I remember once hearing about an experiment of some kind in which monkeys in cages were observed for their ability to prioritize reason and desire. Observers placed items of desire -- I don't remember what they were, but let's just say they were bananas -- outside a hole in the monkeys' cages. The monkeys could easily slip their open hands through the holes, but once they clenched their fists around the bananas, they could not bring it back through the hole. Their fist was too big. The monkeys then had to determine whether they wanted the banana in their hand or their empty hand back to themselves. Monkeys are stubborn and it took them a long time, apparently, to let go of the banana and get their hands back.
Similarly, we will always be trapped so long as we hold onto the things of this world. Until we're ready to unclench our fists, our hands will not be free. We have to desire the freedom of an empty hand more than the bondage of idols.
And this is what faith is, really: an empty hand with which to receive Christ. We cannot do this so long as we cling to something else. We just remain trapped, fists full of stuff, but never satisfied.