Last week, Kirk Franklin released his album ‘Long Live Love’. One of the tracks that caught my attention straight away was entitled ‘Idols’. The first verse is meant to be a representation of God and it reads:
"Give me your idols, every god that you made
You know the things you love more than me
You'd die if I took them away
Give me your options, let me be the first one you call
Now you must choose what I am to you
God of all or not God at all….."
We use this word so infrequently now that we forget that idolatry is a very real human problem. Way back in the 16th century John Calvin said that the human heart is a ‘factory of idols’.
The apostle John also encourages us: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). An idol is that thing or person that is loved more than all. Sometimes we don’t even realise what our idol is until someone touches it, attacks it or removes it. Tim Keller gives us some healthy ways to try to identify our idols:
1. What are your most consistent daydreams?
2. Where do your uncontrollable emotions show up?
3. What do you spend your money on most effortlessly?
4. What are your nightmares?
5. What unanswered prayer has embittered you toward God?
Often these are the places where we need to say to God - “YOU matter to me more than this! Help me to live like it”. Once we turn our attention away from our idol and focus it on Jesus - things change. That doesn’t mean it won’t be painful. It may hurt.
It does mean that the true God will capture your heart and love will live there without hinderance.
Give Him your idols. It’s worth it.