Monday, July 11, 2005

Idols of the Heart

I am not sure if you will find encouragement in what I share with you or not, but I thought I would share some things that I have been learning as I have been reading through the book entitled, “Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone” by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

God has opened my eyes to many idols that I have. God is always so good to bring us back to Him. Sometimes through very hard times and somethings through joyful occasions. In this area of Idols, God has used many ways to get my attention.

I tend to draw encouragement when I read in the Bible about people that have struggled like I do or when I read statements such as, “Learned to be content.” I sure hope it isn’t wrong to find comfort in such things, because I don’t mean to be wrong. I think that God desires us to draw comfort here and know that He has a purpose for us and is perfecting us.

As I have studied "Idols of the Heart", I have become very aware of how sinful, awful and undeserving I am. I have also become very aware of how thankful I should be for how Christ as spared me the punishment I deserve.

The first question that stood out to me in this book is a pretty easy question to read, but as you think about it, it can rip your heart out. The question is, “What must I have for life to be meaningful and happy?” This question is a question that you would find America asking and viewing it as an ambitious question, but if you really think about what it is asking, you can see that there are so many answers that are not God. If we can answer with anything other than God-and if you are being honest, there will be other answers- then you can see your heart of idolatry.

The next question that jumped out at me was, “Do you sincerely believe He died for your sin? If so, then is it logical to think that He wouldn’t grant you all you need?” Talk about taking your heart and twisting it tight. I know that I will say I believe He died for my sins and even say that I believe He will grant me all I need, but the granting all I need, I think, is something I say because it is expected, but I don’t think my heart has truly embraced that, at least not all the time. It is so easy to be discontent with where you are in life. Praise God that we can learn to be content.

From there I move on to read about why I choose the way I do. The book is not getting easier to read, but what hope it holds in the complexity and truth contained in the pages. The book is great as it points you back to scripture. The next questions that stands out and makes me squirm are, “What do you believe will make you happy? How do your desires affect your holiness? If I observed your life, what conclusions would I draw about the priority of God’s love?” Not that we are to live for what others think of us as we are to live entirely for an Audience of One, but if we are living for the Audience of One, wouldn’t those around us be able to evidently see how God’s love is a priority in our life? I know that it is sometimes easy to convince people that you Love God, sometimes far too easy...take time to think about how God is seeing you and how you are growing to live for the Audience of One.

How do you think of God’s character? Did you know if you don’t think correctly of His character, this will breed idolatry? For instance, If we believe in a God that is there to give us every desire of our heart and wants us to be happy even if it is sin, then we are worshipping a false God, thus we have created an idol. This is an amazing thought. It scares me a great deal as it is very easy to make an idol when we are trying to worship the true God. This is just one example of the importance of being in the Word and learning and studying more about our Awesome God. We need to know His very character and represent Him accurately. Do you realize how often we portray Him incorrectly to people. We will be held accountable for this. I challenge and encourage you to be in the Word, prayer and submission to our Lord.

As we learn to live for an audience of One, we need to keep in mind the following statement as it relates to Satan and others, “ Before you I have nothing to prove, nothing to gain and nothing to lose.” This should not be done in a haughty and prideful fashion, but with humility of heart before God knowing He is the one that we stand before.

In conclusion, remember to ask God to help you put off any self-sufficiency, pride and laziness that would stop you from watching and praying with a vigilant heart.

I will be praying for you that God will show you areas that you have created Idols and that you will learn to sacrifice them to God and serve Him alone.


  1. This reminds me of 1 Samuel 5 - when the Philistines brought the Ark of the Covenant into their temple. The next morning they find their idol of Dagon flat on his they set it back up again.

    Fast forward 24 hours and now the idol has fallen down again, and this time his hands and face have been broken off.

    Seems similar to how we treat our idols. God does something to knock them down and we look around and wonder, 'What happened?' and set them up again.

    We dumb.

  2. That is so true. It does take a long while for us to realize that we need to turn our backs on them. Sometimes we know we need to, have the idols identified and still feel the need to hold on tight.

    The USA is such a privledged nation that it makes it so easy to have many idols of convenience. It really makes me wonder how God will bring us to our knees. The time is drawing near.