Did you know that all humans were created to worship?
Worship is not a Christian word! It is a word for all cultures and indigenous peoples in every continent throughout all of history. Being a worshiper is a condition God put in man. We don’t need to be trained or have a degree in worship. It comes with being a human. It just comes naturally.
Bob Dylan sang these lyrics in the 80’s, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed. You’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” He knew a fundamental truth – we all worship something. “You may be a rock ‘n roll addict prancing on the stage. You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage. You may be a businessman or some high degree thief. They may call you doctor or they may call you chief. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
I remember when Michael Jackson was on trial fans came from all over the world to support him. One woman even quit her job just to stand outside the courthouse every day for months. She was willing to pay whatever it cost to be close to her hero. Why would she go to such extreme lengths just to get a glimpse of her idol? The answer is simple: She was wired to worship.
When anthropologists study a civilization, they often examine what the people in that culture worshiped. Worship is an integral part of every culture. From the Aztec Indians to the East Indians, from the Africans to the Eskimos, everyone on the earth bows down, honors or serves something or someone. It can be a statue, witch doctor, power, wealth, an institution, an idea, a fantasy, a god or the Lord Jesus Christ. Romeo worshiped Juliet and Julius Caesar worshiped his throne. An NBA star may worship basketball, and in turn, his fans may worship him. Worship – honor, value and esteem – is universal. You have the desire and instinct to worship, because your Creator wired you to be a worshiper.
Harold Best said that worship “includes the entire human race. It is not just about Christians but all people everywhere who are going about their worship, their submission to whatever masters them and their witness as to why the live the way they do.” Worship is essentially about value, because people automatically gravitate toward the things they value. Whatever you value the most is what you’ll esteem, elevate, invest in and adore the most. And the things you adore the most automatically become patterns and behaviors in your life.
A corporate executive who places a high value on his work accomplishments passionately gives himself to achieving status or influence in his job. He leaves his home at four am to beat the traffic and get to the office early. He stays late and misses the dinner his wife has made for him. By the time he gets home, his children are already in bed, and they go through life without really knowing their father. There is a time and a place for starting early, staying late and working hard when a company or project is in crisis or you need to meet a deadline. However, when a person repeats this behavior day after day and year after year he is demonstrating what he values or worships.
Worship is abundant and in every place.
People adore and esteem all kinds of things. From sports arenas to concert halls and coffee bistros to clubs, people worship everywhere.
I once knew a guitar player on a worship team who was fascinated by how he looked. When it was time to play his guitar, he would walk up on the platform and glance down at himself. Any time he passed a reflective surface, he would check his face and hair. In a way, he worshiped himself. However at least to some degree, we all tend to do things like that ourselves. There is something that we give ourselves to that others perhaps don’t understand and think extreme.
What you value, adore or worship also shapes or morphs you. Whether for good or for evil, you will become like whatever you worship. Ps 135:15-18 says, “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands…those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.” Whole cultures of music, fashion and lifestyle grow out of what people worship. Rapper fans dress, talk and act like their icons. Star Trek fans become Trekkies. Extreme Elvis fans become Elvis impersonators. There are numerous ways that people allow what they worship to morph their lifestyle, environment, thoughts, actions and dress.
Violent sports create risk-takers. Pornography can create adulterers and rapists. Misdirected religion can create extremists and terrorists. Dark horror movies create phobias. Love for money can creates drug lords, thieves, greedy executives and a hunger for power can create abusers and tyrants.
But misguided worship will never bring you peace or fulfillment because you are wired to worship Jesus and no one else. When we worship Him we become like Him. “…We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor 3:18) When we worship the Lord regularly and consistently, you are changed and become Christ-like.
Worship is connected to your character.
It naturally flows out of who you are and what you value. That’s why you can’t just turn worship on and off for your weekend church services. What you do when you’re in a church service doesn’t determine if you are a worshiper. It is what you do day in and day out that tells you if you are a worshiper and what you worship.
So tell me! What do you value the most? What do you give your time, energy and money to? Is there something that consumes and controls you that might put your life out of balance? Do the things that you value and esteem ever cause you to change? Did you, or have you, become like them? You were wired to worship only God and so is every believer that gathers to worship with you. Make the worship for Jesus real, spiritual and the main part of your life.
Here are three ways to know what you really worship.
1. Take a look at the things that you do – your activities – because your actions speak loudly about what you value. The trail of your activities will lead to what you worship. You will drive the miles and spend the money to do whatever your value the most.
2. Take a look where you spend your time. What are the priorities in your day or week? Is it shopping, sports or your favorite American Idol ? You don’t have to be trained in worship it comes naturally. You gravitate to it. You will spend the time to see or do whatever you worship.
3. Take a look at where you spend your money. We spend money on what we esteem or value and we won’t be stingy about it. You will buy the clothes, pay the admission, cover the expenses for whatever you worship.
We will give lavishly and generously to what we value. When you focus on an object of worship, you give all your passion to it. You don’t carefully ration out your worship; it just gushes out from you. Just as life happens, worship happens. If there is some area that you value more than Jesus reorder your priorities and put Him first.
About LaMar Boschman
– LaMar Boschman is a pioneer, a treasured mentor, a keynote speaker, and prolific author of such books Real Men Worship, A Heart of Worship and Songs From the Other Side. www.LaMarBoschman.com