Replacing Our Idols

Jessica Heikoop

READ : 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. (v. 18)

It’s easy to trust things that we can see and touch, things we can use and enjoy, things we can physically keep with us. This is one reason why people made literal idols in the first place; they wanted to see who they were praying to. This is simply our human nature. But Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that we’re to do the opposite of what is the norm. As believers, we are to “look to the things that are unseen.”

Our idols strike us as pleasing. John Gill explains that “to look at these things is to desire them, set the affections on them, and to make the enjoyment of them a man’s chief scope and aim.” So how do we take our eyes off of our idols and focus on something we cannot see, as Paul tells us to do?

It is by faith alone that we can fix our eyes upon unseen things. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” By faith we are able to discern the eternal. By faith we can look to them and desire them, and by faith we can live for them.

It may be easier to trust in things you can see and touch, like money or investments, but those are temporal and transitory. On the other hand, the things that are unseen are real, certain, and eternal.


Father, please help me to look away from my idols and look to the unseen.