What are those things that most shape you? What makes you who you are? What guides your decisions throughout the day? These are huge questions that dictate how you live your life each and every day!
For each of us, the answer is the same: You are what you worship. The things you worship determine who you are. They guide your decisions and they dictate how you live your life day to day. This quote lays out the centrality of worship to our identity and being:
Human beings by their very nature are worshipers. Worship is not something we do; it defines who we are. You cannot divide human beings into those who worship and those who don’t. Everybody worships; it’s just a matter of what, or whom, we serve. — Paul David Tripp
As Tripp says, we all will worship something and the only difference is in “what, or whom, we serve.” What are you worshipping? What are the things that you hold as ultimate in your life?
The truth is that many of us worship any number of things (success, power, wealth, sex, football, entertainment, and so on), but there is only One who is worthy of our worship. David Foster Wallace actually pointed out this reality of human beings as worshippers in his famous Kenyon College commencement speech:
Because here’s something else that’s true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. — David Foster Wallace
It’s noteworthy that Wallace was not a Christian, but he still recognized the fact that worshipping anything in life other than that which is transcendent “will eat you alive.” We must find and grab ahold of the One who is truly worthy of worship. To have a firm foundation in our lives, we must cling to the only One who stands firm throughout all of life’s ups and downs. We must take hold of Jesus!
Jesus tells us that we must build our lives upon Him and upon His Word because otherwise we are living on shifting sands. Everything else will leave us empty and dry (if not immediately, then in eternity), but Jesus stands firm forever. He alone is establishing the kingdom that cannot be shaken:
Hebrews 12:28,29 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
You may think, “That’s great, but what does that have to do with multiplying devoted followers of Jesus?” That’s a great question! The answer is actually really simple: you’ll talk with others about the things you love! If you love Ohio State football, your kids, or your job, then you’ll talk about those things with other people all the time. The more you love (or worship) something, the more readily and regularly you’ll talk about it.
This was apparent in the early Church as many were scattered following major persecution in Jerusalem: “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the Word” (Acts 8:4). They hadn’t recently attended a seminar on effective evangelism, and it wasn’t popular to preach the Gospel, but they were compelled to talk about the One they worshipped.
The same is true for us! As we grow in our love, adoration, and worship of Christ, the good news about Him will roll off our tongue wherever God has us — in our workplace, in our neighborhood, in our hobbies, and in our family.
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