“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV
Idols are so easy to create. We can make them out of anything. We need not carve stone or whittle wood, we just need to take our eyes off Jesus and put them on something else.
Because of the ease with which we create idols, it’s hard to recognize them, especially when they are not staring at us from the little niches in the wall that held them in Biblical times.
What is an idol?
Anytime we put something before Jesus in our priority lists, we make idols. The world we live in, even the Christian world, condones our practices. We do not call one another to account because we do not want to unveil the truth in our own lives. But, idolatry damages us. Slowly, our hearts harden as we place veils between ourselves and our Lord.Anytime we put something before Jesus in our priority lists, we make idols. #Steepedintheword Click To Tweet
If we will listen, the Holy Spirit that God has placed in us as Christ-followers will call us to account. He will do for us what we fail to do for one another. He will show us the idols that stand firm in our lives.
We live in denial
At times, we cover our eyes, unwilling to let go of our idols. Like Rebekah of old, we dig a hole in the ground and bury them, sitting over the hole to keep them hidden when the Spirit comes questioning with a pail of clear cool water that would wash away the heat of our shame.
I’m weary of idols that don’t deliver what they promise. I’m weary of hiding reality from myself and from my friends. I’m ready to be clean. But I know that as I unload idols one after another from my life, I’m going to look different. My life and my spirit will sparkle. Some will look on the shiny new me and will say look at that bling, it must be fake. But it’s genuine if we let the spirit make us over.
A heart of flesh is soft and easily burdened. It is harder to protect, so we often prefer the shell of stone. Living in an idol-filled world with no idols at all leaves us a target. It leaves us needing to run to Jesus for consolation and comfort. And I believe that’s right where he wants us.
This appeared first in the Facebook group Balanced and Beautiful in Christ where I am a regular contributor. Thanks to Jessie Courson for the lovely artwork and to Nicole Williams for her editorial assistance.