What’s in Your Heart?
"Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies." Psalm 24:4 (NLT)
When I read through the Bible for the first time, I was appalled that God’s people openly worshipped idols like the golden calf. My disdain turned into understanding when I learned the definition of idol and uncovered my own false gods.
An idol is any person or thing regarded or worshipped with blind admiration, adoration, intense love, or extreme devotion. Studying this definition forced me to examine my life and ask some tough questions. Maybe you’d like to ask yourself the same ones:
- To what or whom do I have blind admiration and adoration?
- To what or whom do I have extreme devotion and intense love?
Ouch, those are tough, but worth contemplating. Everyone’s answers will differ: sleep, money, marriage, security … whatever our idols are, once we come clean with God about them, we can remove our false gods. Then we can develop our relationship with the one true God. Scripture tells us that He is jealous for our heart and will not share His glory with another. (Deuteronomy 4:24) Let’s take a look at jealousy.
Reality television has co-opted the word jealous: we see housewives jealous over handbags and luxury vehicles; chefs jealous over others’ delicious, well-executed dishes; bachelorettes jealous over fun dates other women go on. But they aren’t actually jealous; they are envious. Envy longs for what belongs to others. Jealousy passionately desires what rightly belongs to you.
You and I belong to God, so when anything claims our affections, time, money, thoughts, or desires more than He does, He becomes jealous. He loves us and knows nothing can fulfill us like He can and nothing is better for us than His ways. In fact, Psalm 24:5 says that when we purify our hearts of idols, we “will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God [our] savior.” (NLT) That makes me want to do some spring cleaning!
God longs to be the thing you long for the most. Today, take time to ask yourself the tough questions and to put God above anything that competes with Him.What do you think?