I sit down early in the morning, trying to collect my thoughts, but it’s hard. I try to think clearly and articulate eloquently, but jumbled thoughts are all that show up. It feels as if I have an empty room upstairs, swept and clean, with the windows open and a slight breeze rolling through, and I just stagger into it half awake, eyes half open, having barely started sipping my coffee. Hazy. That’s the feeling I get when I sit down to write first thing in the morning. But, here it goes. Here are my 7:30am thoughts.
Don’t worship stuff that doesn’t matter.
There are many things that we worship: each other, our families, our jobs, our possessions, football, success or achievement, and the list could go on. But with all of those things, what one of them is actually worth our worship? Which one has actually done anything for us that has changed our lives in any way, brought substance and meaning to us in any way? Sure, all of those things have an impact on who we are, and are definitely an important part of our stories, but I am questionable when we place our identities in those things.
Liking things is different than worshiping them. I like my family, my job, my stuff, and football a lot. And that’s ok. When you base your worth on whether or not those things listed above go your way, you worship them. When you are constantly thinking of them, constantly worried about them, and if you would place them as first in your life, then you worship them.
And it’s not really worth it, is it? Worried and focused and determining your happiness on that stuff? It’s a roller coaster that will only make you sick.
The Apostle Paul is one of my heroes. HIs life was wrecked and completely turned around by Jesus, and he said it was all worth it. He counted everything else in his life as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ his Lord. His life was full of worthless worship prior to encountering Jesus.
At one point in the book of Acts, Paul is reasoning with the philosophers in Athens, Greece. He is provoked because of all of the idols and statues and gods those people were worshiping, and was compelled to illuminate Christ in the midst of them. He saw an alter with the inscription “to an unknown god” and realized that these people were worshiping things that didn’t matter, that had no substance, that were not alive. He showed them worship that matters, and a God who is real and alive.
Have you ever taken a second and looked around the city of your life? Does it look anything like Athens did at that time, with alters to unknown gods and “idols” scattered throughout?
Jesus came to bring freedom and to set free those who would truly worship Him. This worship doesn’t feel like consumerism or manipulation to get your way or meaningless banter, but life and life to the fullest because the one whom you are worshiping is alive, not dead. He is the source and the giver of all life.
Like Paul, once you encounter the living God, your life is never the same. The temptation to return to stuff that doesn’t satisfy is always there but in the light of Jesus you can count it all as loss for the sake of knowing Him.
I’m guilty of worthless worship. But then I see Jesus…He alone is worth first place in our lives.
You’ll inevitably worship something. Be aware of what receives your worship. Don’t worship stuff that doesn’t matter.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28)