In this post I shared a portion of Thomas Chalmers’ sermon “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”, in which he highlights the insurmountable problem that faces us all. That problem is that:
[the heart’s] desire for one particular object may be conquered; but as to its desire for having some one object or other, this is unconquerable.
So my heart must always have something in place as its chief affection, something I cling to above all else. The human heart seeks out idols. And the worst part is that whenever I am freed from one idol, another idol always comes (sometimes without me knowing) and fills the gaping vacuum that is left.
So what is the solution? How can I be freed from the endless cycle of idol-worship? Of overcoming one idol only to have another come in and occupy its place in my heart? How can the idol that currently sits on the throne of my heart be removed, and all other idols kept from entering in against my will?
This is Chalmers’ answer:
It is God apprehended by the believer as God in Christ, who alone can dispost it from this ascendancy. It is when He stands dismantled of the terrors which belong to Him as an offended lawgiver and when we are enabled by faith, which is His own gift, to see His glory in the face of Jesus Christ, and to hear His beseeching voice, as it protests good will to men, and entreats the return of all who will to a full pardon and a gracious acceptance — it is then, that a love paramount to the love of the world, and at length expulsive of it, first arises in the regenerated bosom. It is when released from the spirit of bondage with which love cannot dwell, and when admitted into the number of God’s children through the faith that is in Christ Jesus, the spirit of adoption is poured upon us — it is then that the heart, brought under the mastery of one great and predominant affection, is delivered from the tyranny of its former desires, in the only way in which deliverance is possible. And that faith which is revealed to us from heaven, as indispensable to a sinner’s justification in the sight of God, is also the instrument of the greatest of all moral and spiritual achievements on a nature dead to the influence, and beyond the reach of every other application.