This past week God has taken every moment of each day to teach me something about Him and about myself. I do not even know where to begin, but I am praying God will reign over all I write and hope just one word He lays on my heart will draw you nearer to Him today.
While I was interviewing a man for a story today, he said he believes as Christians we are called to worship God with our whole being – with everything we are. I fully agree with him, but why do my heart, mind, body, and soul not reflect such a complete call to worship God?
God has compelled me to worship Him more and more with every breath, but why do I still worship so many other things on this earth? I don’t believe God wants me to worship Him above all else – I believe He wants me to worship Him in the place of all else.
With every breath I take I am surrounded by a world filled with idols fighting for my devotion.
After being sick last week, I spent most of the weekend resting as I watched some movies I had never before seen, such as “Australia” with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The film is by no means Biblical, but I felt the Lord speaking to my soul as the plot continued to unfold.
There is a scene toward the end where a little boy is overflowing with joy as he skips toward his new family, but he has no idea his first father is aiming to shoot, kill, and destroy him. And his first father does not realize the boy’s grandfather is looking out for him from above as he shoots an arrow through the evil father.
I could not help but feel like the little child in the scene. I live life in delight, not having any idea my first father, the enemy, is aiming to shoot, kill, and destroy me while my Heavenly Father is looking out for me from above as He forever conquers the evil one. There is a spiritual battle taking place all around me, one that never dies down, and I walk through life oblivious to who wants to take my life and the One who continues to give me life – Jesus Christ.
I never before realized how many things I worship until the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see the idols in my life this week. Sure, I have grown up hearing the command to worship God above all else – but no one ever told me to worship God instead of everything else. Maybe it was a given, but I never got it until now.
I worship my family – being with them and loving them. I worship my appearance – embarrassed when people see me before I have had a chance to clean up. I worship my writing – conscious of my editor’s opinion. I worship evangelism – struggling to find purpose outside of sharing the Gospel and loving those who do not know love. I worship youth ministry – feeling selfish if I am not pouring into teens. I worship musical worship – seeking the Lord more in that segment of a service than other times of the day. I worship money – always wavering about whether to give or to save. I worship sleep – upset if I do not get the rest I desire. I worship Texas A&M – identifying with the past instead of embracing the present place God has placed me: Baylor. I worship friendships – looking forward to how the Holy Spirit is going to move in our conversations instead of experiencing Him work right now. I worship writing out my prayers – burdened with the feeling that if I truly care about something, I will take time to write it out. I worship Scripture – more sensitive to receive from God in His written Word than in His spoken Word. I worship marriage – praying for and hoping to meet the man God desires for me to serve Him with for the rest of my life. I worship food – giving into every craving and holding tight to addictions. I worship God – loving Him because He first loved me.
You see how my worship of God is just an afterthought in the midst of everything else? Most of the idols I took time to note are not evil, but when they take away from me wholly worshipping my King, they sure are.
Yesterday I discovered and completed further research to find out my favorite nutritional items are causes to the health problems I have faced for years. Even though I know I need to change my diet because the benefit far outweighs the cost, I am deep in doubt that I can successfully change and no longer feel the void left by foregoing certain nutritional products.
I know this sounds silly, but it is seriously a struggle of mine. There are certain things I feel like I need each day, when the only thing I need each day is God, and He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I say I trust God. But I do not trust God to enable me to make the change. I am putting more faith in my 21-year history of living than the unending, timeless, and unchanging God whose Spirit reigns in me.
I keep looking to so many things to satisfy me – whether physical, emotional, spiritual, relational or nutritional – but God is the only one who is able to satisfy me beyond measure.
I desire to hunger for nothing else but the Lord. I desire to worship no one else but the Most High. I desire to seek after God alone. I pray He will truly take my everything and be my Everything.
What do you worship? What is battling for your attention as you read this? Ask God to conquer and destroy the idols in your life so you will worship Him in the place of all else.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” –John 10:10