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What Are the Idols of Your Heart?


686_marty_heart_fullHow would you answer this question –
“What’s an idol?”

Is it just some carved image that we read about in the Old Testament?

Exodus 20:3 says
“You shall have no other gods before me.”

Sometimes we think of an idol as just an image, animal or something that people in other countries worship as their god. Well those aren’t the only idols the bible talks about.

So what is idolatry?

Idolatry is having a greater desire for anything that was created rather than our desire for the Creator himself, which is God. There is only one thing that cannot become an idol. That is God. Everything else in our lives can become an idol if we allow it.

The most talked about sin in the bible is not lying, stealing, or adultery. The most talked about sin in the bible is idolatry. Yet for us Christians today, it is probably the least talked about sin in our lives.

A theologian by the name of John Calvin once said “The heart is an idol factory.”

So how can we identify these idols in our hearts so that we can overcome them?

Here are 7 questions that we may find helpful in revealing the true idols in our hearts. After each question there is a verse or two that state what the Word of God has to say about that question.

1. What do you truly love? What do you truly hate?

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
-Matt 22:37-39

“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”
-2 Tim 3:2-4

2. What do you want, crave, lust or desire for in your life?

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 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. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
-Gal 5:16-25

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
-Titus 3:3

3. What are you really putting your hopes in during this life?

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
-1 Peter 1:13

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
-1 Tim 6:17

4. What do you fear? What don’t you want to happen in your life?

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
-Matt 6:25-32

5. Who do you seek to please in life?

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”
-1 Cor 4:3-5

“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”
-2 Cor 10:18

6. What do you think about most often?

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
-Col 3:1-5

“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
-Phil 3:19

7. What do you pray for?

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
-James 4:3

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
-Luke 18:9-14

Can you relate to any of these????

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All Comments 7

Wow this is some deep stuff. I love these blogs you all do they really help and encourage me .They let me know that there are other God- lovers out there too. Around these parts where I live you don't see that almost at all. Im in high school and all my schoolmates are pretty much unsaved or say they a Christian but don't live the life. So basically I'm just glad that you all are reaching out to my generation because we need it. With all this garbage in the music now hypnotizin my generation its crazy. If I could just get ahold of some God- lovin friends then my walk with Jesus would be so much better right now. Pray for me please and thanks for the encourgement.
P.S. i saw you guys Lecrae and Trip Lee in concert in Kalamazoo, Michigan you guys were great all of you are
Stay up!

– Oct 20 2007

Man that was right on for me. Matter of fact thats what the Pastor said today that stuck out the most! I mean... I haven't been makin Him first in my life. Alot of those can relate to me. I put things before God all the time.. Not boasting... I want Him to be first in my life Above Everything! I don't just want to love Him. I want Him in His rightful place, on the throne of my life!!!!! I'mma break the gong....=)

Donald Chavis
– Oct 21 2007

Awesome post. There is an amazing book called Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick, a reformed biblical counselor. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed this blog and wants to continue to examine "idols of the heart"

– Oct 24 2007


– Dec 18 2007

WOW!!You guys have definitely opened my eyes to alot of things in the world and I have surrendered and he took me as i was and molded me!So thank God reach is here because i wouldnt knw where i would b now!!God will definitely continue blessing yall

– May 12 2008

This blog was on time,i just got off from work and i had a stressful week.I look in my life,you know examine myself,and the truth is right in this blog,I believe GOD really has a million ways to speak to us.I Believe the reason im so stressed is because of all the stress-worldly things-on the top of my agenda.Thanks for being a vessel for God Reach,i will be praying for you,and i thank you for this site,its a blessing.Pray for me that God will give me Christian friends who can relate to me,and i can be accountable to.-when yall coming to hampton roads!

michael manuel jr.
– May 24 2008

wadup 116?cross movement ,greetings and blessings upon yr lives n Blessing Our GOD,Christ Jesus,Amen.sometimes i prayd about the girl in my group cuz i started 2 find myself connecting to her,sexual thoughtsbout her dont cross my mind ,knowing God IS everywhere,i kept it brotherly love ,but inside i sometimes got mad at her,cuz she too great 4 me ,alsoknowin im ot the man she desres,it kinda hurt i supose, love doesnt urt rite? so i stopped that from she kinda distant, and but its my fault ,as i told her ,now i pray 3 God that i accept punishment anfd forgiveness, also had problems going in porn sites,pray for me ,i dont now,but once your websites loading slow,these web open fast and im like evil sure is easier than to b righteous,i wanna go to heaven,i stpped that,cuz it gets u to think lusts 4 other girls except that one girl i love so,GOD HELP me!!!!!!

– Oct 5 2008

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