Idolatry: What or Who Do You Worship?

Bears' fan
Some are very rabid about the sports teams they support. But what about God? (Jim Young/Reuters)

My ears reverberated with echoes so loud my brain hurt. I could not hear anything but the massive wave of sound made of shouts, yells and screams. My eyes saw a sea of fist-pumping fans jumping in the stands, snarling as they cheered for their home team.

It was the “loudest crowd roar” in the Guinness Book of World Records, and it was just a few Sundays ago at Century Link Field, a stadium seemingly built for noise production.

People wore their home team jerseys and hats and waived foamed fingers—while others poked plugs in their ears.

Got me wondering ... tap ... tap .. tap ... What do I worship with this enthusiasm? And what have these people become?

The first answer is: I worship God fervently in my spirit, but honestly, I don’t wear jerseys with His name on my back or shout so loud that I lose my voice. Although my worship is 24/7 and doesn’t crescendo like it did at the stadium, it’s authentic, yearning for God and honoring Him.

Which leads me to answering the second question: What are people becoming? They, including many non-suspecting Christian men and women, worship athletes, locales and logos with what they wear, cheer for and yearn for. But God has a name for that, and it’s not pleasant: idolatry.

Imagine the next time you roll into church wearing a hat, jersey and a painted face that says “I’m a rebel for Christ” and singing loudly, seeking God fervently, waving your hands openly in honest and honoring praise for our Father in heaven. What would people think? Should you care?

If you and your character are under the influence of God’s touch, then you are becoming more and more like Christ every day. You recognize God’s amazing grace, soul-saving sacrifice and imminent power in your life. You would naturally—even audaciously and sometimes spontaneously—worship Christ with all your mind, heart, strength and spirit.

That’s what God directs us to do in Luke 10:27: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”

Unfortunately, all too often power and pleasure get our worship. Satan tried using these on Jesus in Luke 4. But Jesus answered in verse 8, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

Here’s the question God’s men need to answer daily: Are you becoming more like Christ today? That will tell you what you really worship. And you know who will tell you if you are? The people around you! It takes courage to ask this question, but it will be revealing.

If you worship Christ, then you will become like Christ. That’s what it says in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 

I’m not suggesting you start wearing a robe and sandals and grow a beard. But the next time you are in church during the worship service, I hope you give God all your worship. He deserves it more than your favorite sport team!

Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on FacebookTwitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.

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