Seeing, Grieving, and Fleeing Our People Worship

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21

Heavenly Father, we long for the Day when we’ll no longer be temptable, deceivable, or capable of worshiping anything but you. No one redeems, loves, cares, understands, or satisfies our hearts like you—period, end of conversation.

In Jesus, you’ve already given us a new heart, and have placed your Spirit inside us. You’ve turned our hard hearts into living hearts—hearts that know and love you. (Ezek. 36:25–27; Jer. 24:7).

Indeed, Father, you’ve already given us perfectly forgiven hearts—yet far from perfected hearts. The battle for our heart’s attention and affection continues daily, and relentlessly. Thus, John’s warning to keep ourselves from idols is not going away, till Jesus comes back (Ezek. 14:4).

There are some idols we run from like COVID; but others we don’t even recognize as idols. No idolatry is more insidious, and destructive, than our people worship.

Forgive us for making romance, a spouse’s attention, our kids’ affection, a parent’s approval, “inner-circle” acceptance, club-belonging, org-chart position… and the list goes on… more ultimate, defining, and powerful than you. When we make people big, you get smaller and smaller. Help us see, grieve, and flee this.

Father, we are so thankful we’re already your “beloved children”—in whom you delight, to whom you sing, for whom you gave Jesus. You cannot love us more; you’ll never love us less. But we want to love you so much more. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and magnificent name.