Beware of Worship in Disguise

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Many people picture worship as kneeling and praying to a God or idol, but in reality, worship is much more subtle than that, even transparent, with many people in the modern age practicing worship they don’t even realize.

Invisible worship

The dictionary has multiple meanings for the word “worship.” Of course, the first is the one we are all familiar with which is honoring a “divine being or supernatural power.”

The second type is where we see a great form of devotion nor honor as we see given to certain sports stars, musicians, or celebrities.

But there are other forms of worship that are more subtle that we may not consider. People can also have an extravagant devotion to anything they hold in high esteem, even inanimate objects. Money is the first thing that comes to mind. But other things of value such as jewelry and other material goods, as well as pastimes can take on such a focus and devotion that it is not unlike religion.

From the writings of the late Billy Graham, comes a very good statement on how unrealized worship occurs in modern culture, which he described in a hyphenated word: “Pop-culture.”

When causes become religion

We’ve seen social justice also reach this level of focus and devotion, as well as social causes such as climate change which many call a “green religion,” not based on whether the climate issues are true or not but rather the degree to which people are consumed with and focused upon it.

Only God should be worshiped

The first commandment is that believers should worship no other gods and make no image to be worshiped as an idol.

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,”

– Exodus 20:3-5

We break this commandment if we make anything more important than God. The driving force in motivation in our lives should be to please God, always expressing gratitude and devoting ourselves to keeping his commandments and everything we do.

Avoiding invisible worship and idolatry

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

– Philippians 4:8

We are what we think. What we focus on, we become. God wants us to be holy. We cannot be holy without focusing on God and his word. If our main focus is not in God, then it is on the world and the things of and in it.

God will provide everything we need for a good life. We need to put our faith in God, put Him first, and connect to Him through prayer.

Jesus said:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

–Matthew 6:33