The last two devotionals have shared insights from Soulprint by Mark Batterson. Let’s continue with looking at another quote from his book:
“The Creator has hardwired you to worship. In fact, you can’t not worship. The question is not whether you will worship. All of us worship all the time. The question is, who will you worship? And you have only two options: either you will worship God with a capital G or you will worship god with a lowercase g. And if you choose the worship the god of you, you’ll become a disappointing little god to yourself and all who worship you. Ultimately, all identity problems are really worship problems. Identity issues are the result of worshiping the wrong thing.”
Last week’s sermon reminded us that we all struggle with idols in our lives, not man-made statues that we bow down and worship, but things that we put in front of God. Go back and read the first five sentences of the quote above. We all worship – even non-believers worship. Yet are we worshiping the true God?
You’ve probably heard this before, but worship is giving worth to something. More specifically, includes the following definitions:
- adoring reverence or regard;
- to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing);
- to feel an adoring reverence or regard.
Notice that it doesn’t specifically say “God” or even the more general term “Deity” in any of those definitions, but it does say it can apply to “any person or thing.”
How do you know what you worship? Look at what is important – what you are unwilling to give up – and that’s what you worship. And we can even worship worship! Too often we talk about having to have a certain style of music, or a particular order of worship, so that we can worship. I’ve heard people say things like, “I can’t go to a church service that doesn’t include the Lord’s Prayer!” or “If they’re not playing with a praise band I can’t worship.” or “We gotta have more hymns – can’t worship without a good, traditional hymn.”
Notice how I worded those statements – I’m not addressing preferences here (such as, “I worship more through hymns than praise choruses, but I can handle some praise and worship every now and then.” or “I prefer praise & worship music but hymns don’t I’m able to worship even when we sing some traditional hymns.”) What I’m referring to above are those people who try to say that worship is only possible if “X” happens (whatever “X” may be). And when we cross the line from expressing a personal preference to making a mandate that is not found in Scripture we have replaced God as the object of our worship and put in his place our own idea of what aught to be.
And that is a dangerous place to be – it is a place we can refer to as “idolatry”.
Next week I’ll begin to transition this into a look more at style in worship, but for this week take some time and ask yourself the question (or, better yet, ask God the question): “Is there anything in my life that comes before Him, particularly in how I worship?” And then be prepared to hear His answer.
Cross Posted on Grace Notes