Ezekiel 14:4-5 Colossians 3:5 Isaiah 44:9-20 Leviticus 4:19 Psalms 16:4 As Christians it is so important for us to do consistent heart checks on our selves so that we do not allow idols to form in our heart. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our heart. Merriam Webster's dictionary defines an idol as "a picture or an object that is worshipped as a god". There are so many things that can be constituted as an idol such as our families, jobs, money, worries and cares, needs and desires and even our self. In Tim Keller's book "Counterfeit God's: The empty promises of money, sex and power and the only hope that matters", makes a powerful statement about "heart idols" in today's society. He states that .......Life only has meaning or I only have worth if .....
I have power over others (power idolatry)
I am loved and respected by ........ (approval idolatry)
People are dependant on me and need me (helping idolatry)
I have a particular kind of look or body image (image idolatry)
I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom and very nice possessions (materialism idolatry) These are statements that we may have said or thought at one time or another. Do we secretly feel discontentment take root in our heart because we crave "nice things" and feel resentful about not having them. Materialism is not necessarily about having nice things it is also about craving them. The discontentment can also prove to be an idol in our heart. Ezekiel 14:4 the word "setteth up" translates to transcend, to be high, to mount, arise up, to cast upward and to offer up. It also carried the connotation of an upward movement or an ascension to a higher place. After reading this can you think for a moment and ask yourself the question, when I come to God in prayer do I come based on the multitude of idols in my heart? Does bitterness, unforgiveness, malice, pride or my own self importance occupy my heart more than who God is to me? I try to check my heart daily and clear my heart iof anything that wants to exalt itself greater than my father. It is not always an easy process but it can be done and must be done because in the end these things destroy and the things of God will always build. Take a moment now and check your heart and prayerfully ask God to show you any idol or idols you may have that is competing with HIM in your heart.