Why do we do the things that we don’t want to do? Why do I do things I don’t want to do? The scriptures hit it. Paul said, “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin” (Rom. 7:14) That’s a dreadful reality. I AM a slave to sin. I serve a different God than Yahweh on his throne when I can’t give up my immorality and the transgressions of my heart for him.
“False gods are warring for the throne of your heart.” -Kyle Idleman
“Man’s mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind it is certain that the will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain.” -John Calvin
My husband has been preaching a series of lessons inspired by Kyle Idleman’s book God’s at War so I have been wrestling with this for a few weeks. The point- Every sin. Every issue. Every habit we excuse comes down to idolatry. We are simply serving a different god.
God knew this would be an issue for us. The first five books of the bible command against idolatry some fifty times. The whole bible warns against it one THOUSAND times. Idolatry is as old as man. It is as current as the moment.
So what’s your sin? Dig behind it. What’s your god?
I have grappled with this in my own heart and mind. God has revealed to me I get my fix off of resentment. I feel entitled to be respected. I feel like I have a right to be understood. I desire other people’s compassion. At the heart of it, I want to be loved. When I don’t get it, I resent. I harbor ill will. I am slow to forgive. I brew justification for it in my head. My justification: I don’t trust people. When they let me down or hurt me I have my pre-ordered excuse in place. I can lock you out and throw away the key.
So what’s my god? The god I am worshiping is me. Ugh… that is hard to admit, even harder to say. I worship me. And I don’t want to.
As I sit here mulling that over in my head I could really get stuck on that and sit there… for a while. But that’s just not where God wants me to stay. He wants me to go beyond identifying my idol. He wants me to tear it down. Where do I begin?
Well, I so grateful and humbled that Paul finishes his thoughts in Romans 7 with a hope-filled solution. “Thank God! The answer is Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Today I am going to starting tearing down the altars I have built to myself. Brick by brick I am going to begin to removing the stones I have erected to honor the god of me. In their place I will exalt Jesus Christ and put him in the rightful place of the throne of my heart.