Read His Words Before Ours!
I get up in the wee hours of the morning, or stay up well into the night, to spend time with them. I connect with them every chance I’m given. More of my money has been invested in them than I even realized. Sometimes I plan my schedule around activities related to them.
Who is “them”?
I wish I could say these statements were about God or my church. But they aren’t. They are about my three favorite Korean Pop (K-Pop) groups. Clearly, there is a reason their music industry and culture call their pop stars idols. There is a plethora of access to them, a lot of content, and merchandise galore. Before fans know what’s happening, our time and money are more invested there than in important things, like God.
I don’t think people intend to have idols, but if we don’t pay attention, it happens. Like when we center our lives around working out. Or our jobs are all we think and talk about. Partying and hanging out with friends can become the single driving force in our lives. Or playing video games takes up most of our time and money. What about needing to be “in control” of everything, all the time? These are just a few examples.
So the question is, how and why does this happen?
Simple. We were made for worship.
The Westminster Catechism states the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We were made to worship God. To verify this, we only need to read Exodus 20:3-5, where God says, “Do not have other gods besides Me” and “Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Clearly, God made us for worship. But worship should only belong to Him.
And we should want to worship Him. Did you notice God mentioned He is jealous? He is jealous for several reasons. Let’s start with this fact: He created us. (John 1:3, Genesis 1:26-27)
I remember when my daughters were frequently hanging out with two friends, sisters their same age. Their friends’ mom was more lenient than I, and my girls frequently raved about how great this other mom was. Needless to say, I became jealous.
What about our relationships, ones I’d been cultivating since before they were born?
What about my concern for their safety, development, care, and keeping?
I think this is similar to God’s jealousy. He made us; that alone should be enough to warrant our worship.
But let’s go farther and deeper, shall we?
God initiated a relationship with us by revealing Himself to us in many different ways. He is the One who perfectly loves and protects us. I love how Psalm 73 gives us a glimpse of all God offers us:
- He holds our hand
- He guides us with His wisdom
- He will take us to heaven with Him
- He is our strength
- His presence is our good in this life
- He is our refuge
Oh and let’s not forget, He loves us. In fact, God’s love for us is a central message of the Bible. That familiar verse, John 3:16, explains, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Still not convinced? Listen to Jesus’ own words in prayer to God the Father: “I am in them and You are in Me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as you have loved Me.” (John 17:23)
The time I invest in video games, cooking shows, or even K-pop might bring temporary happiness and a bit of fleeting satisfaction. The same is true for anything we worship besides God. But this God, this Jesus, who loves us, is the only source of true and lasting satisfaction. We are at our best, and receive the best, when our worship is directed to the One for whom we were created.
I’d like to close by sharing two passages I think can settle this in our hearts better than my words ever could. Let’s pray over them, and then worship the only One who’s worthy of our praise.
“The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose water never runs dry.” (Isaiah 58:11)
“Because he has his heart set on Me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows My name. When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor. I will satisfy him with a long life and show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!