At the beginning of this year, I did what has become common practice for myself and asked God for a word for the year. Normally God emphasizes words I may have already been hearing or highlight things that I desire to see more of, be more of, do more of, etc. I was surprised when I felt God speak to me that my word should be ‘heart.’ It actually started when a friend brought me a painting with the quote from C.S. Lewis that reads “courage dear heart”. Even at that moment, I began to consider what I was supposed to interpret from it.

Of course, I was wrong about it all.

I thought somehow my heart was wrapped around the things I do or how I do it. It was all action based. But what I am learning is that it’s more about the things I have placed as items of worship in my heart that are not of God, more than it is just about forcing myself to think or feel differently. I have placed idols in my heart that do not belong. An idol, in simple definition, is anything that I think about more than I think about God. Some translations even describe an idol as a “no or nothing god”.

Spend a few minutes thinking about what most occupies your thoughts. Is there anything that you think about more than you think about Jesus? What distracts you from your quiet time from Him? How have these things produced bad fruit in your life?

Meditate on these scriptures to assist you in your discernment;

“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.’” Isaiah 29:13 NIV

Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.  Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry.  I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’ “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!” Ezekiel 14:1-8 (NIV)

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust an idol or swear by a falsecrde4 god.” Psalm 24:3-4

“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Matthew 6: 21 (NIV)

Consider what it would mean for you to give up these idols. Is there something you need to get rid of, to fast from, to be held accountable for? Consider telling a friend and ask them to help you keep Jesus at the center of your heart.