Hear me out. At one point in my life, I attributed my salvation as credit to my favorite preacher. When someone would ask to hear my testimony… you would hear the name of my favorite preacher, more than you heard the name of Jesus.
Phrases like, “I was inspired by ‘so and so’…” or “Hearing so and so’s story, changed my life…” showed the idolatry that was deeply rooted in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to appreciate the lives of others who are living boldly for the Kingdom! That’s great.
The problem is… are you appreciating them more than God, the one who is actually using them for His purpose? Sometimes we forget to give God credit. We look at our past experiences and we focus so much on what happened in the natural, that we never truly consider everything that took place in the spirit realm. You saw the YouTube video that made you feel encouraged. You read the blog post that gave you a new revelation. You heard the worship song that was playing during your breakthrough. But did you notice God working through the person speaking on the video? Did you realize that the Lord was the one who removed the spiritual blinders from your eyes so that you could receive that revelation? Did you see God slaying the demons and breaking the chains off of your spirit-man as the song was playing?
Most of us are baby Christians when we first get saved. We may have never seen the life of faith lived in our household so we look for a role model or someone we can look up to. That is understandable for that season… but we can’t stay in that place for too long because it can be very dangerous. At one point or another, we have to mature in our spiritual walk and actually develop and intimate relationship with the Lord himself.
We must realize, as I had to myself, that the person delivering the message was never supposed to be our god, they are simply a vessel. It is God who works in and through others to draw us to Himself. God opens the blinded eyes. He sets the captives free. He reveals Himself to us. He saves us. Not your favorite preacher or social media sensation.
Here is what happened when I thought my favorite preacher saved me… when I would share my testimony… instead of leading others directly to Christ, I would lead them to my favorite preacher. That was ineffective, because in the same way I idolized this person, others grew to idolize them as well vs. truly seeking the face of God. Instead of being an ambassador for Christ, establishing my identity in Him, and reflecting Him wherever I went… I was an ambassador for my favorite preacher. I didn’t know my identity or worth in Christ and I tried to be someone I was not.
This also caused me to be in bondage. If this person would ask me to do something, I would do it without hesitation or question. I wouldn’t even pray about it. My whole life was about living in a way that this person would approve of vs. living a life of true obedience and submission unto the Lord.
I think it’s important to mention that it is not the fault of my favorite preacher… neither is it the fault of God. I take full and complete responsibility for being drawn away by my own lustful desires and covetousness.
When the Lord showed me this… I felt so convicted. Even though it took a while to deal with the idolatry in my heart… here are some basic steps I took to set me free from this bondage.
- I had to repent of my sin and ask God to help me change.
- I changed my speech. Instead of attributing so much praise to that person, I had to intentionally train my lips to praise God.
- I changed my mind and perspective. I had to transform my thinking. I had to dwell on God’s word, His goodness, and look for the ways He was working in my life–both naturally and spiritually.
- Consider confronting the person if you are able to contact them in some way. Confess your sin and share with them that you cannot and will not be bound to them in this way any longer.
- I had to break the spiritual soul tie that was formed from idolizing and worshiping this person in my heart.
- I had to find my identity in Christ through reading His word. I had to embrace this new journey of self-discovery and re-learn everything I thought I knew!
- I had to break free from people bondage and practice obedience to the Lord in all things.
I hope that if you are able to relate to this blog post in anyway that you find the tips that I offered insightful… but more than anything, know that it is God himself who is speaking to you. It it God himself that is tugging at your heart. God led you to this page and is able to work in your life without the help of any man.