Since we pulled away from my parents’ home at 6:20 a.m. on July 11, I’ve learned that I have a heart condition. Not the kind that means it doesn’t work correctly, but the kind of condition that was wrought by the Fall in the Garden of Eden. The condition is idolatry.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
I can say with a heavy heart that the last eleven days I have not done this. There have been entire days where I didn’t even acknowledge the Lord in my heart — not His faithfulness toward us, His guiding hand in our lives, nothing. This symptom indicates that my heart has turned to worship something else.
“Idols aren’t just stone statues. No, idols are the thoughts, desires, longings, and expectations that we worship in place on the one true God . . . if they are the source of our joy . . . if they take top priority in our lives, then they are our gods” (Idols of the Heart, p. 23).
Did I set up a shrine to my idol? No, I did not. But since the boxes moved from the truck to our apartment, but thoughts, desires, and longings have been on one thing: getting organized. I have justified this (now and in the past) by saying, “The Lord is a God of order, not of confusion!” I have been convicted that I rip this verse of Scripture from its context; Paul is talking about corporate worship, not home management. Is it a sin to desire to glorify God with an organized, well-run home? No. But in my case it became the “source of [my] joy” — it became an idol. I struggled through the week with a dark, moody cloud hanging over my head.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
Certainly I have failed to be loving or kind toward my husband, and joy has escaped me at every turn. Patient? Gentle? Self-controlled? Three strikes.
The root of my problem is that I failed to walk in the Spirit, to consult the Lord in all things. I began walking in my own strength and falling at the feet of my idol (organization) every morning. Were it not for the sacrifice of Christ this sinful situation would be hopeless. But praise be to God that this act of idolatry was obliterated at the cross!
What idols do you need to lay at Jesus’ feet this morning? What keeps you from worshiping God fully, and loving Him with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Lord, empty our hearts of the idols that draw us away from You!
Soli Deo Gloria!