What Do We Worship?
Often I faced moments of irrational fear in raising our first born son. I’d find myself obsessing with thoughts that I would lose him and so as a mom I overprotected him. While protecting a child is good, at the same time parents need to provide space for children to make their own decisions as they grow. When fear dominates a relationship rather than faith and love, it creates problems.
Letting Barn move to Australia at eighteen was a huge step but had added complications because it was at this point in time that I had to face that my life was ruled with irrational fear regarding Barnabas.
We should question the things that dominate our time, imagination, emotions and thought life. Is it a sickness, a relationship or the lack thereof? Is it a career, resentment or even jealousy? These things may reflect that which we truly worship.
Churches often refer to the music part of a service as worship. However worship of God is about the position of our heart. “Proskuneo” is a New Testament word which translates as “worship” but it also means “to fall down before” or “bow down before.” For example rather than surrendering my hopes for Barnabas to God as a young mom I preferred to hang onto my irrational fear for my son, thinking that I could protect him better than God.
What’s Another God?
Deuteronomy 6:13-14 is written, “Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods.”
We can think that other gods are idols established by other religions. However other gods are things that consume our lives including certain emotions, material goods, a relationship or even a sickness. That upon which we dwell mostly can be that which we are worshipping. For myself as a parent I had to realize that my fear for my son was dominating my life and in a sense I worshipped fear.
Regularly I’ve had to reevaluate my focus. What am I truly worshipping? God doesn’t have a problem with us having goals but it’s a problem when we allow these to be pursuits above our worship or bowing down before Him. He is jealous for our attention and it is Him that is the source of true happiness.
Surrender Is Freeing
At times I’ve had to recheck my marriage as I’ve found that my expectations for this relationship have ruled my life. And again I have had to fight an obsession with sickness and this dominating my thought life. Every single time I have had to take hold of the truth that God has a greater plan for myself and my family and therefore I have had to lay down my agenda.
This surrender is actually freeing. There is an understanding that I no longer have to make my life happen on its own but I have a supernatural God that cares for me deeply.
Sometimes the objects that we worship are not necessarily things that bring joy. Sickness, a bad relationship or unforgiveness are all examples. We may be singing along in church but obsessing about someone that has hurt us.
We may not physically bow down to them, or lift our hands in song to them but we allow ourselves to devote our thoughts, imaginations and time to these things. In dealing with kidney disease, I had to determine that while this affected my body, it was not going to own me and that God would have His way in spite of sickness if I determined to surrender my heart to God.
The One To Worship
God knows we have an inner need to worship. He, being God, can handle the weight of being worshipped; humans cannot. And so, it’s good to regularly give yourself a heart check. Where do we spend our time? Do we obsess about a health issue or a relationship? Do we overprotect a child or harass a husband to provide emotionally for ourselves in an impossible way? These are great indications that help us reevaluate that which we worship.