Struggles with Idols

People struggle when their idols don’t cooperate with them. For instance, when a person experiences feelings of depression it is often because they are angry about something and have turned that anger inward. The idol failed them- they were denied something they wanted, became angry and disappointed in what they placed their faith and trust in, and as a result began to feel bad. Over time, feeling bad became so predominant that feeling good became the new idol; the thing to be pursued at any cost. 

People who are depressed typically become totally focused on feeling better. It is the focus of every day, and it becomes the goal of every day, the recurring thought, the overwhelming driving force. This desire is so self-focused that it leaves no room for them to see what God may be accomplishing in them and through them during this time. Unfortunately, this self-focused desire is fed by ads in magazines, on billboards, and on television that leads them to believe it is not okay to feel sad, unhappy, or “bad.” The focus on self leaves no room for worship of God.

It may be difficult for you to see yourself as a person who has idols of the heart, because we simply don’t think that way unless the Word of God penetrates our self-deception and the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. This is why changing from self-worship to God-worship is an inside job.

Before changes are visible on the outside there MUST be changes in the inner man. A few posts ago I introduced you to the Inner Man which is the immaterial or spiritual part of you. It is everything you consist of that cannot be physically touched.

Biblically, the heart exists in the inner man and it is where your thoughts, beliefs, and desires are formed, and where the Spirit of God resides. The Inner Man is where the process of sanctification takes place.  Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire and the Bible has plenty to say about it.  

A few key passages to aid you in understanding the process of biblical change would be Ephesians 4:17, Romans 6:12-13, and Romans 12:1-2 which reads:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (NIV)

Renewing of the mind is a critical aspect of heart change. The word “transformed” in Greek is the word metamorphoo.  It means to transform (literally or figuratively “metamorphose”) to change, transfigure, or transform. We translate as metamorphosis and most often use the example of the caterpillar transforming into the butterfly.

Just as the butterfly in no way resembles the caterpillar, we are not to be fashioned like, shaped, or outwardly resemble the world’s values, morals, behaviors, and beliefs.

When you were regenerated your heart was transformed from a heart of stone that hated God, to a heart of flesh that is capable of loving God (Ezekiel 36:26) and serving and worshiping Him. .

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. Romans 12:2 (NLT)