Idols of the heart

The heart is such a touchy subject. Many of us run around, trying to find someone to bare our hearts too, someone who will care about the content of our hearts, something to satisfy our deepest longings and desires. Recently, I picked up a book by Timothy Keller entitled, “Counterfeit Gods” The premise of the book is uncovering the idols of the heart. I picked up the book because I’ve heard Tim Keller speak before, yet had never read one of his books. You know a book is going to be good when you begin underlining things in the introduction of the book. (Is it sad that this is how I judge books sometimes?)

It was challenging and hard to read, because some deep idols in my heart of hearts were exposed and laid bare. Although it was difficult, it was good to dig deep and identify the idols in my life, and then surrender them to the Lord.

To be honest, I do a very good job at pretending like I have everything together sometimes. But I’m not fooling anyone! I know that I am a wreck, and that I curl up on my bed and cry my eyes out sometimes. (More often then I’d like to admit.) While I can sometimes put up a guard over my heart, the Lord can always see straight through me, and straight into the depths of my heart. While this could be scary sometimes, it’s the most lovely, wonderful and beautiful thing in the world. The King of Creation, the Savior who died for me, the Great Lover sees me, all of me, and loves me!

I recently spent an extended period alone with the Lord, asking Him to expose the hidden idols of my heart.

“What is an idol? It 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.” –Tim Keller

My, that definition in itself is extremely convicting. I must admit, that so many areas of my heart are idolatrous because I run around, seeking things to satisfy me, when there is only One that can fulfill my deepest wants and needs. I’m not going to go into every detail concerning the idols of my heart, that’s a tad too personal for this blog, and some things need to be kept between me and the Lord. But I would like to share with you the power and destruction of what can happen when you allow an idol to grip your heart.

This idol is one that is a good thing that the Lord created and intended to be a blessing to those that receive it. I never thought that I had set this one thing up in my heart as an idol. About two years ago, the depths of my heart were truly revealed. While this hurt me more than I can explain, I realized that something else was taking my Father’s place in my heart. When the idol in my life was stripped from me, I honestly thought my heart was going to die. Well, I wasn’t dying, but I felt like it because I had made this one thing such a great idol in my life, that when I was told I couldn’t have it, and could never have it, I had to run to the Lord and allow Him to take care of my heart.

My dear reader, I am speaking from personal experience and heart ache. I beg you to search your heart before the Lord. What in your life, if taken away, would make your life unbearable? I challenge you to answer this question honestly before the Lord. Reread the definition of what an idol is, spend time with the Lord, laying your heart completely open and bare. While the process will be painful, oh how much more glorious when you can stand and declare the King of Kings truly has your heart.

“Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless til they find rest in Thee.” – St. Augustine


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