We give our worship to things like prowess, excellence, skill, and beauty every day. In fact, think about your day so far. Where have you seen evidence that you are designed to worship?
The Bad in the Good:
All of these (excellence, etc) are good things. But here’s a word of caution: When we focus our adoration and love off of God as the source of these gifts, and give it to these things in place of him, they become our idols.
Bob Kauflin, in Worship Matters, gives the reason why this happens:
“We love our idols because we think they’ll provide the joy that comes from God alone.”
These good things (beauty, etc.) were never meant to serve in God’s place. Rather, they are intended to display the goodness of their Creator. Giving him the glory for all that he has done (especially in the finished work of Jesus) is the only lasting source of true joy. (And everything he does is for our good! Romans 8:28) This is what our hearts really seek!
But our hearts can be clueless. They naturally and often unknowingly seek to worship something or someone who isn’t God, or worse yet — they steer us to seek worship for ourselves! Thankfully, the Spirit of God lives in us as believers (Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 3:16), and works to seek evidences of grace. He turns our attention off of us and onto his goodness toward us (Romans 5:8)! Even unbelievers are aware of his worth, though they suppress such knowledge. God has given us ample opportunity to see his glory and has shown himself to be worthy of our worship everywhere, including in creation (Psalm 19:1). Romans 1:19-20 plainly states that all are aware of this truth. Yet, so often we either misplace or miss this grace completely. God’s goodness, his glory, and his love are all around us. Let’s open our eyes to see it!
The Creator of Our Heart
God knows our hearts (Ps. 44:21, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:8, Rom. 8:27). He has designed them himself (Ps. 139:13)! And the Creator of our hearts knows that hearts are “idol making factories” (Calvin). So God has both commanded us to worship him only (Exodus 20:1-4; Psalm 96:8; Matt. 22:37) and has instructed us on how to be the kind of worshipers he is seeking (John 4:23).
(More about this next week!)
So if God has designed our hearts for worship (we will worship something), if he has commanded us to worship him only (have no other gods), if he has promised us fullness of joy in his presence (Ps 16:11), and if he, the Creator of our hearts (Ps. 139:13), has humbled himself and was born in our broken world with a heart like one of us (Phil. 2:5-8) and if he has set forth the means by which he seeks to be worshiped (John 4:23), should we not give our attention (I will later argue our very lives) to this end?
If you are inclined to think so, it is our hope that this blog will help focus you toward this goal: to glorify God and enjoy him forever.