Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
[ [ I S A I A H 2 5 : 1 ] ]
Let me paint you the picture….
She walks into a building that she’s never been to before. It’s big, with loud music, flashing lights and filled with lots of people that she’s never met. She timidly takes a few small steps forward before she spots the huge sea of people gathered tightly together at the foot of the stage. She stands there for a moment just staring at them. She watches as hands are raised, along with singing voices and even shouts! She is watching as people are crying, smiling, laughing, jumping, swaying… Did I mention jumping? They are all reaching up as if they are trying to touch someone. Some have their eyes closed. Some don’t. Her eyes grew wide and she tried to soak up everything she was seeing. It was as if shock had stunned her and she didn’t want to take her eyes off of what was occurring. Trying to make sense of it all, she simply stood there with a bewildered look on her face. How could people react this way? What was it that was causing them to feel the need to look up with tears in their eyes as if there life had just been drastically changed forever??? These. people. are. crazy.
How many times have you been called “that crazy christian?” If you’re not a christian, how many times have you thought, “these people are nuts?” Let me focus on one popular example: worship.
I have a secret for you: WE WERE ALL MADE TO WORSHIP.
You may disagree with me which is fine. But, let me ask you a question… What was the story above about? Contrary to what you have allowed yourself to believe, the story is not about a girl’s perspective on people worshiping in a church. It was actually MY STORY. I was that girl. And it was about my experience at a Kanye West concert.
Do you see how both scenarios fit this story? It’s actually pretty scary! But, it really reveals our natural inclination to worship as human beings. We have seen the same reactions from people at Justin Beiber, Beyonce, Hillsong, Bethel and other popular concerts. Here is the thing, Christians have no problem calling worship, “worship.” Most of them have no problem getting crazy and dancing for Jesus. But, people who are not Christian will have a hard time admitting they are worshiping anything. They refuse to believe that they are in any way remotely relating to the crazy behavior that goes on during “a-time-of-worship” at church.
Well, God has designed our beings to worship. To worship Him. And worship doesn’t have to look like a crowd at a concert. Worship can be defined as “extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem” (merriam-webster dictionary). Yet, sin has corrupted the purity of worship by replacing God with other idols. Anything that we choose to glorify in place of the Lord is an idol. Idols are not merely carved statues that some choose to bow down to. It can include money, a career, fame, power, a relationship, success, a car, a celebrity, our own lusts… and the list goes on. It is so important to not be fooled with the dangers of worshiping false idols. As a Christian I understand how difficult it is to admit that you are ever worshiping anything other than Jesus. And I also understand how hard it is for someone who is not a christian to admit that they partake in any kind of worship at all. But, it is important to realize how we are all so intentionally designed to worship the Lord, and that worshiping Him is the absolute only satisfying form of worship there is. And we are made to glorify Him always, and yet the enemy is fighting for that worship. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, he asked Jesus to bow down to him! How sick is the thought of that? Satan will do anything to take the glory off of the Lord. He will tempt you with the things you love in order to make them the things that you worship. God is more than worthy of our worship. Not just at church, but in our hearts.
We all fall short at times. Sometimes, we are not as good as we ourselves and others want us to be, but we are always able to refocus our worship and admiration to the Lord each time we catch ourselves putting other idols before Him. Daily heart checks and self-reflection are so important to your growth. Who is first in your heart? Who do you aim to please before anyone else? Who is your priority? The Lord desires worship for you.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
[ Revelation 4:11 ]