Idols of the Heart

I would strongly recommend Timothy Keller’s book on “Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, Power, and the only Hope that Matters. ” He begins by quoting Alexis Tocqueville who noted in America in the 1830’s there was “a strange melancholy that haunts inhabitants…in the midst of abundance.” Americans even back in the 1830’s thought prosperity could quench their yearning for happiness but such hope was illusory because as Tocqueville said  “the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the human heart.”  I have been researching a new book on the heart and it is amazing how the world is geared for us to set up shrines or idols in our heart to take the place of God in our lives. This is an idol of the heart. An idol is anything that is more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.  A counterfiet god according to Keller is anything so central to your life that, should you lose it, your life would hardly feel worth living. Keller says the human heart has become an idol factory. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. Keller explains that idols can be family and children, or career, and making money, or acheivement and critical acclaim and social standing. Idols can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, beauty, brains, a political or social cause, your morality and virtue and even success in Christian ministry. The best way to describe this relationship is worship. Keller says that the central principle of Scripture is the rejection of idolatry and Ezekiel and Psalms warns against setting up idols in our hearts. We look to idols for hope, meaning and fulfillment that only God can provide.  I John talks about keeping ourselves from idols and I Corinthians talks about fleeing from idolatry. We must love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and seek him first above all else. I examined myself and began to see that their have been many idols that I did not even know I was serving and that were controlling the quality of my life. Every human being must live for something. What is our passion? Where is the fundamental allegiance of your heart? What do you serve in life? Is their anything more important than God? How much time do you spend with God? How much time doing you spend studying the scriptures that reveal His heart? Idolatry is the setting of the whole heart on something besides God. We must turn our hearts away from these idols and to God. This is where the real transformation of the Christian walk will take place because we  are seeking God first. Search your hearts for any idol that has set up a shrine for worship. Tear it down and ask God for his forgiveness. To repent is more than just saying you are sorry but is to turn the heart to God with great love and humility. Idols can destroy your life and those around you. Idols destroy the God-given destiny God has designed for your life. God is the only one who deserves our heart’s devotion and our hearts should be on fire for Him only.

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