Idolatry is a problem that everyone faces. We may not offer animal sacrifices to little golden statues, but we do have false gods that we worship. This worship is seen in the sacrifices that we make for the things that we declare are important. Many people have their hearts enslaved to the false gods of the world.
Our idolatry doesn’t end when we become Christians. It would be nice if it did, but we know from experience that there is a great conflict in our hearts as our false gods fight to keep Yaweh out.
The false gods that we worship are not going to walk away after we have surrendered our lives to Jesus. Remember, we gave them our loyalty, and thus we have given them power over our lives. They are going to fight to keep that power.
It is here, in our surrendering power to the false gods, that we discover the key to breaking free from their grip.
The way forward, out of despair, is to discern the idols of our hearts and our culture. But that will not be enough. The only way to free ourselves from the destructive influence of counterfeit gods is to turn back to the true one. The living God, who revealed himself both at Mount Sinai and on the Cross, is the only Lord who, if you find him, can truly fulfill you, and, if you fail him, can truly forgive you.
Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods,p. xxvi
Turning back to the one true God is called repentance. Repentance means to change your direction, to change your mind, and to change your loyalty. To simply feel sorry for sin is not repentance. True repentance is nothing short of defection. (Tweet this)
Through idolatry we gave our hearts away to false gods. Our pursuit of these gods means that we are in rebellion against the One True God. If we are rebels, then we are not loyal citizens in God’s Kingdom. This is why our first order of business, if we are going to be free the counterfeit gods that enslave us, is to repent.
We must denounce our allegiance to the false gods, and declare our loyalty to the Creator God. This is why repentance is essential to our spiritual formation. It alone ushers in God’s power to free us from the chains of idolatry.