard down. And because the law had been lost, the people had allowed all sorts of powerful things to rule them instead of God.

Then the king reads it the people.

2 Chronicles 34:31

The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.

Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.

They knew God, they believed in Him. But He didn't have their focus. He didn't have their heart.

And they read the law aloud to Josiah and he rips his shirt, which was a sign of regret, remorse. He realized that the nation had drifted away from what was most important. They had lost their focus. Because of kings from the past, their guard had been let down and all sorts of powerful things had taken their focus.

And now he realizes that regardless of how they got to the place where they were, its Josiah's job to lead them back to God.

Here's the thing -

Your Location Doesn't have to be your Destination.

Wherever you find yourself today, either close to God or far from God or somewhere in the middle that doesn't have to be the place you're heading.

God has a destination for you, to be in His presence. To be close to Him. To know that you belong to Him.

Don't let your current location define your destination.

Pull out your map, locate where you are with God, but don't let your location be confused with your destination.

You may be far away from God now, but God says your destination is with him.

You may have let all sorts of distractions into your family, but God says pick up your spiritual axe and begin cutting down those distractions because He's got a destination for you.

Get up and take a step towards him. Get up, brush yourself off, and walk back into his presence. Get up, because your family needs you. Your kids need you to direct them. Your spouse is waiting for you to direct them. Your friends, won't find God on their own. Your coworkers, desperately need God's presence and God has put you in their path for a reason.

So much is counting on You.

Don't let your location determine your destination.

2 Kings 23:25

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

If we were to judge Josiah by how he started out, we'd say He was just a kid. We'd say, he was average king at best. Because when the story starts, he's 8 years old and his kingdom is far away from God. They have filled their hearts with other rulers.

He had excuses. Its not his fault. 

  • Its been handed down from his fathers and grandfathers.
  • It’s not his fault, he's only 8.
  • Its too big of a job.

But what makes him great, is he overcame the excuses and turned to God.

Would you just be honest with yourself? Where are you with God?

Who is ruling you? Is it God? Or is it habits, fear, money, lust?

Do you want to put God back on the throne of your heart?

Worship Set

God Is On The Move 

- Cliff Williams, Ian Eskelin, Mikey Howard, and Tony Wood

Verse 1

Anytime a heart turns from darkness to light
Anytime temptation comes and someone stands to fight
Anytime somebody lives to serve and not be served
I know I know I know I know

Chorus 1

God is on the move on the move hallelujah
God is on the move in many mighty ways
God is on the move on the move hallelujah
God is on the move on the move today

Verse 2

Anytime in weakness someone falls upon their knees
Or dares to speak the truth that sets men free
Anytime the choice is made to stand upon the Word
I know I know I know I know

Misc 1(Interlude)

Yeah (yeah)

Misc 2 (Bridge)

I see a generation standing on the truth
In each and ev'ry nation God is on the move

Verse 3

Anytime the Gospel stirs a searching soul
And someone says send me here I go
I know I know I know I know

Never Once

- Matt Redman and Tim Wanstall

Verse 1

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for ev'ry step
You were with us

Verse 2

Kneeling on this battleground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing ev'ry victory was
Your pow'r in us

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes our hearts can say

Chorus 1

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful God
You are faithful (You are faithful God You are faithful)

Misc 2 (Pre-Chorus)

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say

Chorus 2

Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once no we never walk alone

Chorus 3 

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful God You are faithful
Ev’ry step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful God You are faithful

Misc 3 (Ending)

You are faithful God
You are faithful (3X)

Here As In Heaven

- Christopher Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Ntele, Steven Furtick

Verse 1

The atmosphere is changing
the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

Chorus 1

Overflow in this place
Fill our hearts with your love
Your love surrounds us
You're the reason we came to encounter your love
Your love surrounds us

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Spirit of God fall fresh on us
We need your presence
Your kingdom come your will be done
Here as in heaven

Verse 2

A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here