We are what we worship

By Pastor Bill Rowe

Busy street scene - people-768551_1920 Pixabay

1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth. 2 Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?” 3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

4 Their idols are silver and gold, the works of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 they have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them. (Psalm 115:1-8, NKJV)

The psalmist proclaims to God that he recognizes God as Most High and worthy to be praised first and above all things. He points Israel away from glorifying themselves and prioritizes God’s ultimate glory. The Lord’s people prioritized God above all things, especially themselves. To God’s glory, we shout, Amen! 

Notice that the psalmist then claims that those who have no true God make and worship their own idols. As they do so, they tragically become like them. In other words, they are what they worship (Ps. 115:8).

Lives filled with idols
Today’s idols are more abundant than those of the psalmist’s day. We make idols of our possessions, our careers, our families, our sports teams, our politicians, and our passions. The most heinous idol of all today is “self” – we place ourselves above all things, especially God. Very few of us place God Almighty as our highest priority. We claim devotion to God with our mouths, while our true priorities are revealed through our daily calendars. Sadly, most of us fit God in around all the other priorities that make life so busy. Does God need to call you for an appointment, or have you taken the initiative to place Him first on your calendar every day? 

God intends for us to prioritize our lives in a far different way than we are used to prioritizing. In the First Century, we read of people who worried about providing food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and for their loved ones. Jesus told them that they should… 

“…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Running in reverse
I wonder how you would describe your pursuit of your basic needs. Most of us are running in reverse in this area of our lives. Rather than first seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness with confidence that He will provide all of our needs, we employ our vast resources to create our own idols that we hope will fulfill our desires. We then become like them. We slip down the sewage pipe of idolatry and splash headlong into a pool of unrighteousness. This is precisely opposite of what the Lord requires of His followers!

Christian, today is a good day to examine your priorities. Are you like those who do not know the Lord, seeking your satisfaction by building your own idols? If you were to be asked, Who are you? where would you place your identity? Would anyone believe your answer?

Who or what are you like?

Pastor Bill  

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