Idols of the Mind

Michael Beck

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

Idolatry is a stubborn thing. Once erected, an idol cannot be removed by a simple act of will. The tentacles of idolatry run deep: the idolator is “joined” to his idol. “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17)

What causes this tight bond? An idol is not only served, but an idol offers a service; it scratches an itch; it provides some form of solace to an aching soul. Imaginations and falsehoods buttress one’s need to be justified. Events are seen and interpreted through the lens one wishes to wear.

Idols that have taken shape in the heart and the mind resist attempts to be dislodged. The “high things” that the highminded entertain are fiercely defended. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes …” (Prov. 12:15) To have any hope of casting down such idols, the weapons of our warfare cannot be carnal, they must be mighty through God. If we are not operating under the anointing of God’s Spirit we best leave the situation alone.

Saul of Tarsus was a bull in a china shop. He took it upon himself to straighten out those he deemed to be of a wrong persuasion. But when the Lord got his mind right, he realized how difficult an operation it is to bring a person’s thoughts into subjection to the mind of Christ. The stubborn kick hard against the pricks. It requires all of God’s expertise to pull down the strongholds and cast down the imaginations of one who is connected to their beloved thoughts and beliefs.

Those who have made an idol of their own thoughts proudly hold fast to their deceits. Tread carefully in a terrain where idolatrous strongholds have been erected. Don’t lose hope that souls can be recovered from the wedding of their minds to the most tenacious idols, but know that such a recovery will take nothing less than supernatural intervention. Wisdom teaches us to pray; praying makes us wise to win souls.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.