What kinds of things in your life tend ton distract you from God? Maybe it’s the pursuit of wealth. A relationship? A certain lifestyle or pleasure. While none of these things in and of themselves are necessarily wrong, when we choose to place more value in them than we do God, they become idols in our hearts that keep us from following Jesus. In the last week or this series, Pastor Ken shows an example from Star Wars where Anakin Skywalker is faced with a decision. Does he hold onto his desire for more power in order to protect his wife, or does he let go of the things that are holding him back? In the same way, Pastor Ken parallels a story in the Bible where a man couldn’t let go of something that kept him distant from God. In addition, Pastor Ken gives 3 ways you can track down the idols that might be keeping you from God, and 2 things you must do to battle against these idols.



Today we are looking at a guy in the Bible. His name is not given but rather just a description of the man. And the choice that this man must make parallel’s his choice to arguably one of the most infamous villains for the past 30 years.


Matthew 19:16-22


The rich young ruler has to choose between two things he desperately loves. To hold onto one means letting go of the other. This choice will forever impact and shape his future. Much like Anakin Skywalker.


This passage isn’t about how to be saved, but rather what it was that kept this young man from following Jesus. The rich young man was hoping that by keeping the letter of the law he would be all set.


Jesus then shares commandments 5-9. All these relate to interactions with your neighbor. No mention of the commands relating to put God first.


Jesus will put his finger on the ONE THING that will expose the man’s heart. His unwillingness to sell everything, demonstrating he really didn’t love his neighbor and that his possessions were his God, therefore he was breaking all the commandments.


The Bible says the man walked away sad. But why was he sad? He had what he wanted the most. But he knew it was the wrong choice.

  • John Piper said, “Idols are what we turn to when we are not satisfied in God”.


  • An idol is anything or anyone that begins to capture our hearts, minds, and affections more than God.


  • Idolatry isn’t so much wanted wrong things, but wanting even a good thing too much. A good thing becomes a bad thing when we allow it to become our god thing.


  1. Follow the trail of time, money, and affections. Matthew 6:19-21
  • Where do you spend an unusual amount of your time, money, and affections? What competes with God for your time, money, and affections?
  • I doubt God is asking you to sell everything…but I know He is asking you to give generously.
  • What would you have a hard time letting go of?


2. Take note of CONFLICTS

  • When your idol is blocked or threatened by someone, you will erupt with emotion.
  • When this happens you will discover what you really love, what you really believe, what you really run to as your security and greatest treasure.

3. Ask some heart probing questions.

  • What do you need to be happy? If only I had ____ I’d be happy.
  • What do you believe you deserve? After all I’ve done, I deserve or am entitled to ____.
  • What are you afraid of losing? If I didn’t have ____ in my life I would be devastated.
  • What are you willing to sin to get or not lose?


  1. Repent- you must let it go Joshua 24:12-15
  2. Set your heart on God Colossians 3:1-5