Worship


Worship is as old as humanity itself.

Actually, it's older.

In its most distilled form, worship is the transpersonal adoration of God and the transcendent surrender of one's being to God. Even though there are facets of worship that can be experienced in human relationships, such as being devoted to one's spouse, the surrendered devotion of worship is to be reserved for God, and God alone (see Note 1). Our adoration of God is to take preeminence over any and all other affections in our lives. To worship anything or anyone other than God is idolatrous (see Note 2).

Worship, because it's an endowment of God's Divine Nature, is not just something we're commanded to do (see Note 3), it's something we cannot help but do. While the animal and plant kingdoms surrender to God's care by being who and what they are (without pretense or artificiality), they cannot value or surrender their lives in devotion to another. But we can, and we do.

We all do.

If you think about it, God's command to worship Him, and Him only (see Note 4), can be quite illuminating. The reason being is that every human being worships something or someone, for the need to surrender who we are to that which gives us life (or that which we think gives us life) was stamped in all of us at creation. God commands us to worship Him because He's the Source of all life. And since everything derives its existence from God and, as such, must give itself over to the sustaining care of the One who gives it life, to worship or surrender to anything less than our true Source will destroy us. The reasons are two-fold: (1) Because it's not the Source; and (2) Because the giving of our lives to a finite something that cannot know, receive, carry, love, or sustain us completely will, like a drowning man in pursuit of oxygen or a politician in pursuit of power, abandon or manipulate us in its own quest to find that which it thinks will sustain it.

As controversial as this might read, it bears repeating: we worship because it's a part of our make-up as Image-bearers of a worshipping God. The Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit) exists in a state of eternal worship: the Father adores the Son, the Son is devoted to the Father, and the Spirit glorifies the Son and the Father. Now, while the worship that exists in God is, of course, different from that which we give God as His offspring, it is worship, nonetheless. It's just a higher form—like all the other endowments of God human beings reflect.

Notes:

1. See Mt 4:10.

2. See Ex 20:3-6, 20:23, and 23:13; Dt 4:16-18 and 7:25-26; 2 Ki 17:35; and Isa 44:6-20.

3. See Mt 4:10 and Dt 6:13.

4. Mt 4:10.

 

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