During my recent Bible study, in the midst of the Old Testament book of Judges, I was reminded of a central aspect of how God created us all. Whether believers or not, all of us were made to worship. While most relate worship to a religious practice, the reality goes far beyond that.
As a matter of fact one of the definitions Webster offers is this: extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem.
In my past, my worship was given to any number of self-serving pursuits that ultimately left me unfulfilled.
Here’s an example: several years ago I was fortunate enough to share in season tickets for my favorite hockey team. Looking back, this was just one area of my life that had become an object of my worship. I would go to the games wearing my Team jersey, show up early, jump to my feet when my team scored and curse the opposition when we lost. On the days when I didn’t attend the games I would watch them on TV or check the scores, them comb through the box score, watch for highlights, and routinely set my schedule around their season. Even my conversations were focused primarily on hockey, and while my acquaintances chalked it up to “love for the game” it was much more than that; it filled a place of personal pleasure. As with any misguided worship there was a flip side, the side when the team loses, the season ends, the best player gets hurt or traded, etc. I could feel irate, disappointed and even betrayed; hardly “love of the game” qualities.
To many people ,calling this behavior worship would seem extreme; but hockey wasn’t my only area of devotion. There are many things that aren’t necessarily bad, however, when taken to the extreme they become an object of worship. Some examples were coaching my son's baseball team, personal hobbies, work, money and even success.
The problem was not any individual area of life, it was the unhealthy and all consuming focus that I approached them with. Most can identify if they search their hearts deep enough, but if this is the way God created us, is it wrong?
For me, the answer is yes. God created me to worship Him not other things. This doesn’t mean I need to sit in church 24/7 but it does mean that God as revealed through Jesus Christ and the scripture has to be at the center of all areas of my life. When this occurs, I can still enjoy most of the things I mentioned above; they just find their proper perspective.
Here’s the primary difference:
Godly worship is sacrificial, not self serving.
The areas I mentioned earlier were often an emotional roller coaster: exhilarating at times, exhausting at others. Worshiping Jesus Christ, however is never draining, instead it is always energizing. Only He can make worship available in the quiet of my home or in a crowded church service; on a park bench or in an airplane seat at 33,000 feet, and most important, only He can reward my worship in ways that fill me beyond my expectations.
The truth I’ve discovered is that worshiping the Lord actually enhances the other areas of life I love, like time with my wife, woodworking, a great restaurant, and yes, even a sporting event.
Life Abundant..........It's what we were made for...... and it's found in Worship of the One who made us.