Ultimately idols leave us empty because our hearts were created for God. To use the words of the seventeenth-century philosopher Blaise Pascal, God created our hearts with a vacuum. We search for something to fulfill our deepest cravings, but nothing on earth works because the vacuum was created by the absence of God. Anything we substitute for God in that place leaves us still yearning. Or, as St. Augustine put it, “You have made us for Yourself, Lord. Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 76
The Holy Spirit shows us Christ in all his glory, and in time we become more captivated with him that we are with our silly, powerless idols. The more we see of him, the more we are changed into his image until that wonderful day when we will be like him, for we will see him face to face. (I Corinthians 13:12)
– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 188
Sin is therefore not just our wicked thoughts and actions that break God’s laws; it is not just failing to meet up to God’s expectations for us; it is a posture and a commitment to turn away from the living God to run after other things and bow in worship to them. God hates sin and told Adam that the consequences of sin would be death (Genesis 2:17)
Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 99
The great church father Augustine pointed out that sin is not necessarily loving bad things, but loving good things inordinately. In other words, it is turning God’s gifts into idols. It is our “enlightening” way of fulfilling the apostles description of ungrateful living in Romans 1:22-25.
– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 45-46
To be absolutely clear, the people who make up the church must have a living connection to the true Jesus rather than to one of the many popular idols that litter our cultural landscape under the name of “God” or even “Jesus.” The real Jesus is the virgin-born incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, the Word come in flesh and the gift given to the church.
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 9
The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our own past – are good images of what we we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, the news from a country we have never yet visited.
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, copyright 1949, 1976, page 30-31