Jonah 2:8: Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy. (NKJV)

1 John 5:21: Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

1 John 5:21: Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

On June 7, 2011, right at the beginning of the festival of Shavaot (Pentecost), I began to have serious heart arrhythmias combined with classic symptoms of heart malfunction – shortness of breath, chest pain, etc. I believe we are entering a new season where, if we will position ourselves biblically, we will have a great refreshing, infilling release of the Holy Spirit. This is to prepare us for a new season described in scripture as the “season of the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). I was expecting a great release of deep repentance and power to come. I still have those expectations, but with the state of my heart problems at that time, the Lord radically altered my conception of what is required.

After spending a day in the hospital and gladly returning back home, I spent the morning following my hospital stay seeking the Lord on what was happening to me. I sat down in my little place in the “prayer cave” and prayed, “Lord, You have my attention. What is happening?” His reply was quite shocking to me….

He told me that He so wanted to bring me into a deeper experience of intimacy, power and friendship with Him but He could not because I had “murder” in my heart. 1 John 3:15 states that if we hate our brother we have murdered them. I had not realized how much bitterness, anger and hatred had built up in my heart since my early years, specifically toward one person in my life, and had been compounded by the years spent in intercession and dealing with members of the body of Christ. I had literally “deified” my own personal problems and wounds for years, and after many years of intense spiritual warfare and stress, like a beach ball held under the water, there was no way to “manage” them any longer. Ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my soul, they were now manifesting in my physical health. What had been “managed” through soul power could no longer be held under the surface. My tares were apparent, and unless I allowed my Husbandman to remove them, there was no way to move forward, much less live a life without severe internal and health ramifications.

One of the greatest revelations to come to me over the next few weeks was the depth of idolatry that existed in my life and in the lives of those who name of the name of Jesus. We have so embraced the culture and spirit of the world in the church, that the idolatry of self just about permeates every facet of our lives…even our worship and “ministries.” One of these extant idolatries that the Lord began to deal with in me is that of “compartmentalization,” or how we live our lives according the standards and dictates of the age, with “Jesus” added to them, literally believing that this is biblical Christianity. It took a major health breakdown to awaken me to just how deep these tentacles had rooted in me. May the Lord grant us grace to not have to “train wreck” to allow the Holy Spirit to uproot and remove these idols of self that have overtaken us!

In continuing this journey, I have come to realize more than ever that there is no such thing as “secular” and “sacred.” Such compartmentalization of our lives is rooted in and bears the ugly fruit of idolatry. All things are sacred, if they can be ruled over by the Lord Jesus Christ. If it is something over which He cannot rule because of His intrinsic holiness, then it is not “sacred” and it is definitely not “secular.” It is evil, ruled over by a creator-wannabe.

The earth and all it contains belong to the Lord (Psalm 24:1-2), but the purpose to which our human spirit yields them, including the internal thoughts and reasonings of the soul, determine if they are ruled by Jesus Christ or Satan. There are things we will not do, will not look at, will not listen to, etc. If the soul is submitted to the Holy Spirit, His grace will permeate our souls and bodies by experimental, consistent practice (Eph. 3:14-22). We stand and overcome because our spirits have been filled with, consistently yielded to and obeyed God’s Spirit in soul and body. If not, then the breakdown of all these components of our lives is inevitable.

The central factor in this is something or someone is receiving more attention and obedience than the Lord Jesus. Idolatry. This is a season of re-thinking everything and allowing the Lord to completely rearrange the thought processes and furniture of our lives. Another word for this is repentance. Idolatry permeates our society and we can have no power over it if there is something we allow more control over us than Him.