What you love most will control your life. We humans can fall in love with almost anything: a person, a place, a pleasure, a dream, a career, money, knowledge, family, social status—anything. If you want to know what you love most, just look at what your life revolves around. What have your calendar, bank account and thoughts been centered on this month?
It is natural for you to praise, invest in and give attention to your loves. God created you to be a worshiper. Worship is a natural response to someone or something that has captured your heart. You will serve what you love most. The only thing is, God created you to be a worshiper of Him. In fact, God commands you to love Him most.
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the great and first commandment” (Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:37–38).
God does not need your love—He is sufficient in Himself. God tells you to love Him most because He knows that it is the best thing for you. When He created you, God set eternity in your heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). You have an eternal longing hardwired into your heart.
Misplaced worship is the spiritual problem at the heart of your struggles. An idol is anything that captures your heart above God. The desire of your human nature is to worship created things rather than the Creator (Romans 1:20-25). But, when you treasure things of this world more than God, you will be left empty because of unsatisfied eternal longings. Trying to escape this emptiness by medicating your pain with things of this world instead of turning to God will only leave you addicted to your coping mechanisms, broken and feeling more unsatisfied. Trying to fill eternal needs with anything other than a personal relationship with the one true eternal God is the pattern that leads to addiction, pain and death. Only Christ can satisfy your eternal longings.
One of big of the goals of re:generation is to bring to light the idols at the root of your struggles. When your idols are exposed, you can then take steps to reorder your priorities and redirect your heart to God. True recovery is not so much about managing your addiction, but redirecting your heart to Christ—the One who eternally satisfies.
Consider these questions and fill in the blanks to help you identify some of your idols:
- Who or what (besides Christ) dictates the decisions you are making right now?
- Who or what do you rely upon for security, affection, acceptance, meaning, approval, satisfaction, and protection?
- What do you get overly emotional or defensive about?
- Where do you seek acceptance or try to avoid rejection the most?
- What controls your thoughts, emotions, time, activities, finances and attention most (examine your calendar and expenditures this past month)?
- Jesus + _______________ = I’m okay.
- I cannot be content if I don’t have ___________________________.
Do you have certain answers that keep coming up? An Idol can be anything—even a good thing that we look to for life from apart from Christ. For you, is it a person or relationship? A position, achievement or outcome? Approval, affirmation, or being right? A number in your bank account or IRA? A specific weight on the scale or clothing size? Someone else’s happiness? Your child or your child’s success? Your health? A comfort, pleasure or dream?
God loves you. Turn your heart to Him through Christ. Only His love can satisfy (Psalm 103:2-5).
If you would like to learn more about this topic, watch the re:generation teaching on Step 4, Inventory and Alonso's story. If you want to know more about how to begin a relationship with Christ, check out How Freedom Can Begin Today.
If God is revealing some of your idols and recapturing your heart, leave a comment. Let others know what God showing you and the scripture He is using to change you. It will encourage others in recovery.