God loves us so much that He will show us those things that hold first place in our hearts, if we are open to His revelations. Several years ago, He led me on a journey of self-discovery—one that revealed startling truths about hidden idols that control and manipulate our lives.
God commanded the Israelites to worship and obey Him and Him only, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Yet in their prideful arrogance, they refused and worshipped idols and sought godless counsel.
The Israelites incorporated the worship of God with idol worship. They were unrepentant, covetous, disobedient, rebellious, and lusted after power and kingdom expansion. Sadly, like ancient Israel, America has become a rebellious mecca of self-worship and pseudo Christianity.
You might be thinking, "Wait just a minute! I don't worship idols!" However, idols are not limited to Ashtoreth poles, shrines, totems, or other manmade deities. Idols come in the guise of objects, electronics, habits, beliefs, desires, activities, persons, or anything that draws our focus away from God and causes us to look to ourselves and to the things of this world to satisfy us.
When we invited Christ into our hearts, we were delivered from the bondage of sin and death. But that spiritual transformation did not remove us from a pagan world that has a feel-good mentality and worships the religions of secularism, tolerance, materialsim, self-worship, and compromise.
Christian values are scorned, mocked, and debased. All forms of media promote crass materialism, self-indulgence, and play to the ego with the promise that if we buy into their propaganda, we will look better, feel better, be better, and live healthier, longer lives. This daily, minute-by-minute capitalistic infusion of a world-view has created a culture of self-indulgent, idol worshippers that are groomed and trained to worship self and all that satisfies the flesh.
America’s motto is “In God We Trust.” God asks, “In whom do you really trust? Who or what do you first turn to for help and answers? In whom or what do you find complete rest and joy? Is it in your intellect, your talents, your spouse, your family and friends, your government, your bank account, your doctor, your pastor or priest?"
Years of struggling with major illnesses drained me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. So when another medical problem arose, I prayed, “Lord, I am so tired of these medical issues. I know You love me with a perfect love, because every good and perfect gift come from You. And because You and Your Word are perfect and unchanging, is there anything in my life that is keeping me from receiving all that You would have for me?”
God’s gentle voice spoke into my spirit, “You worship an idol.” I was stunned. I said, “Lord, I love You and You alone. What idol could I be worshipping? There is no thing or person that I hold above You.” Then in my spirit, I heard, “What you give the most thought and attention to is your idol."
The startling realization hit me. My life was the idol. For the first time, I fully understood this scripture: “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life (John 12:25). My thoughts and attention had been focused on me and my health. I repented and asked God's forgiveness for pursuing the healing and not the Healer.
Luke 8:43 tells about a woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years. She had spent all of her money on physicians, but they could not heal her. But when she pushed through the crowd in pursuit of Jesus, she was able to touch the hem of His garment and was immediately healed. Was I pushing through the circumstances in pursuit of Jesus?
God wants us to be spiritually, emotionally, and physically whole, but who are we pursuing first to accomplish that – man's answer or Jehovah Rapha our Healer? We must pray for God's guidance, so that He can lead us to doctors who will provide the best care, and depending on the attitude of our heart, receive supernatural healing. Jesus said, “Seek me first, [pursue Me first], and all things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
The following basic truths are found in Proverbs 3:5-8. If followed, they will help us keep our eyes on God and not on the problem or ourselves:
1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. ("For those who trust in themselves are fools" Proverbs 28:25).
2. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Acknowledge Him in every thing you do and every success, because He is the giver of those gifts (I Peter 4:10).
3. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. ("If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously" (James 1:5)
4. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones (Proverbs 3:5-8). This is God's promise to those who seek Him first and submit all their ways to Him.
God asks us: “Who or what do you love most? Would I be enough if your dreams of having a husband or a child were never fulfilled. What if you never receive the bigger home, the perfect health, that promotion, or whatever else you believe would make your life better or happier? Are you willing to surrender it all to Me and offer your life as a living sacrifice? If everything you value in life were lost, would you still love Me or would you shake your fist at Me?"
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, who was the fulfillment of God's promise of an heir and a new nation. Through Isaac, God would establish His eternal covenant. With unwavering trust and obedience, Abraham laid his son on the altar. God quickly responded in providing a sacrifice, thus sparing Isaac and giving Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars and the sand on the seashore.
God is most concerned with the attitude of our heart, who and what we serve, and what we value most. God was pleased with Abraham's heart. God showed me that in obsessing over my health, I was focusing on myself; therefore, it was all about me. My joy and happiness were predicated on my health. He then challenged me to lay it all upon the altar.
I now pray as David prayed, “Show me your ways, O LORD. Teach me your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope [and my life rest] in You all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5).
PRAYER: LORD, thank you for daily showing me Your mercy, goodness, and unending faithfulness. Show me any hidden idols or sin that I need to repent of and cast off. Create in me a clean heart; renew a right spirit within me. Help me to seek You first with all my heart and not trust in my own efforts, the efforts of others, or this world. In Jesus name, amen.