We crave worship. I hate putting it so bluntly, so crassly, but it is true. In fact, it was the promise to ‘be like God’ that compelled us to compete with him, go against him, to reach for the forbidden. (Gen 3:5)
I love this candid, exposing quote by Nietzsche: ‘If there were gods, how could I endure not to be a god? Therefore, there are no gods!’ (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1885) Nietzsche’s basis for atheism is that he could not endure the thought of there being a God - and him not being that God. Absolutely unbearable concept to the point of having to just deny that God exists. Period.
Think of flattery. What is it, essentially? Well, it is a form of ‘worship’ or ‘adoration’. And there is never a time that true flattery is a good thing. Flattery is dangerous. It is not the same as a kind compliment. Why? Well, the ‘spirit’ is different. Flattery worships you, in order, ultimately, to be worshipped. If it is reciprocated, well, there we have a ‘fraternity’ or ‘society’ for a time. But it will not last. It will explode, implode, corrode, or disappear ‘like smoke out a window.’ (Hs 13:3)
This is why Jesus did not allow the ‘rich young ruler’ to call him ‘Good teacher!’ (Mark 10) Because Jesus knew this flattery was a 2-way street, and there is no 2-way street when it comes to worship and God. There is no reciprocity. God loves and honors you. But only God is safe to ‘worship’.
If not God, what we worship is a type of god, an idol. Anything can be an idol - all it needs is worship. This worship does not make the idol anything special, it just makes it an idol. How do we know what we worship? Well, where’s your heart? Jesus told us that our treasure - our idol - is where our heart will be. (Mt 6:21) How do you know where your heart is? Well, where’s your treasure? If your heart will be where your treasure is, where’s your treasure? Where do you put your money, your thoughts, your time, your energy? That’s your treasure. That’s where your heart is.
‘Jesus said the most important commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength.’ (Matthew 22:37 - quoting Deut 6:5)
So how do you become an idol, especially if nothing or no one is ‘worshipping’ you? Well, here’s the interesting thing. You will become exactly like the idols you make, you worship. Again, here we see a very loving reason that God calls us to look to him, gaze on him, worship him. Because we will become like him as we gaze on him. (1 Jn 3:2) God calls us to worship him, so we will become like him.
But if our heart and treasure - our ‘worship’ - is towards money, sexual immorality, pornography, people and status, then we will become the essence of those things:
‘Those who make idols will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.’ (Psalm 115:8)
We will become like that which we worship. Have you given your heart, and your worship, to Jesus?
For more on ‘First Steps’ with Jesus, please visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
Peter Walker. I hope you enjoy these reflections. Please feel free to comment!:)