Lately my heart has been skipping beats and so I decided it was time for this Momma Goose to head into the doctor’s office to talk with him. I have a BMI of 48 which wasn’t a shocker to me. I have a scale so I do know I need to lose more weight besides the 30 lbs I dropped last year on my own. Things have stalled and I have been stuck at 235 lbs. Add a heart condition into the mix that is made worse by my weight and you can see the urgency was justified on my doctor’s part for me to lose a healthy amount. With not a clue what I will look like at 135 lbs I am a little nervous, but I am more concerned with holding off heart surgery. There is the big back story and you know I have to make everything into a bigger picture question and so I am curious that if ‘we are what we eat’…. are we also what we worship?
If you were to ask Christians what worship is you would get different versions of the same answer: To praise God for all He is. That isn’t wrong by any means, but if we look at worship in a simple light it is the act of proclaiming that God is higher than ourselves. Anything that we consider important enough to take up our time can be something we worship but they are called idols. Idols can be anything from the golden calf in Exodus 32 to simply what keeps our focus from God.
Have we ever been so distracted by a comment before a service that we lose sight of the sermon being preached? Have we been caught off guard by a change being made to the way it has always been that we dwell on tradition over God? Have we been so worried about our appearance that we get anxious instead of finding peace with God? Do we hold grudges to the point that our drive home from church is filled with hurt feelings and rage over a person yet we cannot recall the sermon? Was worshipping God impossible because something was not perfect with the worship set? Do we not respect those put in a position of authority over us because our preferences blind us to the good that God is doing through them? Does the pressure of what waits when we walk out the door after service overwhelm us to the point that we keep ourselves from being consumed by God? Are we so ready to be with our family for events that we are impatient with the length of service?
Gossiping, Tradition, Anxiety, Unforgiveness, Pride, Preference, Family, and Fear are only a few names of idols. ANYTHING that we allow to distract our focus from God is an idol that needs to be destroyed in our hearts.
Exodus 20:1-3 And God spoke these words saying, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Then how do we get so easily distracted in church? Simply put we let our pride rule over us, and pride is a tool of the devil to divide us. Satan knows we are weaker when we are isolated but we are not dumb enough to be willingly led astray by a dark shadowy figure. However, if he whispers into our ears about things that are against our pride then he just has to light the match and watch us explode. The most important thing to remember if we fall into this snare is that we also serve a just and loving God. He will not tolerate being second in our lives but he will honor true repentance.
True repentance isn’t telling ourselves that we just shouldn’t do that anymore and leaving it at that either. It’s knowing that we have sinned and are the cause of being separated from God and the promise of heaven. That isn’t something to take lightly. Sin isn’t categorized on a scale from one to ten, so all sin is enough to keep us from glory. One angry outburst or smug comment is all that stands between us and hell. Our decision to let any of the idols mentioned above rule over us instead of seeking God over our own desires is what keeps us from experiencing God. Repentance is a heartfelt cry of knowing you have done horribly wrong. It is seeking God’s forgiveness over all other things, and then making our selves aware of that snare so we never fall into it again. Repentance takes discipline and time but it is very worth it to be used to our fullest potential in our servitude.
With spring having arrived the feeling of change is heavy in the air, so I encourage you to do a little soul searching. We are cleaning spiritual house this month. Are you being blessed by the presence of God when you gather in church or are you standing in your own way with your foot caught in a snare of idols? I want you to start by asking yourself:
What do I worship?
If the answer is something that keeps your focus off God then I would advise you to repent and seek counsel. Find someone who will keep you accountable and partner with them. Until next time, God Bless!