Idols of the Heart

Idols: Things That Capture Our Heart Other Than Christ

Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.

Micah 4:5 NLT

An idol is any person, place, or thing that has power and rule over us other than God and his love. What rules over us are the demands of people, tyranny of events, self-absorption and personal need. These distractions of the heart crowd out our knowledge of Christ’s loving acceptance found at the foot of the Cross.

Idolatry is looking to things, circumstances, and people to be our satisfaction instead of Christ. An idol cannot provide forgiveness, fulfillment, or freedom: they fail to bless by creating fleshly bondages, dependent relationships, and emotional problems. Money, sex, and power are the ultimate idols of our society—they promise happiness, love, and influence. However, idols make promises they cannot and will never keep. Idols by design cannot bring true fulfillment: only God’s blessing of intimacy in Christ can fill us with heart-satisfying joy.

The human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.

We think that idols are bad things, but that is almost never the case. The greater the good, the more likely we are to expect that it can satisfy our deepest needs and hopes. Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the very best things in life.

It [an idol] is anything 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.

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