June 29  Idols of the Heart

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? Ezekiel 14:3

In this sobering verse, God is saying, “I will not answer your prayers if you are seeking idols.” He is referring to idols of the heart. We must be careful not to set up idols in our lives, however subtle they may be. An idol is anything we give higher priority than God. We live in a culture filled with potential idols—things we make so important that we push God and His purposes for us to the back burner.

For example, we often make idols out of wealth or possessions. This can make us greedy or stingy, and an ungenerous heart hinders prayer. “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” How can we ask God to meet our needs if we’re not concerned about the needs of the less fortunate? If we are compassionate and generous, our prayers will be answered. “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed”.

Idols can displace God from His rightful place in our lives if we don’t examine our priorities. God deserves our utmost love, devotion, and respect. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”

(Deuteronomy 6:5). Let us determine, through God’s grace, to remove all idols from our lives so we can truly love God and others—and have confident and effective prayer.

Prayer: Father, please help me by Your grace to remove idols from my heart. I want to love You and show Your love to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought: Let us throw off everything that hinders us.

Reading: 2 Chronicles 7–9; John 11:1–29; Proverbs 11:25; Proverbs 21:13