grief, idol, idos, prayer

Sneaky Idols

Psalm 139 new

Psalm 139:23,24 (ALV- Andy Lee Version)


It’s one of my favorite psalms and one of my scripture prayers I pray quite often.

Yes, I struggle with worry at times and am constantly asking God to check my heart.

Psalm 139: 23,24 was the “Bite” for yesterday, and though I’m very familiar with this plea inked by David–a man after God’s own heart, I found a nugget yesterday that pierced mine, and I knew I had to share it.

But first, let me write down the NIV version.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me. and lead me in the way everlasting” 

The nugget I found was the Hebrew word under the word “offensive”. Look at it’s meaning:

  • Oseb- an idol; also pain (bodily or mental): -idol, sorrow, wicked. 

When I read this definition it took my breath away. Surely bodily or mental pain or sorrow could not be the unthinkable. . . an idol. But I know too well how sorrow consumed me a few years ago. And I know how pain and sickness can become our identity.

I do not want to worship anything but Jesus. This idolatry is so sneaky. It’s almost not fair, right? But idolatry is anything that we allow to run our lives–our hearts. It doesn’t have to be a shiny statue. It’s anything that consumes our words, thoughts, time, actions. It can be a person we admire and hold onto her every word. It can be a dream that God Himself placed in our hearts. Good things can become idols.

But the idols must go.

We must choose today who we will serve.

How do we watch for these sneaky idols? Here are three steps:

  • Pray Psalm 23-24. And then wait on His answer. (Prayer is a dialogue.)
  • Listen to what you talk about regularly. (This doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your pain, but watch to see if your pain becomes the topic of all of your conversations.)
  • Intentionally worship God/Jesus all through your day.

I must add my friends, God has given us His Holy Spirit who is the one who renews our minds and purifies our hearts so that Christ is king. The Kingdom of God in our lives is the ruler-ship of Christ in our hearts.

“Seek first the kingdom of God (the rule of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matther 6:33 addition mine).


Do you have an idol in your life or have you had one in the past? How did you tear it down and worship God alone?


Finding purpose beyond today in Worship,







  1. Wonderful post Andy! I’m ministering to someone about this issue “offensive way” right now and I will be forwarding this to her. God’s timing is amazing:) Two of my shiny idols and strongholds were normalcy and security. “If I were married I’d be normal.” “If I just had a home of my own I’d be secure…” Lol, God helped me smash them through the lack of them. It was a hard but valuable lesson and I’m stronger because of it.

    1. Hey Erika! Thanks for letting me know the timing of this post was perfect. I love when God does that! And thank you so much for sharing what was once your idols. We surely do become stronger once we are freed, don’t we. Me too. Certain people were idols in my life. I felt I could be a better friend once that stronghold was gone because God’s strength grew in me. It was so cool finding that place of freedom and strength. Much love!

  2. Love that scripture–one of my favorites that I pray often. It’s amazing that God does hear that prayer and He does search our hearts & minds & reveals those things that hinder us in our walk with Him. But it’s not judgement–it’s enlightenment and a joy to our souls that He reveals them to us to set us free give us peace & joy.

    1. Thanks Sandy. Beautiful words. :) Yes, His conviction brings enlightenment and freedom. Thanks so much for sharing you thoughts!

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