Made to worship

It is said that we are made to worship.

Is that true?

When I am wallowing in self-condemnation, am I worshiping?  Or when I am depressed?  Or when I am giddy with a personal success?

As I think about it, worship is about what I consider most worthy of my devotion.  When I am focused on self-condemnation, my thoughts are all about myself.  I am devoting myself to myself.  Although perverse, it is a kind of worship.

God is jealous about my worship – and rightly so.  He knows that when I worship anyone but himself, I am in trouble.  That’s why he said in Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods but me.”

He knows that we are, indeed, made to worship.

I was reading a delightful verse last night: “In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.” (Psalm 44:8)

It made me recall my boyhood when little boys used to finish arguments by shouting: “My daddy is stronger than your daddy.”  They were boasting about their daddies.

Of course earthly daddies are not worthy of worship.  I am a daddy and I am aware of my flaws.

But boasting in the biggest Daddy of all is not only right, but essential.  It is cleansing, purifying, upbuilding and strengthening.  In worshiping God, I am giving myself to the one who loves me more than anyone else.  I am showing God, the world and myself that I am utterly dependent on him.

“Dependence” is not a popular word in our western society.  We glorify independence.  It seems demeaning to depend on God.

But God knows better.  He knows that we are dependent beings – dependent on the world and Satan if we are not dependent on him.

It is strange, but as I grow older, I am becoming more aware of my need to depend on God.  I have learned that independence isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  When I am my own god, things don’t go well.  I am unsatisfied and fretful and sometimes angry and bitter.  Those are the days Satan must enjoy most.

The apostle Paul discovered the importance of dependence in an incident he describes in 2 Corinthians 12 – the time when he was caught up into the “third heaven” and heard “inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.”  It was probably the sweetest and most joyful thing that ever happened to him.

Then, Paul says he was given a “thorn” to keep him from becoming too conceited – perhaps the kind of conceit that led to Lucifer being expelled from heaven. Despite repeated pleas, this thorn was not removed and God said: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

God knew that Paul’s greatest joy was to be found in God alone – not in any experience, not in himself, not in anything else.

Truly, I am made to worship God.

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