I have a friend who had been coughing constantly. This cough would keep him up for half of the night, and it interrupted any conversation he has that’s more than a minute or two long. The cough kept going on so long and that he went to the doctor to get some cough medicine. The doctor ran some tests.

Lung cancer.

Imagine if that doctor did not want to hurt my friend’s feelings so he just told him that he had bronchitis. Would he really have cared about my friend? No way! A doctor who says that you have bronchitis when the prognosis says lung cancer, is a doctor who does not care.

Every time I preach, every time I visit with people, I talk to people who cough. They cough by stressing, struggling, lusting, spending, avoiding, medicating, searching, hurting, bleeding. They can’t stop coughing. Here is the problem: they want something to stop the coughing, but the coughing is just a symptom of a deeper illness.

Idolatry isn’t just one of many sins; it’s the one great sin that all others come from. So if we start scratching at whatever struggle with, eventually you’ll find that underneath is a false god. Until that god is dethroned and the Lord God take His rightful place, you will not have victory.

Idolatry isn’t an issue- it it the issue. All paths lead back to this dusty, overlooked concept of false gods. Deal with life on the glossy outer layers and you might never see it; scratch beneath the surface and you begin to see that it’s always there, under some other coat of paint. There are a hundred million different symptoms, but the issue is always idolatry.

Moses, standing on Mount Sinai received the Ten Commandments from God. The first one was, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
-Exodus 20:3-4

“But Brady, in our time, the problem doesn’t appear to be that people worship many gods-it’s that they don’t worship any god.” Yet my guess is that our list of gods would be longer than theirs. Just because we call them different names doesn’t change what they are. We may not have the god of commerce, the god of agriculture, or the god of hunting. But we do have portfolios, automobiles, pornography, family, church, talent, and sports. If it walks like an idol and quacks like an idol…

What I am saying is, you can call it a cough instead of calling it cancer, but it doesn’t make it any less deadly. Scratch below the surface and see what is the motive behind why you are the way you are about certain things.

You might want to visit the Great Physician about it.

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