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Session 8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Read: 1 Samuel 5

Beauty. Health. Success. Money. Power. Love. We may not literally bow to a golden statue, like Dagon, but we put these idols in God’s place all too often. We spend time checking social media for likes, money on the hottest new thing, and energy exercising for hours on end to worship gods that never satisfy us. Maybe God has asked us to lay one aside as an act of worship and sometimes He shows us our disobedience to get our attention the same way that He got the Philistines' attention by knocking down Dagon, and sending them the plagues.

The Ark of the Covenant was the symbol for Israel’s God. God is greater than any man-made idol. When the Philistines set up the Ark of the Covenant next to their god, Dagon, God put Dagon in his place (1 Samuel 5:1-5). Several times. God is persistent in getting our attention because He loves us, knows what’s best for us, and wants a relationship with us.

God is jealous for our love and will not stand for our bowing to anything less than Him.

We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Our sin separates us from God, and He relentlessly pursues us to bring us back to Him, just as He brought the ark back to Israel. It took plagues in three cities before the Philistines figured out God wanted them to return the ark to Israel (1 Samuel 5:6-11). Sometimes God will allow us to go through the same trials over and over to dethrone any god we put in His place.

God will not be mocked. To treat the ark like a good luck charm or spoil of war showed disrespect and dishonor. The Philistines had no fear of God, and Galatians 6:7 says that mockery will always have repercussions.

Sometimes, bad things are the result of our poor decisions or others’ bad choices. Sometimes, the difficulty in our lives is God just trying to give us a wake-up call that we have placed something above Him in our lives and heart to serve as a god. He is jealous for our love and will not stand for our bowing to anything less than Him.

Reflect:

  • What do you need to lay down to put God first? How can you make time and space this week to do that?
  • What does this story teach you about God? How does that new understanding of who God is change the way you approach your week?

When it comes to making a change, having someone who can encourage and support you can make all the difference. If you need someone to talk to, come by the Care Room on Sunday or reach out to a friend in your NewSpring Group.


1

When hope seems unattainable

When hope seems unattainable

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2

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

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3

Miracles are more than moments

Miracles are more than moments

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4

But God, I don’t want to

But God, I don’t want to

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5

Only God can judge me

Only God can judge me

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6

How do I know if God’s calling me?

How do I know if God’s calling me?

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7

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

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8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Kill your idol, before it kills you

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9

Repentance is more than being sorry

Repentance is more than being sorry

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10

How to walk forward in faith

How to walk forward in faith

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11

Do you blend in?

Do you blend in?

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12

Coincidence? I think not.

Coincidence? I think not.

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13

You can be forever changed

You can be forever changed

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14

When what god asks feels impossible

When what god asks feels impossible

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15

Not all anger is sinful

Not all anger is sinful

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16

It’s not too late to change

It’s not too late to change

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17

When impatience wins

When impatience wins

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18

Who can you count on?

Who can you count on?

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19

Bite your tongue

Bite your tongue

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20

“But God, what if I did this?”

“But God, what if I did this?”

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21

No more excuses

No more excuses

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22

You can’t unsee this

You can’t unsee this

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23

I don’t want to be here anymore

I don’t want to be here anymore

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24

The long road to an overnight success

The long road to an overnight success

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25

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

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26

The danger of jealousy

The danger of jealousy

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27

Why do my motives even matter?

Why do my motives even matter?

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28

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

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29

How to choose between competing loyalties

How to choose between competing loyalties

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30

How to have joy in hard times

How to have joy in hard times

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31

I never thought I’d do that

I never thought I’d do that

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32

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

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33

When you want revenge

When you want revenge

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34

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

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35

When revenge kills

When revenge kills

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36

How to prevent regret

How to prevent regret

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37

Between a rock and a hard place?

Between a rock and a hard place?

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38

How to get your next big thing

How to get your next big thing

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39

What happens when your plans fall apart?

What happens when your plans fall apart?

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40

Who to blame when things go wrong

Who to blame when things go wrong

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41

Disobedience always has consequences

Disobedience always has consequences

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