Christians believe that Jesus is the most precious Treasure anyone can have in this life and in the next. They have, by His grace, left their lives of sin and turned to Him for salvation and eternal joy in Him. They were rescued from death and hell, and they enjoy God in a way that no one else can in the world.
So, then, having this Treasure, having this delight, why on earth would we sin? The short answer is: idolatry. Our flesh continues to struggle with idolatry. Idolatry is when we place something or someone in a place of higher importance than God.
Well, you might think you haven’t done that. Or you might say that it is impossible for a person to be saved and serve another master. In a sense, you’re right. Someone who has a persistent lifestyle of living for something or someone else instead of Jesus is showing that they haven’t truly been saved. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about short-term, momentary idolatry.
For example, when a Christian clicks on pornography and indulges the lust of the flesh, he has made sexual desire more important than Jesus in that moment. When he lies about a mistake he made at work, he has made career progression or personal reputation an idol in that moment. When he gets angry with God for not sending him a wife, he has made an idol of marriage in that moment.
Since we all sin, we all experience this. Now, we repent of it and make war with it and are putting it to death, by the help of the Holy Spirit, but we all have moments or seasons of idolatry in our Christian lives. And that’s why the insanity that is sin remains in our lives.
So, how do we smash the idols in our lives? We have to continually remind ourselves of the greatness and mercy and beauty and grace and wonder and love and wrath of our actual Master. A hymnist wrote,
What can strip the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth? Not a sense of right or duty, but the sight of peerless worth.
Anyone who desires to fight off idolatry needs to first delight in the Lord. He needs to behold the majesty and perfections of the Savior. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full on His wonderful face. And the things on earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.