Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Prov. 4:23Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
Gracious Father, how I long for the day when I will no longer be temptable, deceivable, or capable of worshiping any other “god” but you. I so look forward to an eternity of giving you the adoration, affection, attention, and allegiance of which you alone are worthy. No one loves us like you do. No one cares for us like you. No one understands us like you. Sovereign Lord, there is no God but you; just pseudo-saviors, broken cisterns, wannabe-gods, demigods and illusions.
By the finished work of Jesus, you’ve already given us a new heart and have placed your Spirit inside us. You’ve turned our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh (Ezek. 36:25-27); you’ve given us a heart to know and love you (Jer. 24:7); and you’ve written your law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33). How blessed and secure; encased in goodness and prepared for eternity you’ve made us.
Indeed, Father, you’ve already given us perfectly forgiven hearts—and yet, they are far from being fully perfected hearts. The battle for our heart’s worship continues, daily and relentlessly. This conflict will persist until the day Jesus returns to finish making all things new. Thus, the warning to keep ourselves from idols is current and critical.
Father, there are some idols we run from like the plague, but others we don’t even recognize as idols. The idols in our hands are easier to discern than the idols of our hearts (Ezek. 14:1-5). Help us know when we’ve made good things into ultimate things; appropriate desires into essential needs; God-given longings into man-centered demands. Help us to steward those moments, even seasons, when you don’t seem to be enough, for that is when we are most vulnerable.
Father, we praise you for the assurance that we’re already your “beloved children.” You cannot love us more than you already do, and you will never love us less. To Jesus’ affirmation, “It is done!” we add our “Now and forever!” Surely the gospel, this gospel, will win the day in our hearts, and the entire cosmos. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.