Last year I had the opportunity to go to a place of worship in Nashville. It was a beautiful building and the people who were worshiping there were doing so with passion and with devotion. Unfortunately, the objects of their worship were statues of many shapes and sizes. We had been given the opportunity to visit this Hindu temple to learn more about their culture, and while I was impressed by their devotion, my heart was broken by their desire to worship these idols made of wood.
We were designed to be worshipers. We have a desire that God has put into us to praise those things that are higher than ourselves. This desire can lead us into the most powerful experiences of God’s presence. It can also lead us into worshiping creations rather than our Creator.
In Psalm 115, the people of Israel are asked about their God. Where is he? Why can’t he be seen? It’s a good question when your frame of reference to a god is an idol or a statue. It’s not a great question if you serve the one true God whose dwelling is in heaven.
While most of us would not build idols for worship, we certainly have a tendency to worship things in place of God. Maybe it is another person such as a spouse or boyfriend. Maybe it is a car or a house. Maybe our object of worship is ourselves. We may not sing songs to these things or sacrifice to them, but when they become something we could not live without, we have made them into our idols.
God desires to be the most important thing in our life. He does not want to be a part of your life. He wants your relationship with him to be the foundation of your life. The Christian faith was never meant to be part of who we are. It was meant to be the definition of who we are. When our lives are not based in our relationship with God, it is typically because we have decided that other things are more important than God.
Take some time to identify the things that have become idols in your own life. Chances are there are some things that you have begun to worship in place of God. As you identify the things that have been living for, compare what they have to offer to what God has to offer. Ask God to help you refuse to serve things. Instead, ask that he would reveal himself to you in a way that makes serving anything else seem incredibly foolish.