Sunday, Oct 17, 2021

Worship the Giver, not the Gifts

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Jeannette Tyson
I'm Jeannette! Saved by grace at 19 and doing my best to live for the Lord after years of trying things my way. One beautiful daughter, divorced and living just south of Chicago.

We Were Made to Worship

Psalms 139:14-16 says:

worshipI will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

One of the greatest attributes God has designed us with is our ability to praise. We are all unique, but some things we have in common. We have the capacity to think, reason, and feel.

So then, what happens when a person (who was fearfully and wonderfully made to praise) doesn’t know Whom or what is worthy of praise?

Misguided praise and worship is idolatry and it’s easier than you may think to slip into.

For Whom is Your Altar Built?

altarWe see people who are so obsessed with sports, clothes, and money. If we’re not careful to guard our hearts, we can lust after the things of this world and fall into idol worship.

We all know people so passionate about politics who will debate you for hours about policy and injustice. Sports fanatics who will yell, scream, and gamble on their favorite teams, but don’t give God the glory He deserves. Those who chase money while neglecting quality time with God and their families. Then, some who are pleasure seekers, chasing one empty thrill after another.

These aren’t necessarily bad people, they are doing what they were created to do. But, their passions and their praise is misdirected.

The other day I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an article about a “Beyoncé Mass” that took place in a San Francisco church. They wanted to showcase her music and somehow empower black women in the church.  Is the church the appropriate venue for this display?

In the book of Isaiah 56:7, God says His house shall be called the House of Prayer. Also, in John 12:32, the Lord says when He is lifted up He will draw all men. When I scrolled pass this, I dismissed the notion immediately (mentally imagining Jesus flipping over tables), but the Spirit whispered this to me. He said, “All humans are worshipers, but if you don’t know God, your flesh will still worship something.” It made perfect sense.

Lord, Re-align Our Misplaced Worship

Because we were made in God’s image, idolatry has the potential to be an easy pitfall for us. We were created to rule and reign in the earth, we’ve been given full dominion – yet we must completely submit to God.

We know in our minds that God is the Alpha and Omega and that He is King of Kings, but there are times when we just do our own thing; we somehow decide we’re okay running our own life.  Oftentimes, we don’t even realize it until we run into a problem and we cry out to Him. It’s like raising a kid who becomes rebellious during their teenage years only to later love and appreciate their parents’ guidance and wisdom.

These might be extreme cases, but if we overindulge in anything, we’re in danger of sin. God wants us to enjoy life with balance and moderation. We can live a life of passion and purpose without becoming idolaters.

Here are a few easy ways to tell if you may be misappropriating your worship:

  1. You’re always busy and it’s difficult to find time to spend with God. We all have responsibilities and hectic lives, but we must honor God above everything – nothing matters more.
  2. Your desires overpower wisdom and you tend to make impulsive decisions. We all want nice things, but we have to prioritize and remember that Jesus told us that life is about more than food, and the body is about more than clothes (Matthew 6:25).
  3. Your motives are always self-serving. Whatever you do (or don’t do) is for your own benefit and you rarely, if ever, consider doing things for others if there’s nothing in it for you.

We have to remember to keep everything in perspective. The people and things you give the most time to will reveal where your heart and values are.

Team, this requires ongoing self-examining. We’ve all gotten sidetracked before while living this amazing life. If it was unlikely to get caught up in this world, there wouldn’t be so many scriptures warning us not to.

Everything God made is wonderful and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life, but we need to make sure we keep Him first and that we don’t begin to love the gift more than the Giver.

So, What’s the Play Call?

Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Luke 10:27).

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Don’t allow the cares of this life to make the Word of God unfruitful in your life (Mark 4:19)

Be blessed!

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