Who do we worship?

whodoweworshipAre we worshiping God or do we have any idols in his place? Many times we take exception thinking that we don’t have any idols but the answer depends on what we call as an idol. Anything that robs the place of God is an idol. What is taking his place in our life? John in his closing remark warned about this subject to his audience and this can be a wake up call for us as well.

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. – 1 John 5:18-21

John addressed a great deal about false teaching that was spreading in his time in the church. To address this important concern, he showed what it means to follow the truth and how to have assurance by seeing the fruitful evidences holy spirit produces in life when we are in Christ. John desired to impart confidence of knowing God in a personal relationship and warned about those false teachers who denied Jesus and his finished work. In a sense, they replaced God with their own substitute. Anything that substitutes God is an idol. In this context, people were  replacing truth with false and making it as an idol. John warned his audience to keep away from such teachings and to follow the truth.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17

What is the idol in our life? Idols are formed when we pursue fleshly desires which is contrary to following Jesus Christ. Our passion and purpose gets derailed when we follow the substitute which fulfills our fallen nature and in turn we exalt and worship these desires in place of God. Anything that comes between us and God is an idol. It can be easy to identify for few and for others it can be difficult as this is so decisively hidden in place. One person’s idol may not be same as the other , we may think others have the worst possible idol but we may be living in a delusion not to realize that we have a different idol in our life. What is taking the place of God in our life? What is consuming our minds? Where do we give majority of our attention, interest, time or money? Do we follow the truth as God revealed in the word of God?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. “- Matthew 6:24

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

Why is it important to know? We are living in times these are becoming the way of life. Think about it, how many of us make work, money, relationships, power, fame, lust, entertainment, sports etc., as the idols in life? We also find good reasons that these needs to be our priority. If we say we don’t love worldly desires, then why do we elevate these in place of God? Scripture is very clear that we cannot serve two masters. It is very important that we identify the idols in our life. It can be hidden from our sight but nothing is hidden from God and holy spirit can reveal the idols in our life. If we confess and repent, God is gracious to forgive and restore us to walk in his light of truth. He will help us overcome the temptation to be slaved by the desires of the world.

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