The depth of my idolatry is difficult for my idolatrous heart to detect. I must pray along with David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Only God’s holy and supernatural revelation can pinpoint the hidden idols buried under my pretensions. How does He do this?
First, He reveals the true nature of my heart as I meditate on His word and gaze into His staggering holiness. The precepts of the Lord discern the intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). You can run, but you can’t hide from the spiritual sharpness of God’s revelation. As you study the scriptures you are being studied by the Spirit. It is painfully precious.
Second, prayer prepares my heart for transformation. The very act of prayer is an initial admission of need. I need God’s supernatural power to reveal and redeem the iniquities in my life. Once I have confessed, repentance must be completed through God’s grace enabling me to turn away from my sin. Praying is confessing our dependence and asking for assistance to honor God personally and corporately.
Finally, community provides the fertile ground for the revelation of God, the confession of sin and repentance to come to fruition. When we are connected with other believers through prayer, the study of scripture and accountability, then our lives possess a key element for Christian growth. Community helps us change spiritual intentions into spiritual realities (Hebrews 10:19-27).
These are really the basic elements to Christian growth. However, when I look at my life I can usually trace my own weaknesses to a lack of embracing these powerful disciplines of the faith. My idolatry raises its ugly head when I neglect the word, prayer and the fellowship of believers (partnership in the gospel). Thankfully, there is a weapon to be wielded in such occurrences (Ephesians 6:10-20).