There is a prompting to worship birthed in us from the beginning to cry out to something or someone. Whether one admits it or not, secularists, as well as believers in Christ, cannot deny an inner calling to worship. How we respond to this urge to worship has drastic effects on how we live our lives.
The moment is forever burned into my heart and mind forever. My mother and aunt had taken my sister and me into Corpus Christi for a church event. As the service was ending, the pastor read from Psalm 150. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Something was stirring in my eight-year-old body, and beckoning me to the altar. I had to give my life over to worshiping the God this pastor was proclaiming.
While I did not fully understand the ramifications of what it truly meant to worship God, my life changed that day. I was no longer separated from God because of my sin nor was I in control of my life any longer. I did not know then that the process of learning to worship God with my whole heart, mind, soul, and body would take the rest of my life to learn and submit to; nevertheless, the process began and the choice I have each day to choose whom I will worship became a reality.
Each of us chooses every day whom we will worship, and Psalm 115 clearly distinguishes between our two options.
Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory
because of Your faithful love, because of Your truth.
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk.
They cannot make a sound with their throats.
Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
Two distinctly different options.
|The Living God||Man-Made God|
|Not Created (v4)||Created (v4)|
|Speaks (v5)||Cannot speak (v5)|
|Sees (v5)||Cannot see (v5)|
|Hears (v6)||Cannot hear (v6)|
|Smells (v6)||Cannot smell (v6)|
|Feels (v7)||Cannot feel (v7)|
|Walks (v7)||Cannot walk (v7)|
|Sounds with His throat (v7)||Cannot make a sound with throat (v7)|
Listed side-by-side it is only reasonable to see that worshiping the Living God is the only way to live. Who wants to worship something that has no power? Yet, each day we often live in a way that reflects a powerless God because we do not fear Him enough to trust in His direction for our lives.
Psalm 115 continues:
Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield.
House of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield.
The Lord remembers us and will bless [us].
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron;
He will bless those who fear the Lord- small and great alike.
May the Lord add to [your numbers], both yours and your children’s.
May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Two distinctly different options.
Fear & Trust in the Lord
Don’t Fear & Trust in the Lord
|Receive help and protection||Do not receive help or protection|
|Remembered by God||Not remembered by God|
|Receive blessings||Do not receive blessings|
The correlation is clear.
When we come before a Holy God in reverent fear and trust in Him, then we can receive help, protection, remembrance, and blessing through the power of our living God.
When we choose not to fear and trust in the Lord, then our help, protection, remembrance, and blessing is taken away.
What we worship also affects our lives. R. C. Sproul in his book, Before the Face of God, states:
“When God’s honor is exalted and his majesty worshiped, then human dignity is elevated. Conversely, wherever the dignity of God is attacked, sooner or later the dignity of humanity suffers. Since human beings are created in the image of God there is a very real sense in which, as God goes, so goes the image-bearer. If we corrupt and denigrate the living God who is our Creator, then the image of himself, which he has made, suffers accordingly.”
If we are worshiping the living God, then our lives, in turn, will reflect the character of the living God we are worshiping. In the same way, if we choose to worship man-made gods, then our lives will reflect the character and powerlessness of the idols we are worshiping.
As Psalm 115 closes, we are reminded that if we choose to worship man-made gods, then we are considered dead and unable to give praise and glory to the living God.
The heavens are the Lord’s, but the earth He has given to the human race.
It is not the dead who praise the Lord, nor any of those descending into the silence [of death].
But we will praise the Lord, both now and forever. Hallelujah!
The choice to worship man-made gods is to choose death, and dead people cannot give praise.
I can close my eyes and still see the yellow coloring of the walls and the pews we were sitting in. I can see the pulpit and the altar I knelt in front of when I heard the call to surrender my life of worship to the living God. That prompting and overwhelming desire to worship is in you too.
Who will you worship today?
Stars and Whales by Louie Giglio
Behold the Face of God by R.C. Sproul