“What do we enjoy imagining? What are our fondest dreams? We look to our idols to love us, to provide us with value and a sense of beauty, significance and worth…Idols give us a sense of being in control, and we [also] locate them by looking at our nightmares. What do we fear the most? What, if we lost it, would make life not worth living?” –Tim Keller
I’ve found the Spirit convicting me of idolatry in my heart. It has been rather explicitly revealed in the last few days and I’m at that point where it feels no longer like a gentle whisper.
There are those moments where life comes together and leaves you with a choice. Most people make this choice out to be more complex and complicated than it is. I would suggest it is quite simple: to repent, or not.
The Bible is clear that without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, the object of our worship will never be God himself. We don’t stumble into God’s grace. Therefore, there is a tangible expression of personal knowledge that God has of our lives. Because of the strange reality, painted beautifully in Psalm 139, God knows our every thought which suggests that Him intervening on our behalf, which often times is not a pleasant reminder, is not to find out whether we actually love Him. For he already knows the answer to this question.
Instead, I believe God uses difficult circumstances to bring these idols to the surface.
I can quickly begin to pinpoint these idols during these difficult seasons. They are revealed by noticing the things that I cling to when a sense of “normalcy” is gone. My old professor once said, “Character is built in the crucible of white-hot suffering.” (Lederle)
In the fire we find out who we truly are.
The Apostle Paul says the worst thing God can do is “give them over to the desires of their heart”. This speaks to the true desires of humanity if we are unchanged by the power of God. The only hope we have is not our strength to overcome. It is not developing control of our minds. It is not convincing ourselves we are no longer controlled by our idols.
We must turn away and walk in the other direction, submitting ourselves to the good news that “the living God, who revealed himself both on Mount Sinai and on the Cross, is the only Lord who, if you can find him, can truly fulfill you, and, if you fail him, can truly forgive you.” –Keller