August 24, 2005

Desiring 'Stuff:' Idols of the Heart

I have been slowly plodding my way through Piper's When I Don't Desire God, which was recommended by a friend. I will extend that invitation to any Christian desiring to grow. The theme of the book is: How to win the battle of 'desiring God' in the flesh that naturally does not. Instead of detailing how to desire God (as he does in Desiring God) (amazing, i know), he deals with why we don't desire Him and how to desire Him as we ought.

In chapter 5, he discusses the vision it takes to see Christ in order to treasure Him as is our immense task. One section caught my attention specifically. It was entitled: "Blind By The Things We Make and Trust." A portion of this section to illustrate:
  • Those who make them [idols] become like them, so do all those who trust in them!' (Psalm 135:15-18) Make and trust a blind idol, and you become blind. Apply that principle to the modern world, and think of the idols of our own day. What do we make and what do we trust? Things. Toys. Technology. And so our hearts are affected and formed by these things. They compress the void in our heart into shapes like toys. The result is that we are easily moved and excited by things... But in this readiness to receive pleasure from things, we are ill-shaped for Christ. He seems unreal, unattractive. The eyes of our hearts grow dull. (p. 58)

This point may have hit home (pardon the cliche`) more so than all the others combined so far. If we are to desire God above all else, how is that accomplished in our life when there are other idols successfully competing with Him? It is not that He could not overthrow those idols, but rather He chooses not to. Let us not be a people who bow down to idols in our heart that crowd out our desire for Christ. We must desire God above all else!