The human heart is never neutral; it must worship something. It longs to attach to something. Whether we want to admit it or not, the heart is often an idol factory elevating things or people above God. It happens so subtly. For example, when we are worried, where do we look for comfort or security, other than to our heavenly Father? Do we look to ourselves—to our own mind and intellect? Do we look to education, money, our home, our family, our friends, our beauty or image?
By going after these idols or “other lovers” we are saying to God, “Jesus is not enough. I also need to be recognized for my accomplishments to be happy. I need power over others in order to be happy. I need to be loved and respected by my friends in order to be happy. I need to have a particular body image to be happy. I need to be highly productive and getting a lot of things done to be happy. I need to be free of money worries to be happy.” These are all idols of the heart that, as followers of Jesus, we must recognize and tear down.
Let’s be familiar with what we set our hearts on, what motivates us, what controls us, and what we serve with our energy and resources. We may be surprised by what we find. Our God wants to expose those idols of our heart so we can be like the early believers who, “…turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God who is alive and true and genuine” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). God wants our total and complete love and obedience.