The coming of spring and all things new and flowery has got me all self reflective over here. I have been thinking about the things that have stopped me from doing God’s will in my life and about the things I tend go all “Lord of the Rings Golem” on and hold a little too precious to.
I’ll get real with you all and tell you that for me control and the desire to please others are at the top of my list. As hard as it is to admit to myself, I can’t deny what those things really are in my life: idols.
Right away when I think of an idol I think of people bowing down to gold statues. Yet friends, no matter what justification or explanations you harbor, the truth of the matter is that when you hold something higher than you hold the will of God what you’ve got is an idol.
This verse especially got me in the gut today:
Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble.Judges 10:14
Ouch. No matter what why I stack my cards, nothing that I cling to more securely than the cross will do a lick of good for me when I’m in trouble.
Our earthly treasures and desires can appear so shiny and gold on the outside but have the ability to slowly morph into dark clouds that cover our confidence and faith in the power of our God.
How heartbroken must God be to see us take the things of this earth and the sin of our hearts and meld them into weapons that Satan can use to turn our faces away from Him?
In speaking to Ezekiel about idol worship among the Israelites, He said:
“Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin…”
You see when we create idols in our hearts (even little ones!), we are setting ourselves up for a slippery slope of sin (and it isn’t pretty).
The passage above goes on to talk about God’s anger and how He dealt with idolatry among the His people: He cast them out and didn’t look back. Thank goodness for the grace of the cross that came later on in the story that allows us forgiveness and the ability to enter back into His fold. BUT the truth still remains that when we build idols in our hearts what we are really doing is brick by brick building a wall that alienates us from God.
So, I have to ask, what are your idols? Money? Control? Your appearance? Your intelligence? Pleasing others? Past trauma? Your kids? Your job?
I could literally write a page long list of possible idols because sadly, as humans we tend to create idols out of pretty much anything. Yet regardless of what your idols are, the same solution exists: burn them in holy fire and break the chains that they have on your heart. (That may require prayer, professional counseling, and/or a cup of coffee and tears with a close friend.) Then, build a foundation of scripture and erect walls of grace and truth to prevent your idols from ever coming back.
Friends, there is NOTHING more precious than the work of God in you. As Easter approaches and spring flowers bloom I pray that you can take a few moments to do some spring cleaning of your heart. I know I am.
As we enter into the coming weeks and think more about the freedom Christ bought from us on the cross, let us also make sure that we keep our eyes and hearts focused upward and not outward on the things of this world.