A 2022 Daily Thunder Series
Presented by Nathan Johnson
Discover Your Heart's Greatest Longing
Idolatry is a central theme in Scripture; yet most of us presume that because we don't bow at the altar of a statue that we are idol-free. The truth is, all of us need God to reveal our heart's greatest longing and for Him to give us clean hands and a pure heart. In this powerful series, Nathan Johnson explores the biblical concepts of idols, altars, and our need to forsake all substitutes to pursue God alone.
Click on a part below to get started:
Part 1: Soul Drift and Broken Cisterns
In this introduction to his new series, Nathan Johnson talks about the heart behind “Soul Drift” and our need to repent of our broken cisterns to embrace the fountain of living waters.
Part 2: Clean Hands and a Pure Heart
God has chosen you before He spoke creation into existence that you might be holy and blameless before Him. This call to holiness is not something we add to our lives, rather it is to define every action, thought, and word we speak. In this study, we examine Psalm 24:4 and what it means to live with clean hands a pure heart in this dark and polluted world.
Part 3: Do You have Ears to Hear?
Idols and those who worship them are called blind and deaf throughout the Bible. They don’t have eyes to see nor ears to hear.
In this message, we begin to examine the great “Shema” of Deuteronomy 6:4-5. In the Shema, we are told to love God with all we are and all we have. As we begin this mini-series amidst our series on idols, we look at what it means to listen (“shema”) and ask if we truly have ears to hear.
Part 4: An Exclusive Relationship
God has called us into an exclusive relationship with Himself—and thus we are not to entertain other “gods” or “lovers” in our lives. As we continue to look at the Shema in Deuteronomy 6, Nathan Johnson talks about the importance of God’s call to exclusivity and three benefits we experience when Yahweh alone is our God.
Part 5: Three Dimensions of Loving the Lord Your God
After reminding the Israelites that Yahweh alone is their God, Moses declared that they should love their God with all their heart, soul, and might. But what does it mean to truly love God? In this message, Nathan Johnson explains the Hebrew concept of love and gives three dimensions of love that need to be in our lives toward our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Part 6: You Become What You Love
Humans are imaging creatures and we will either reflect our Creator or something in His creation. But even more than reflecting, we will slowly drift and become the thing we love most. In this message, Nathan Johnson further explores the command to love God with everything, and how in doing so, we become more Christlike and unlike the world around us.
Part 7: With ALL Your Heart
We are told the greatest commandment and the summary of the Law is to love God with ALL of our heart, soul, and might. But what does it mean to love God with our heart? Our modern culture equates the heart with emotions and feelings, but in ancient Israelite culture, the heart was so much more. In this message, Nathan Johnson examines the heart, what Moses means by loving God with all your “heart,” and gives three ways we can do so today.
Part 8: With ALL Your Soul
Our modern culture typically uses the term “soul” to refer to the mind, will, and emotions of a person … or the disembodied part of us that lives forever. But the Hebrew concept is strangely different and more encompassing. In this message, Nathan Johnson explores what a “soul” is, why you don’t have one (you are one), and what it means to love God with all of it.
Part 9: With ALL Your Might
Many think that the final statement of Moses in the Shema—to love the Lord with all your might—refers to loving God with our muscles and physical strength. Yet, while Moses is concerned that you love God with the physical aspect of your life, the Hebrew idea of “might” or “strength” of your life again goes beyond what we presume—it includes everything you have like your possessions, money, time, and talent. In this message, Nathan Johnson discusses what it means to love God with all our might and gives ourselves to a total devotion to Jesus Christ.
Part 10: A Simple But Radical Devotion
We are called to a simple but radical devotion to Jesus Christ. He is to be Lord of our lives and we are to love Him with all we are and all we have. In this episode, Nathan Johnson talks about our ever expanding and exclusive devotion to God and how He must have first place in our daily activities, thoughts, words, emotions, relationships, future goals, and every other area of our lives.
Part 11: Why God Stands Against Idolatry
We, as Christians, are called to serve God alone and remove the idols from our lives. But what is idolatry and why are we called to remove them? In this episode, Nathan Johnson dives into God’s command against idolatry, explains what idolatry is, and why it is absolutely essential to remove them from our lives.
Part 12: A History of Idolatry
The people of God have always been surrounded by a culture of idolatry. Though the gods and their worship were called different things over the generations, God’s people have always had to stand against the tide. Today is no different. We too are surrounded by an idolatrous culture and we are called to come out from among them and be separate. In this episode, Nathan Johnson discusses the idolatry problem the Early Church faced and their simple solution to it.
Part 13: The Gates of Hades
We often have more faith in the power and strength of the enemy than we do in our God. Rather than live in the reality that God is truly God, we submit to fear, lust, pride, or a host of other idolatrous attitudes and behaviors. In this message, Nathan Johnson examines a strange event in the Gospels where Jesus and His disciples stand at the Gates of Hades and reveals that darkness has no power at all.
