We were made to worship. We were made to adore, to long for, to delight in, to desire. We were made to have the deepest longings of our hearts met by someone or something outside of ourselves.
When we look to something for significance, acceptance, approval, satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, security, etc., that very act is worship. We are ascribing worth to something. We are saying, “That thing is what will make me significant! That person will make me acceptable. That person will give me security. That thing will save me!”
You see, all of life is worship. We are ALWAYS worshiping. Everything we do is an affirmation of who or what we are looking to for significance, security, approval, etc.
Your life is a billboard; you are advertising the thing that is most important to you. “This is what I value! This is what saves me!” That constant advertisement, “Here’s what I’m all about!” is worship. All of life is worship.
There is No Neutral
Your life is a garden hose that is always on. Worship always flows out of us like water out of that hose. Where are we going to point the hose? Something is going to get wet with our worship. Who or what is it?
There is no neutral on the worship gearshift of your life. You are always in gear, and you are always in drive or reverse. Romans 1:25 says, “We’ve exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”
Every sin is a finger-wagging accusation against God! Every time we sin, we are saying to God, “You are not great! You are not in control! You are not good! THIS THING OVER HERE WILL SAVE ME!” Do you hear how offensive that is!?
We all worship false gods. We all look to created things instead of the Creator for acceptance, approval, satisfaction, etc. This false worship produces all kinds of negative behaviors and emotions in our lives, which we call sin. These sin issues are not merely behavior problems. They are heart issues.
What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. —Mark 7:20–23
According to the Bible, the heart is far more than a muscle in your chest pumping blood throughout your body. The word “heart” occurs more 850 times in the Bible. If you looked up all of those uses of the word, you’d find that our heart makes decisions, it feels emotion, can be deceived, desires things, lusts, thinks, and reasons.
The word “heart” is the word the Bible uses to describe the real you, the very center of your being. The heart includes your mind, your will, and your emotions. It is not less than any one of those things; it is more.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. —Proverbs 4:23
A wellspring is a naturally occurring water source that continually produces. The water continues to flow outward from the source. If you want to know whether or not the fruit of the source is suitable for drinking, you’ve got to go to the source and sample the water.
Our hearts are like a wellspring, continually producing fruit. Everything in our lives flows outward from this source we call our hearts. The fruit of our lives is an indicator of the state of our hearts. Our behavior comes from our hearts.
How would most people you know answer the question, “What needs to change?”
They might say:
- Their circumstances (better job, lose weight, get married)
- Their behavior (I just need to be more patient, I need to worry less)
- Their self-concept (I just need to believe in myself or have more self- confidence)
But what really needs to change? Their heart!
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. —James 4:1–3
Typically people want to blame their sin on their circumstances. I got angry because the guy cut me off in traffic. I started to worry all of the time because my husband lost his job. I yelled at the kids because they weren’t obeying me.
But the reality is that our circumstances merely reveal what is already in our hearts.
This blog post is an excerpt from Growing in Christ Together. Learn more and get your copy here.
What gear is the “worship” gear shift of your life in most of the time?