I read a recent article by Jonathon Tjarks (a staff writer at The Ringer, where he covers professional basketball) talking about his journey to Christ after a shakeup with the supernatural. He considered God intellectually but had not given much thought to the supernatural. He was at an EDM concert, rolling in “ecstasy” when he stopped and saw the act of worship that was happening all around him. “As I watched the audience dance under the watchful eye of the V for Vendetta mask, everything fell into place. The scales fell from my eyes. We were worshipping a demon”.
We have a choice of who and what we worship . . .
Let’s talk about worship. Many of us view worship as something we do at the beginning of the church service on Sunday mornings. We miss the actual meaning of worship. According to Webster, worship is “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”. The word deity makes us think of God—and a place for God in our heart—what Steve and I often refer to as the God-spot. But we all fill that spot with things that are not God—we call these little “g” gods. Transformation requires that we constantly surrender these things so that we are conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). These “things” are also a deity, and thus we are worshipping them—although most of us do not think of it that way.
Every day you and I choose what we will worship. We make choices to worship our Creator, moving us toward other-centered love (agape), which leads us to increased intimacy with God and heals us from the destruction of sin. Or, we choose to worship the created/creature, which moves us toward Satan and further into self-love and verifiably destroys our brain. For example, porn use destroys the pre-frontal cortex of the brain where moral reasoning resides, and the brain damage looks no different than a crack-addicted brain. Romans 1 talks about this type of worship and its consequences: 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (KJV)
You see, we left the garden with a brain that could consider self only. Very different than when we walked in the garden fully in the image of God where we only thought about loving others (agape love). The journey back to agape love means we must crucify our nature of self-love. Who and what we worship is at the heart of the argument.
When I was in my 20’s I loved rock concerts and sporting events. And at those events, when cheering for my favorite team or band, I often put my hands up. One day when I was at church, I felt God nudging me to consider why I did not put my hands up for Him. I was not in a church where this would have been common practice and it was not the norm for me either. But soon after, I started putting my hands up for God, realizing this was an act of worship. Now, I’m not being legalistic about never putting my hands up and cheering for a team. But our acts of worship reveal a lot about our heart and they deserve careful consideration.
Daily I struggle with the weight of being a leader in an organization serving the homeless, and when God does not move on my timeline, I may rush in and handle things my own way. And yes, this is worship of self—believing that I know better than God how to run my own life or that of others. I must crucify that part of my nature because it moves me away from the transformation that I desperately desire.
I wonder what is in your God-spot that is taking a place of worship and moving you away from your heart’s desire to be transformed? May God illuminate those places in your heart and guide you on the journey of crucifying them.
Many blessings to each of you!