Part 14: Sipping Saltwater
God has offered us unlimited fresh living water … yet we have chosen to guzzle saltwater. The reason many of us feel spiritually thirsty and depleted is because we have turned to our saltwater idols rather than the fountain of Living Water. In this episode, Nathan Johnson uses a metaphor from the book “Sipping Saltwater” to talk about our propensity to chase after the very things that makes us more thirsty yet never satisfies.
Part 15: God, Garbage, or Gift
Humans have the strange propensity to take good gifts from God and turn them either into gods or treat them as garbage. In either case, we exchange the gift for idols. Returning to the metaphor he used last episode from the book “Sipping Saltwater,” Nathan further discusses idolatry in light of how we treat areas of our lives as either god, garbage, or gift. This practical message will not only help illuminate areas of your life that needs the transformation of Christ, but give a simple solution for the gods and garbage we’ve collected.
Part 16: Altered Altars
Altars have been used throughout history as a place to commune with God, sacrifice to Him, and worship. But altars have also been the place where idolatry is celebrated. In this message, Nathan discusses seven aspects of altars throughout Scripture, reveals the greatest altar ever found, and talks about our need for an altered altar.
Part 17: The Altar of the Heart
We all have an altar in our lives upon which we continually offer sacrifices and worship—our hearts. In this message, Nathan not only discusses the key problem with our hearts as altars but gives the simple solution for how our hearts can be places of worship and sacrifice unto God alone.
Part 18: Naming Idols
Idolatry doesn’t have to be a mysterious, abstract, or elusive concept. Scripture makes it clear what idols are and if we desire to be free from them, we must start by naming our idols. In this message, Nathan freshly talks about idolatry and gives several helpful illustrations and questions for us to be able to recognize and name our idols—so that we can repent of them and walk in freedom.
Part 19: The Core of Corinth
The ancient city of Corinth was drowning in idolatry, sexual perversion, and pride. Several years after Paul ministered in the city, he wrote a corrective letter to that church exhorting them to turn to Jesus and quit living like the city around them. In this message, Nathan gives an overview of the city and church in ancient Corinth, the core message of 1Corinthians, and explains how Paul’s exhortation to Corinth is the same message we need to hear today.
Part 20: But Look at What God is Doing …
God provided everything the Israelites needed during their time in the Wilderness, yet they were continually pulled toward idols and independence from God. While we often cluck our tongues at their foolishness, Paul reminds the Corinthians (and us) that we have the same problem. We may point toward things God is doing in our midst, but that doesn’t mean we are free from sin and idolatry. In this message, Nathan examines 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 and explains the parallel between ancient Israel, Corinth, and ourselves—and shows how Jesus is the sole solution for each.
Part 21: The Signs of Idolatry
In the last message we began to explore the concept that although God provided everything the Israelites needed during their time in the Wilderness, they continually pursued idols and independence from God. And we do the same. As Paul continues his exhortation to the Corinthians, he gives four examples of idolatry from ancient Israel and shows how the Corinthians were doing the same. In this message, Nathan describes the four signs of idolatry given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 and explains how we too need to examine our souls so we can walk in the purity and freedom of Christ.
Part 22: Beware Lest You Fall
It is far to easy in the modern church to presume that we are safe and secure from any threat of sin or idolatry. Yet Paul reminds the Corinthians that they too must beware lest they fall like the Israelites of old. In this message, Nathan explores Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 10:12 and shows that we, like the Corinthians, must continually be on guard against pride and presumption—standing fast to the reality of Jesus Christ and His humbling work in our lives.
Part 23: Paul’s Simple Solution to Idolatry
For twelve verses, Paul has explained the concern he has that the Corinthians have given themselves over to idolatry … but now in 1Corinthians 10:13 Paul shifts His focus to give the solution to their problem. In this message, we examine this verse and the simply profound solution Paul gives to their and our problem with pride and idols.
Part 24: God is Jealous
Our God is a jealous God, and that is actually a good thing. Though we often see jealousy as a negative and destructive attribute, we discover throughout Scripture that jealousy is an amazing aspect of God’s character. In this message, Nathan discusses why jealousy in relationships is essential and explains why we must understand this attribute biblically. By the end, you will discover the beauty and benefit of jealousy and learn why God’s jealousy is a really good thing.
Part 25: To Trust God You Must Know Him
You are invited into a rich and intimate relationship with God Almighty; a relationship that is to be exclusive in its devotion. Yet the only way we will ever fully love and trust God with all we are and all we have is to spend time getting to know Him. In this message, Nathan discusses the concept that to trust God we must know Him … and to know Him, we must spend time with Him.
Part 26: Search Me
We are often blinded by our own problems, sin, and idols. We just can’t see them. Yet David in Psalm 139 cries out for God to search and try his heart to see if there is anything wicked within him. And we, like David, desperately need God to search and point out anything in our lives that needs to be removed or transformed. In this message, Nathan examines Psalm 139:23-24 and explains why being searched and tried by the Lord is not only good, but beautifully essential in our lives.
Part 26: The Danger of Soul Drift
In this final episode of the series, Nathan examines the phrase “soul drift” and explains how we must not allow our souls to drift from our first love. You were made to not only discover but intimately know your heart’s greatest longing—Jesus Himself.