Finding the Idols of Our Hearts, Part 2 – January 27, 2023

When I think of idols, I can’t get past the scenes in Indiana Jones as the natives worship the statues. Covered in colored paint, they dance, sing, and pray that their idol will give them blessings. When we consider the need to refrain from idols, we often think we do not have this problem because we think of these scenes. However, over the last few weeks, we observed that we have an idol problem. Our hearts are idol factories. The problem is that we don’t see them. For this reason, we began last week to look at why we struggle to spot our idols by looking at the first three reasons in Ezekiel 14. This week we want to cover the last two.

We struggle to identify our idols because they work in groups. Ezekiel 14:4 reveals that we all have an assortment of idols. Idols do not work alone. They work in groups. And so often, we may admit that we have one idol while several lurk in the background. We become content when we gain victory over one idol while we fail to recognize that we have more. Christian counselors have come to this realization and are now training to address sin that comes in packs. Someone who struggles with the idol of gratification through sex often struggles with the idol of money. Someone who struggles with the idol of self-worth often also struggles with the idol of judgmentalism. Rarely do we worship one idol. Often, we worship a multitude of idols. The idol factories of our hearts are seldom content with just one.

Because our idols work in groups, they work to hide each other. In elementary school, we played a lot of dodgeball. One strategy we employed was the strategy of distraction. We would attempt to get our opponent to focus on one team member while the other members attacked from a different angle. In the same way, one sin problem captures our attention, while the other idols attack us from the blind side.

A final reason we struggle to identify our idols is that they cut us off from the light. In verse 5, Ezekiel states that these idols estrange people from God. John tells us that God is light. He is the source of truth. God is the solution to our idol problem. But these idols cut us from the light needed to identify them. God, God’s Word, and God’s people are the best ways to diagnose our idols. Our idols recognize this and seek to cut us off from them. Just as it is hard to walk through the dark and identify obstacles in our way, our idols cut us off from the light that exposes them. Your view of God dictates your view of life. Idols cut us off from God and distort our view of life.

Don’t be blinded by your idols. They lurk everywhere in our hearts. We must find them and eliminate them. Next week we will begin to discuss the practical ways to identify our idols.