Here is something I have learned (through many failures) regarding idols and high places.
We set up idols in the high places of our hearts. And it is such a subtle thing. Even today, we are so outward oriented that we only see idols as external things such as material things made out of wood and metal unless the Holy Spirit gives us light on what is really happening. Basically, nothing has changed when it comes to the heart of man.
When the Lord tells us to "Love Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength", He is saying that we should "come to Him with all our heart and not be JOINED to anything else in our heart, but HIM". When we JOIN with something else in our heart, we have set up our idol(s). And our God is a very jealous God and wants 100% of our heart. He will not share our heart with idols. He won't have it! He will come by His Holy Spirit and seek to tear down those idols, and if we cooperate, we will be blessed.
Mic 1:3 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.
So the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are continually trying to lead us out of darkness into progressively more and more light. This can be very painful and difficult for us if we are unwilling to come into agreement with His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit; and repent of the darkness (idols) in our hearts and come into the light that He is showing us. But if we refuse to humble ourselves and be teachable then we stay in darkness in that area of our lives and it could end up being quite severe for us.
We actually harden our heart to the Lord's voice in that area. And it has the very real potential of spreading like gangrene.
It is this "joining" that is so subtle and why we need to see how utter dependent upon the Holy Spirit we must be to lead us more and more out of our darkness. Because the "joining" has to do with our affections (heart). That is why the Word says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above... and the 2nd verse, set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth". Col 3:1-2
In Matthew 19:6, the Lord talks about marriage. He says, "So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don't let anyone separate what God has joined together".
Likewise, we are no longer two, but one with Christ. We have been joined to the Lord and we must not let anything separate what God has joined together.
1 Cor 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
When we "join" together with someone or something other than the Lord Jesus, we come into agreement with it/them by giving a place in our heart (affections) for it. It is an adulterous relationship. For the Christian, it is always a high place that supplants the Lord. Anything that might relegate the voice of the Lord in our lives to the back seat, is always a high place!
This is why I have had trouble in my walk with the Lord in the past. I had not understood how the enemy worked and deceived me. I was very gullible and thought "great" Christian men could be believed and even FOLLOWED!! But, the Lord showed me how I could put "great christian" men or women on high places in my heart and displace Him. And the results are always disastrous.
I must constantly keep Jesus enthroned on the high place in my heart, and walk circumspectly, among all men and especially the brethren. I say especially the brethren because it is from amongst us that false brethren, apostles and prophets arise (2 Pet 2:1). It is very easy for me when I meet brothers that are easy to love (they embrace the cross), and exude the fragrance of Christ, to get my eyes off of the Lord. I know this weak spot of mine and I just have to remember that everything that I have and everything that you and anyone else has, that is worth anything of divine value, came from the Lord. I always have to remember, that there is no such thing as Spiritual Giants. Jesus is the only Spiritual Giant and we are all brothers. And there are no EXPERTS in the Kingdom of God, except He that is called WONDERFUL.
I want to see, value and love the Lord more, brethren. It is in His light that I see light.
Psa 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we light.
I need to value Him above all things and all people. I need to constantly ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart and show me if I have "joined" myself to any idols. Idols are just ANYTHING that replaces the Lordship of Jesus Christ, even .0001% in our hearts.
Even in Ephesians 6:12, we are told that we "wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places.
People always want to think that the battle is way up in the air someplace, but the battle is actually for the "high places" in our hearts. Yes, we wrestle against these rulers of darkness that come to us as Angels of Light wanting the high place in our heart that is reserved only for the Lord. When you think about it, the battle has always been over the "High Place". Satan wanted God's throne (THE High Place) and was cast down from heaven. Well, He still wants God's throne, in the High Place of our heart. Satan hates the preeminence of Jesus Christ and he is always fighting for the preeminence that belongs only to Jesus. We further the kingdom of God and destroy the works of the Devil when we love the Lord our God with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength.
Jesus is Head of the Church, but Satan wants to be head of the Church. He is only head of the false bablyonian religious system. That is his church.
Sadly, the epitaph of many is 2 Samuel 1:19, "The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen". This could have been my epitaph as well as many others and if it had not been for the mercy of the Lord, it may well have been. Psalm 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
But the final chapter of our lives have not been written yet, and I am confident in this one thing, that He which began a good work in us, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. I have much more confidence in Him today and much less confidence in myself. I would like to say no confidence in myself, but I am sure there are still some dark areas in my heart that He needs to lead me out of.
Nevertheless, my confession is and will continue to be,
Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
He is faithful to show us our idols and command that they be torn down from the high place in our heart (repented of), and if we are stiff-necked about it, we will end up being destroyed, because we allowed the high places.
I had set "kings" up in my heart where the real KING should have been, and it is extremely painful, to stray from God towards idols and a price will be paid. If you want to idolize "great christian men", and follow them, the Lord will come to tear them down. But if you want to follow men as they follow Christ, that is fine. But, do not follow men INSTEAD of Christ.
When He is on the high place of our heart, we have peace.
Job 25:2 "Authority and terror belong to God. He establishes peace in his high places.
No one has a perfect resume in the Lord, not even the so-called "Spiritual Giants".
Brace yourself. You will fail God, you will be torn and tattered and incur battle fatigue to the point that you think you won't even make it. Well, you are right, YOU won't make it, but by the grace of God we all are holding fast our profession of faith, looking unto Jesus. It is God's process of purging the high places in your heart of idols so that He may have a suitable dwelling place.
Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
It is all about Him, not us, never was, never will be.
Come to the Lord Jesus Christ with your whole heart and do not be joined in your heart to anything but HIM.