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
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.
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.