Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | February 7, 2015

February 7, 2015 “The Futility of Windmill Tilting”

” Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Good Morning Everyone! …This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Tonight, millions of people across the nation will be hoping, and many praying,  for a life-changing event to occur in their lives. Oh, they’re not likely to be praying for Christ’s return or the eradication of some dreaded disease (though some undoubtedly will and do each day). No…tonight is the night of the Powerball drawing, with a prize totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of $360 million dollars, and many a would-be multi-millionaire will be hoping against hope that their small investment of cash in pursuit of this most unlikely of dreams will be realized. Someone, perhaps more than one, will see this dream realized, but the reality is that many millions more will be disappointed once again in their quixotic pursuit. Like Don Quixote of literature, playing the lottery is akin to tilting at windmills.

I am not one who sees a great deal of harm in the dubious investment of a dollar or two in purchasing an occasional lottery ticket. I am troubled, however, when the pursuit of wealth or anything of transient value becomes so consuming in a person’s life that it becomes akin to the sin of idolatry, so significant a sin as to be placed at the #1 and #2 spot on God’s list of “No No’s”…the Ten Commandments. Why is this such a grievous sin? From the time of creation, it was to be understood that God alone is Lord and provider. When he placed Adam and Eve in the Garden, it was already laden with everything they would need or could ever desire to be truly satisfied. His only requirement was submission to His authority, to be demonstrated by the eschewing of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We all know the rest of the story. They were cajoled into placing their own desires over and above their submission to the Lord’s directive and experienced the dire consequences of disobedience. They had disobeyed that first command written on their hearts…”Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Edward Welsh, a Christian author and counselor, gave this insightful summation of the nature of idolatry when he wrote,

“This is how idolatry grows in our hearts.  We want things and we aren’t sure God will give them to us, so we put our trust in other gods. This is THE problem of the human heart—misplaced trust. We value, love, and trust something in creation more than the Creator, and since there is nothing in creation that is intended to bear the weight of our trust, we are bound to live in fear.  All other loves must be subordinate to your love for Christ.”  

To guard against the sin of idolatry and its terrible consequences, there is but one sure defense, and that is to seek first the kingdom of heaven…to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The reward is that all those imagined desires are met a thousandfold in Jesus Christ. Stop tilting at windmills and start seeking real treasure. You’ll find it in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. Let’s pray!

Gracious Lord; You are the only One able to fill my heart’s greatest desire. I am bereft without You and filled to overflowing with You. May I always have my eyes fixed upon You, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. I pray this in Jesus’ Great Name. Amen!

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