Personal Growth
Comments 13

Getting to the Heart

This past Sunday morning we talked about tracing the fruit (our outward behavior) back to the root of what’s going on in our hearts (who or what is actually on the throne of our lives).  After service, my family spent a significant amount of time asking each other questions as we each began the process of getting to the heart-level idols in our own lives. 


I want to give you some questions that will hopefully help you, your spouse, your children, your life group, etc. to begin to reveal potential idols that are on the throne of your heart. Take some time this week to sit down and seriously think through these questions.  If you’re married, I would encourage you to work through these with your spouse. (questions adapted from How People Change by Paul Tripp)

  1. Is there something you love more than God?
  2. What hopes are you building your life around?
  3. What do you fear? (If I desire your acceptance, I fear your rejection)
  4. What does your world revolve around?
  5. Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, or escape?
  6. What makes you feel rich, secure, and prosperous?
  7. From whom do you desire approval and fear rejection?
  8. Whose performance matters to you?  Have you pinned your hopes on another person?
  9. How do you define success or failure for yourself?
  10. What would bring you the greatest pleasure or the greatest misery?
  11. What do you feel is your right to expect, seek, or demand?
  12. Where do you turn in times of difficulty?
  13. What do you pray for? 
  14. What do your conversations revolve around?
  15. How do you spend your time?
  16. In what ways do you live for yourself? 
  17. What do you want so much that you’re willing to sin to get it or sin if you don’t? 

Nothing to it, right?!  In all seriousness, as the Lord, by His Spirit and His Word begins to reveal idols in your life, I want you to cling tightly to Galatians 2:20

“My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.  So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved my and gave Himself for me.” (NLT) 

We have been redeemed!  When Christ died, our bondage to sin died as well. Because of this the old me is dead.  But it doesn’t end there!  Sin no longer has power over me, because Jesus Christ Himself is now alive in me.  Paul goes on to tell us that because of this redemptive, transforming power of Christ at work in us, we can now live trusting in the Son of God Himself, no longer leaning on our own understanding.  Christ in me has the power to change me.  Amen!

My prayer for you this week, as you wrestle with these questions and the Spirit begins to reveal idols in your heart, is that you will choose to crucify your flesh and allow Christ in you to sit on the throne.  Allow Him to begin the work of the Gospel in you.  Don’t give up!  Keep chasing Him!

Missed Sunday’s message?  Watch or listen here.

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I am the Lead Pastor at Southern Hills Christian Church. I strive everyday to kill the old me and live by the Spirit. I enjoy spending time with my family...especially my amazing wife Natasha.


  1. Carol Wilson says

    I’ve taken classes at SHCC and also went to Indiana for a week long conference, with a lot of scripture reading and prayer during that time. However, it was during last Sunday’s sermon, that I finally felt like I “got it” when it comes to fear of man. I’m beginning to identify my idols, and it’s very uncomfortable. I’m grateful for this blog and hope that we can support each other in this journey toward overcoming fear of man and trusting completely in God.

    • Shannon Lovelady says

      So excited for you Carol! Looking forward to being “uncomfortable” as we all walk life out together.

  2. Jean Daniel says

    Even the second time around, this sermon made me stop and think! My first thought was, ” I don’t have idols in my life!” But then I realize I do! Some that had never even occurred to me! Thanks for challenging us mature Christians! Looking forward to the next in this series.

    • Shannon Lovelady says

      I’m right there with you Jean! Wow, is it freeing though when we begin to see the heart behind what we do and what we say!

  3. Betsie Richards says

    I gotta say that Jesus and His Word have been kicking my tail lately…and I need it. I love this sometimes painful yet amazing journey we are all on together. I’m growing, I’m in the Word and I’m being challenged to be better. I’m thankful for leadership at SHCC asking us to set standards that force us to step up, to do work, to take a hard look at ourselves! Our hearts are being prepared for something! This passage from Colossians has stepped all over my toes this week: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)”

    • Shannon Lovelady says

      Thanks for sharing Betsie! It encourages me so much to see what the Lord is doing in your life. Keep pushing me!

  4. Jill Colwell says

    Just listened to some of your sermon again, and, yes, I am a worshipper of perfectionism, control, worry, etc, etc. The list goes on and on. I actually had a confrontation with Ash (which seriously doesn’t happen often) regarding perfectionism (my problem, not his) on Saturday night. I truly was squirming in my seat during your sermon. I needed that!! Thanks for sharing again.

    • Shannon Lovelady says

      Thanks for sharing, Betsie and Jill. It’s a sweet thing when Christ is drawing His bride closer to Him, and in turn, each other.

  5. Kari Jarrett says

    Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬ NLT)

    This scripture came to mind at 3:00 a.m. as I was feeding the baby. Fostering has opened my eyes wide to one of my idols, “me time”. I have to keep reminding myself, this calling of caring for these children, God’s children, is more important than my comfort. God will give me the rest I need.

    • Shannon Lovelady says

      Definitely praying for you guys Kari! God is doing an incredible work through you and Kevin.

  6. James 3:10-9 MSG “This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?”

    I have, for many years, allowed the thorns in my life grow because of what comes from my mouth. I, so many times, want to rely on what I know and what I can do. Instead of focusing on what God can fill me with and working from that.

    My personal growth project is to allow God to use my words, and help me from trying to rely on my own understanding.

    • Shannon Lovelady says

      Thanks for sharing Joe! It’s so easy to rely on our own understanding…even though it constantly leads to death. We forget so quickly! Thanks for the reminder.

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