Monday, May 07, 2007

We Become Like Our God

In the book Worship by the Book by D.A. Carson suggests that well-fed sheep (Ps 23:2) are given a diet of worship that calls them to “deepen their grasp of His ineffable majesty in His person and in all His works.” In response to this we will live differently. According to Carson “worship, properly understood, shapes who we are. We become like whatever is our god.” In some ways this idea seems complex, in other ways it is simply “you are what you eat” morphed into “you are what you worship” (admittedly reductionistic, but I think you get the point). Carson then shares the following quote from Peter Leithart.
It is a fundamental truth of Scripture that we become like whatever or whomever we worship. When Israel worshipped the gods of the nations, she became like the nations-bloodthirsty, oppressive, full of deceit and violence. Romans 1 confirms this principle by showing how idolaters are delivered over to sexual deviations and eventually to social and moral chaos…. Along these lines, Psalm 115:4-8 throws brilliant light on the Old Covenant history and the significance of Jesus’ ministry. After describing idols as figures that have every organ of sense but no sense, the Psalmist writes, “Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trust in them.” By worshipping idols, human beings become speechless, blind, deaf, unfeeling, and crippled- but then these are precisely the afflictions that Jesus, in the Gospels, came to heal.
I share these quotes, first of all, because it is personally convicting. What I stand for, my passions, my behaviors, my likes and dislikes all reflect the focal point of my worship. It is a good and healthy thing to question our allegiance and examine our hearts (Psalm 139:23). An important step in growing is being wakened to the reality that we are inclined to idolatry and then filling our vision with God’s “ineffable majesty”.

The other reason I share this is because those of us in music and arts ministries must resist our inclination to “own” responsibility for people’s experience and obedience in the worship service. Certainly we must do all we can to prepare a service that exalts God and gives people the opportunity to fully participate in community worship; however, their response to the Lord is beyond our control. This should be a great source of comfort for those of us who tend to concern ourselves a bit too much with the affirmation of man. Once we have done our best to be faithful stewards of the ministry entrusted to us, we must surrender the results to the Lord and pray that the people will redirect their life-worship to God. Once God is their focus their lives will respond in faithful obedience to Him.

1 comment:

Brian Bailey said...

Good post. I've also heard it said that we become like whatever or whomever we spend the most time with.

--Brian