The words from Bob Dylan’s song “Gotta Serve Somebody” ring true for every single person, young or old, rich or poor, healthy or sick, educated or uneducated…”Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” This is a stark truth. Although we may put many things at the forefront of our lives, we don’t like to think that we are serving them, nor do we consider them to be “the devil.” But the truth can’t be denied. In Exodus 20 God commands us to worship only Him, not to create any idols that we either worship or bow down to. We are far too sophisticated (or at least some of us are) to fashion an image and call it god. That’s even crazier than a pet rock. However, we were created to worship and as a result we are inclined to serve many things. Until we give God His rightful place and focus our worship where it belongs, we are wasting it.
Ex 20:3-5, Pr 2:1-6, 16:25, 21:17; Mt 16:26, Phil 4:19
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,…” (Ex 20:4-5)
It’s interesting to study the gods of Greek mythology, but they don’t entice our progressive society to bow at their feet. Yet, we bend a knee to many other gods. One of our main objects of worship is self. “I’m worth it; whatever it takes to make me feel good is good!” People abandon marriages, careers, and their character in pursuit of self-gratification and fulfillment. Closely akin to self-worship is thrill-seeking. Chasing the next high, fix, adventure, or experience keeps excitement high and keeps a person too busy for a long look in the mirror of self-realization. Others spend a great amount of their time attaining things and thinking about the things they want to attain. Materialism is not new; it tantalizes in the same old way. It promises that just one more acquisition, one more deal will make life complete. It is illusive and it is a lie. Some worship knowledge. They love and pursue education and amass degrees and titles. Yet, knowledge doesn’t measure many of the most important components of true success—vision, creativity, endurance, discipline, character. There are many other gods that can pull us away from the one true God. We can worship other people, careers, status, or serve an addiction. All other gods leave us wanting. It is only in giving God His true place and putting everything else behind Him that He opens the doors of blessing, opportunity and peace.
Define worship? What could become an idol to you if not kept in check? Do you keep it in check? If so, how? What do you see as society’s biggest idols? Are you inclined to drift with society? How do you stay grounded? How do you feel when you physically bow down to something? For what or whom have you physically bowed? What emotion does the thought of bowing to a thing or person evoke?
Write down how you spent your time this week. Consider what your time reveals about who/what is first in your life. Write down the things that dominate your thoughts. Consider what this reveals about who/what is first in your life. Make a plan of action, step by step, to change what needs to change.
Lord, help me to keep my priorities straight. I know that putting you first is the path to contentment in every area of my life. Help me not to neglect my daily time with you. Keep my heart and mind filled with your word and with your presence so that I never stray. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.