Killing Idols - What's Our Next Step?

Posted on 12:36 PM by
Over the last couple of weeks, God has been working in my heart in a couple of major ways:
1. To show me that He is better than anything this world has to offer.
2. To show me that I still worship those things over Him at times.

It’s a hard truth to digest, especially when you have the task to preach on the life of Solomon and the Lord leads you to a passage explaining the downfall of Solomon due to the idols in His life. This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to preach from 1 Kings 11 on this (you can find the link HERE). It’s a convicting moment to teach on our tendency to worship other things over God when I realize that it’s still something my sinful heart can lean towards.

C.S. Lewis put it this way -
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Sunday morning, we talked about how Worship of God requires us to see our idols, confess our idols, and kill our idols. While the Spirit of God worked to show us those idols, and gives us the grace to confess those idols to God, this post serves to show us how we can begin to kill those idols and replace them with correct worship of God.

I’m a firm believer that our actions as God’s people should begin from God’s word, so let’s see how Paul puts it in Colossians 3: 1 – 5 –
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

1. Put them to Death – Paul clearly calls out the fact that these earthly desires that reside within our hearts are idolatry. Our job then is to put them to death. But here’s the interesting thing about this: they’ve already been put to death. Jesus died for our sin, once for all. That sin was killed with Him on the cross.  Yet, we live as if those things are not yet dead. We give them power over us when the power of God has already defeated them. Remember, it is God who does the work to save us from our sin, not us. We just need to let Him do that work, and live as if that work has been done. So pray today, giving your idols over to God, recognizing them as dead and ultimately powerless over your heart. They can’t win in the life of a believer, but we are still allowing them to fight over our heart for some reason.

2. Seek Things that Are Above – Paul also reminds us to ‘seek the things that are above’ and ‘set your minds on things that are above’. This is where our desire for the glory of God must grow in our heart. If we’ve let God kill a specific idol in our lives, then our next step is to allow God to take the place of that idol in our heart. We’ve made room in our heart, and now we must let our desire for the Lord grow in that place. If He’s killed the approval of men idol, let’s be reminded, by the gospel, of God’s approval of us through Jesus. The heart can’t bear an empty place. It was born to desire. It will be filled with desire for something, and we want to fight to ensure that desire is for God. The apostle Paul deals with this idea of ‘replacing’ often. Ultimately, it’s the ongoing work of sanctification in our lives, letting God kill the sin in our hearts and replace it with love for and obedience to Him. For more on this, read the rest of Colossians 3, or check out Romans 6 and Romans 8.

3. Keep Watching – Here’s the hard truth of this: the more we dig deep into our hearts, the dirtier things seem. Truthfully, as we grow more to desire God, our hearts are growing to please Him. But it doesn’t always seem that way to us. As we desire God more, our desire for the things of this world will lessen and those parts of our heart will seem even dirtier. In light of this, it’s often difficult to persevere. We must, however, continue to allow the Spirit to do this work of sanctification in our hearts.

James 1:4 – And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If we don’t keep an eye on our hearts, it’s often easy to let these idols slip back in without notice, causing our desire for God to lessen. We must be steadfast in the work of seeing our idols, confessing our idols, and killing the idols.

I’m reminded in all this that the gospel of Jesus is good news. It’s good news for our hearts, which are prone to wander after lesser things. The gospel doesn’t exist to condemn our hearts, but to make our hearts new, desiring newer and higher things. May our lives be vivid testimonies  of the good news on our own hearts.


Diwakar said...

Hello Pastor Joel Ainsworth. I am also a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am also blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you as well as know you and about you being the Pastor of a community Church. I am blessed by your blog post on Killing idols. I have taken your outline and I may preach in my church on the same topic with your permission. I love getting connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 40 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. we also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have your young people come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered rest of the year 2018. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. God willing if I happen to come in the United States in the near future I will be so glad to stop by your place and meet you personally.