Because the idolatry of our hearts is not just a failure to obey God rather it is a setting of the whole heart on something besides God. Idolatry can’t just be remedied only by repenting that you have an idol, or using willpower to try to live differently. In the past I've preached to my church about how we need the expulsive power of a higher affection to address our idols - that higher affection is the beauty and power of the gospel.
Here is how the expulsive power would work in terms of the 4 core idols we face as Christians - Power, Approval, Comfort and Control.
- Your idol of approval will melt away and be overshadowed by the expulsive power of the gospel which tells you that you are deeply loved by Jesus and that you are fully accepted by Him.
- Your idol of control will evaporate and be diminished by the expulsive power of the gospel which reassures you that you need not fear failure - that you can live with abandonment and complete trust - because you know that what Jesus accomplished on the cross was complete and sufficient.
- Your idol of power will disappear and be overtaken by the expulsive power of the gospel which tells you that you need not have to strive anymore, Jesus strived for you. Jesus fully and completely obeyed where you and I could not.
- Your idol of comfort will dissolve and be forgotten by the expulsive power of the gospel which invites you into His rest and has taken all your cares, fears and burdens upon his shoulders on the cross.