Summary: Many people have secret idols hidden in the chambers of their hearts from the sight of men but not God. And these idols decide sometimes what they get from God....
Ezekiel 14:1-4 says, “There came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their tale: Should I be enquired of it all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that set up his idols in his heart, and pulleth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols.” Ezekiel 14:9-10 also says, “And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing. I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hands upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him.”
The elders of Israel came to the man of God to enquire of the Lord. You would have thought that somebody who needed to go and see a prophet would mean well by doing so, but they went there with their own idols in their hearts, and because they had idols in their hearts, the Lord said the reply they would get would be according to the idols that were already in their hearts. That is, if anyone has an idol inside his heart, and he goes to a prophet for information, God would ask that prophet to answer him according to the idol in his heart and the person ends up getting the wrong information.
Many people have secret idols hidden in the chambers of their hearts from the sight of men but not God. And these idols decide sometimes what they get from God, Hebrews 4:13 says, Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” So, as far as God is concerned, all the things that many people try to hide are open before Him. But the problem is that the Christian idols are harder to recognize than the others.
When I was in junior school, I was taught a song that says, “Break down every idol in your heart.” I could not understand it because I thought it was not possible since I was a Christian and we did not worship idols in our house. My idea of an idol was the carved head of Ogun or any other graven image. But as I got mature, I began to understand what the Lord means by breaking down the idols in our hearts. The Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). When the heart is filled up, it would pour out through the mouth. Those who we talkative most of the time speak from their hearts and not from their brains. That which a person has in his heart will eventually come out. Sometime ago, I was counseling a couple. The wife said something and the man got angry and said that the God of iron should break the head of her father. I said, “But you are a Christian, why are you talking like that?” He said he was sorry. The truth is that that was how his heart was working. You may try to hide but a time is coming when you will be exposed. The Bible says that everything is naked before God. All fornicators and adulterers are naked before God like on a television set.
There was a man who refused to give his life to Christ even though he was the son of a catechist. One day, as he was sitting down, somebody tapped him on the shoulder and said, “You have an appointment?” He said, “Appointment?” Before he could understand what was happening, the person pulled his spirit out of his body as one would pull off clothes from another person. Behold, it was an angel of the living God. “Where are we going?” he asked the angel. The angel said, “Be patient, you will know very soon.” Eventually, he landed before the throne of God and could not behold the glory. God called him by his name and told him that he was 25 years behind schedule of what He wanted him to do for Him. God said to him, “Before I start on you, let us look at a review of your life.” And all of a sudden, there was something like a television set and the brother was watching his life right from the moment his mother gave birth to him. He saw all the funny love letters he had written, all the fornication he had committed, all the abortions he sponsored and encouraged, etc. Everything was so clear. After he had watched to a point, he begged God to turn it off for he could not stand it any longer. That experience changed the man’s life.