Friday, October 22, 2010

Worshipping God Aright – Acknowledging Idolatry

“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself.”

~Acts 17:24-25 (Msg).

Worship, we know, is not just song-singing on Sundays. It’s a lifestyle. And still we’re so apt, as habit would have it, to separate out those lived realities—the external things God and humankind can have; the internal, however, belonging to ourselves, and perhaps our own secret sins, including our covetousness.

The Athenians wanted to appease the gods, and there were many of them. Their theology was basically about as good as superstition.

We may not worship ‘the gods’ but we can very easily replace God with our own gods. And we often do, even for instances in our day-to-day. How marvellous that God no longer holds this inherent sin against us.

Being Honest About Our Personal Idolatry

Perhaps our best grasp at worship is acknowledging the times when we leave God out of the equations that are our lives. The more that response becomes a habit, the more we’ll avoid going that way in the first place, surely.

The disciples coveted their god—the god-of-their-own-safety—just at the time when their Lord needed their devotion—their worship—at Gethsemane, and at other times, and yet they were not condemned for it. Neither are we. God knows we’re prone to scurrying away in fear, or in greed, or for a hundred and more other self-motivated reasons.

God makes room for our honesty. There is plenty of space for the real ‘us’ to be borne before God.

The Real Reason for Right Worship

God knows something we don’t know for some time, for many years, and almost an entire lifetime for some. God knows we need him and that we cannot live properly without him.

This is the real reason for our worship; it’s not for God at all, although he deserves all of our thanks and praises (and even many we don’t give). We need connection to God so we’re not so captivated by what the enemy has put there to distract us and our focus.

When we have a worshipful attitude to life everything else goes better.

As our hearts sing and our thoughts dance in keeping with the tunes of life, hope begins to envelope and overwhelms us with a peacefully abundant joy, and the fears, which aren’t real anyway, are quelled.

God worship, as can be seen here, is a necessity for a life that is to be well-lived.

Ironically, it’s when we appreciate how given we are to running astray of God that we will often worship God the best and most truthfully.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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