You and I will worship someone or something.
It’s in our nature.
God created us for a relationship with Him and part of that relationship includes worship.
But since Satan decided he’d like to claim worship for himself and convinced Adam and Eve that they too could “be like God” we’ve often missed the mark when it comes to worship.
What Do You Really Worship?
Remember from Truth You Want to Know About Worship – worship is best defined as:
1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.
2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.
It is so easy to compartmentalize who or what we worship.
God gets Sunday morning. That box gets checked. I worshiped God this week. Now it’s time to go live my life and “worship” everything else.
I get it. It’s hard.
Everything else is in your face crying for attention.
The marketer’s goal is to make us believe we can and should have it all and there’s still a little wanting to be “like God” that has us giving adoration, honor, and extravagant love to “idols.”
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father but are from this world. 1 John 2:16
And we struggle because, in 21st Century America physical pleasure, success, and wealth are not only offered they are affirmed and applauded.
Paul wrote the following near the beginning of his letter to the Romans:
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20
God makes Himself known but the battle for our hearts and minds is so distracting and tempting. Paul continues with…
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. Romans 1:21–23
- They think up foolish ideas of what God is like.
- Their minds become dark and confused.
- They claim to be wise and became utter fools.
- Instead of worshipping God, they worshiped __________.
Convicting? Yep! I’m sure I don’t get it right. In fact, lately, I’ve challenged myself my foolishness and asked myself what things I’ve come to believe just because someone taught me or we’ve “always” done it that way.
Idolatry happens a bit at a time. It sneaks in when we don’t realize it.
So, I’m asking some questions…
Questions to Ask to Know What You Really Worship
- What if anything am I terrified to live without? What would be almost impossible to give up for even a short time?
- What do I need to make my life complete? Is there something I feel is lacking that I can’t stop thinking about?
- What do I need to be happy and satisfied? What are my “if only’s?”
- What do I need to feel safe? What do I have or feel I need to feel secure and protected?
- What do I think about most? Where are my thoughts in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning?
- What unanswered prayer could make me turn away from God? What makes me angry at God? Where do I feel He’s holding out on me? What makes me doubt His love?
- What do I need to feel validated and successful? What do I need to make me feel better about myself?
- What do I need to know I have value? Where do I turn to know I am loved?
- What do I worry about most? What makes me feel anxious and distracted?
- Where do I turn when life is hard? Who or what comforts me?
- Where do I invest myself the most? What do my calendar and my credit card statements say about my priorities?
- Whose approval do I need? Who am I pursuing to feel okay about myself? Whose rejection would destroy me?
OUCH! Okay, double OUCH!
That was hard, wasn’t it?
I don’t want to face the idea that I worship idols. But the goal of asking those questions isn’t guilt, it’s acknowledgment, repentance, and change.
Maybe you’ve memorized Jeremiah 29:11. You know the one about God having plans and purposes for us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Look at the promises in verses 12 and 13…
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
That’s the reason I’m asking myself hard questions.
To seek Him and find Him.
Did you see the next words?
When you seek me with all your heart.
God does not want to be my top god or even my most important god.
He wants to be my only God!
He wants that for you too!
Not a heart divided and distracted but one totally surrendered to His extravagant love.
Remember worship is—To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.
And we are only able to honor, to seek, to worship in response to God’s extravagant love poured out through Jesus and made known through the Holy Spirit.
The thing I try to remember to remind myself every day is that any other thing I worship . . . any person, place, thing, position, or pleasure is only temporary.
Certainly, I invest in my relationships with people because I want to celebrate with them and love them with God forever.
Take my breath away, fall on my face flattened awe, adoration, respect, and honor—that is saved for the One who alone is worthy.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Luke 4:8
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11
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