Elyse Fitzpatrick uses biblical illustrations to explain how idols in our hearts compete with our affections for God an how Christ retakes our lives from these idols, setting up His reign over our attention, loyalty and affections. We may not go worship in a physical temple but we are in idolatry nevertheless and our hearts worship God and other idols at the same time. This book helps me to to see how I think and worship and who I worship.
“Our hearts can be terribly deceived. The Pharisees would have been shocked to discover they were idolaters. They loved ‘respectful greetings’ and ‘seats of honor’ more than they loved God. Their wicked hearts were particularly prone to deception because they had another god – the respect of men. Loving anything more than God is idolatry and idolatry always BREEDS a deceived heart.”
This struggle against the sin in our heart IS PRECIOUS – it is through struggling with sin by the Holy Spirit working in us that we learn:
* what a Great Price the Lord Jesus has paid
* It is in this struggle that we will learn to trust Him and to distrust ourselves
* we learn to hate sin and love holiness
* we learn to cultivate humility and to long for God’s presence
* we learn the joy of obedience
* we love God all the more because we have overcome through Christ
As we struggle with the competing loves in our heart, we must remember the scarlet thread of Christ’s blood applied to our heart. There will be times of war as we wrestle with idolatry but we must remember God has promised that He will complete His work in us and deliver us safely to His eternal kingdom.
God’s of our thoughts – instead of fashioning idols out of wood or stone, we fashion them in our imagination – worshiping that which we believe will bring us happiness. we don’t carve a good spouse out of a piece of pine, but we worship the thought of the joy that one would bring us. We don’t chisel out a facsimile of the successful man or woman, but we believe that’s where our joy can be found. We believe that our happiness is bound up in having our expectation fulfilled.
These beliefs function as gods just as surely as if we had carved them from wood or overlaid them with silver. Our thoughts and pictures of imagined happiness are valuable to us. We can’t imagine life without them and they are the driving force behind what we do and believe. We need to ask the question – whether the desires and passions of our hearts have overshadowed the passion for God.
We must discern whether we are believing a truth or a lie, vain imagination…
(Available in the Ariel Gate Bookshop)