Worship is one of the ultimate themes of this life, regardless of whether you are a religious person or not. Many of us may find that hard to believe but it is true. It is never a question of whether we worship or not because in reality, we do worship someone or something. We simply don’t call it worship. We prefer to use neutral terms like passion, commitment, or focus.
I believe one of the ways we can identify the object of our worship is to see our reaction when it comes up in a conversation. Whatever that thing is, it always triggers our strongest reactions— our greatest joy or fiercest anger. It’s that topic we passionately talk about for hours on end. It is that person or thing that answers this statement: If only I can have ________, then I would finally be happy, or fulfilled, or satisfied. Put another way, it is the thing that if taken away from us, we will be truly devastated.
This is where we can see the break down of idolatry. When we worship something other than the God of the Bible, we are asking that object to carry the weight of our adoration and expectations. We are asking a finite being to give us something infinite. We are asking a mere creation to love us unconditionally, bless us infinitely, put up with us patiently, and carry our burdens without breaking. No one, apart from Christ, can be like that for us.
Many people today think of God as a worship-hungry being, that He needs our worship in order to stay in business. No, it’s never like that at all. The reason why He calls us to worship Him is because there is an infinite abyss in the heart of every human being that only He could fill (Pensees, p54). If we don’t worship Him, we will end up worshiping something or someone finite to fill that void.
We worship Christ because only He could satisfy the deepest longings of our souls. We were all broken inside until He came and healed us. Apart from Christ, we will always be hungering and thirsting for something to make us complete. We worship Him because, as Augustine famously said, our hearts are ever restless until we find our rest in Him.