Grace For The Journey
I spent nearly 2 years of my young adult life working part-time in hospital emergency and surgical units while in college in Atlanta, Georgia. Over that time I encountered many heart attack victims. Also known as a myocardial infarction or (MI), an attack on the heart muscle is due to the loss of blood supply generally caused by a blockage of a coronary artery. The death of heart muscle causes shortness of breath, chest pain and electrical instability of the heart muscle tissue. Emergency treatment includes CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), administration of medication, and at times electrical shock. Over 90% of heart attack victims who reach the hospital survive so a quick response, proper treatment, and transportation are critical.
Did you know that there is another kind of heart attack that we all face every day? It is an attack on the affections of our heart, also known as “heart idolatry.” When Jesus entered into your life and redeemed you through faith, He claimed your heart as His own. He has claimed the throne of your life and will tolerate no rival. The problem is we tolerate rivals to our Redeemer and fill our hearts with idols. I have listed just a few below:
- The idols of affection, approval, and achievement.
- The idols of power, position, and prestige.
- The idols of security, success, and sensuality.
- The idols of recognition, respect, and reputation.
- The idols of comfort, control, and calling.
How does this list resonate with you? Is there something I have not mentioned that is attacking your heart right now? If you are not sure, ask yourself, “What do I love, hope, trust, or fear?”
- If you love a structured life without any uncomfortable interruptions, control will be your idol.
- If you hope for a pain free life, living inside zones of comfort will be your idol.
- If you trust in financial security, earning as much as you can will be your idol.
- If you fear being alone and single, being in a relationship (any relationship) will be your idol.
When you get right down to it, idols of the heart are false saviors, promoting false gospels, promising false hope. We go to them expecting them to do for us what only Jesus can.
Just as a lack of blood supply causes physical death to your heart, a lack of Jesus causes spiritual death to your life. It is only by keeping the gospel before us and living by it every day that we are able to forsake all of our idols and turn to Jesus because we realize these idols cannot deliver on their promises.
Jesus not only delivered on His every promise,
He continues to deliver daily.
The Bible declares in Lamentations 3:22-24, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
Let me encourage you in closing. You are not alone in the battle of dethroning your heart idols. Every Christian is fighting the same battles on different fronts. Consider it not a strange thing to be in this battle and to be wearied by it. But remember, Jesus has won your victory on the cross. The King came for you and purchased you with His precious blood. And once you are His, nothing can separate you from Him (Romans 8:39). Call on Him. Seek Him. There is help from the Great Physician for every heart attack.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”