Focal passage: Acts 14:8-20
“Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
These words came from a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. While Foster was not a professing Christian, he echoed a foundational biblical truth. We were created to worship, and because of that, every human directs affections toward something.
In Acts 14, that’s exactly what we see the people of Lystra doing. God has just used Paul and Barnabas to heal a man who was crippled since birth. Being worshippers by nature, the people claim, “The gods have come to us in the likeness of men.”
They begin calling these two followers Zeus and Hermes. In an outrage, Paul and Barnabas tear their clothes and tell the people to stop worshiping them. Why? Because these two men knew that for humans to direct their worship toward anything or anyone other than God was an affront to the only One deserving of it (Romans 3:23). So rightly, they point these people to the living God.
It was God who created the earth and everything in it (Acts 14:15) and because of that He deserves the glory and honor and power (Revelation 4:11). No thing or person deserves our worship!
The problem for us is that we allow things other than Jesus to compete for the throne of our lives. That’s why John Calvin said our hearts are “idol factories.” As followers of Jesus, we must be aware of this and constantly assess if we are directing our worship toward Him.
So, how do we know our worship is directed toward God? Perhaps some questions will help.
What gets your attention? Where do you spend your money? What do you do with your time? Your energy? The answer to these questions will reveal what you worship. What are you worshipping? What is on the throne of your life?
You cannot choose not to worship, because as Wallace said, “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”