We have spent the last several weeks talking about inner healing --- the freedom it brings, what it is, how it works and some of the hang-ups that keep it from happening. Today I want to talk about one more issue that can keep us from receiving inner healing from the Lord. The issue is idols. Is there an idol in your life that you need to lay down?
I am not talking about idols in the classic Biblical sense of the word ---graven images of something that we revere and bow before. Idol worship is egregious to the Lord. The first two commandments specifically forbid this. Clearly we should not have any semblance of idol worship in our lives.*
But today, I am talking about a subtler form of idol worship. This form doesn’t involve a clear-cut physical idol. This is when we have someone or something in our lives that we place above our love for the Lord. It can be anyone or anything that we think we cannot live without --- a person, a desire or a goal/agenda/dream. We basically overvalue the person or thing. It takes precedence in our hearts. We think we must have “it” in order to be fulfilled or satisfied. When this happens we have basically set up an idol in our hearts. We are not giving the Lord His proper place. We have shifted our love from the Lord to this idol.
This sort of “idol” can be something that the Lord actually wants us to have. It can be something that is legitimate --- a worthy goal or relationship like getting married or becoming a mom. The problem isn’t the objective; the problem is our obsession, our all-consuming focus with the objective. We basically tell the Lord that we know what we have to have and that we cannot be happy until we have it.
We crowd out the Lord so that He is not ruling and reigning in our lives. He is relegated to the back row and our passion takes priority. Our hearts become estranged from the Lord because of our love for our “idol”.
The Lord may well want us to be in this relationship or have this job --- or whatever it is --- but we need to place our passion in submission to His leadership and His order. When we lay down our idol and place the Lord front and center on the throne of our life, He may surprise us. He just may turn around and give us the desire of our heart. But it will come to us by His hand, in His way and His timing. And, if He withholds our request, His grace will be readily available to flow into our hearts and bring His strength and peace.
Take a few minutes to ask the Holy Spirit to examine your life and see if you have any idols in your heart.
If the Lord has brought anything to the forefront of your mind, you know what to do….tell the Lord you are sorry for allowing (whatever it is) to become an idol in your life.
Tell Him you lay it down.
Thank Him that He alone is worthy of your worship. Place Him at the center of the throne of your heart/life.
*I don’t want to overlook the fact that some of us may have physical idols in our lives/homes. Do you have anything in your home that is related to idol worship? Ask the Lord to bring anything to your mind. You may have received something as a gift or acquired it as a piece of art. You may or may not be treating the idol with reverence. It may seem silly to you to deal with this, but if the Lord has brought something to your attention, it is serious to the Lord. Most of us have had some things like this in our homes, so there is no condemnation! But the Lord wants us to get cleaned up.
Tell Him you don’t want to keep this idol and you come out of agreement with having it. Ask Him what He would have you do with it. Follow His instruction.
Tell Him that you will have no other gods before Him, that He alone is your God.
Thank You, Lord, desire is for us to get cleaned up before You so that our hearts are captivated by You and You alone. I ask You to show each one of us any area of our lives that we are ceding to the enemy. Thank you that when we turn to You, You are gracious and forgiving. You restore us and draw us close to Your side. Thank You that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
In His name we pray,