Who needs to worship God?

Published 6:47 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019


Religion Columnist

In Matthew 4:1-11 we have the account of the wilderness temptation.  In the third temptation, the devil said to Jesus, “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.”  Not that it was the devil’s world to give, but he would take credit when Jesus’ power achieved political dominion.

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The temptation to use his divine power to have the kingdoms of the world would tempt Jesus over and over again.  During his ministry, the throngs of people would have done anything he asked, especially the thousands that were fed with a few loaves of bread and a few fish.  This is much like the temptation to turn stones into bread for his own personal gain. 

What about us?  How often are we tempted to use our immense power for personal gain?  And we do have immense power, if Albert Einstein is correct.  His formula, E=MC from a strictly physical point of view, tells us our bodies are a storehouse of immense energy.

Such power is obvious for those of us with political and economic clout in the public arena.  Teachers impact their students over and over.  For all of us, of any age, we have power in relationships.  The right word of encouragement can set the life of another on the road to success.  A word of attack can destroy another’s confidence, even take away their power.

In the article, “Jesus the Locksmith,” John Shea writes, “When the finger jabs the button of the heat-seeking missile, or the fifth grader grabs the kindergarten kid’s candy bar, or a lover gives in, it should not be forgotten that power is pleasurable.  There is no more satisfied sigh than when we have moved the world the way we want it.  It may be the small world of our family and friends, or the larger world of our work, or the still larger world of economic and political forces.  But, if when we lean, it moves no matter what “it” may be, we thrill and puff and strut and know we are alive.  Power is not only a fact of life; many think it the most important fact of life.”

Like Jesus, the devil is tempting us to use our power, not for the glory of God, but for ourselves.  To this Jesus said, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only”.  Worship God only.  When we read the gospels, it is clear that Jesus worshipped God every Sabbath in the nearest synagogue, and privately in his day-to-day life.  If Jesus needs to worship God corporately and privately don’t you think we need to as well? 

In Revelation 4 John is taken to the throne room of God.  It is an awe-inspiring scene as beasts and elders are worshipping God day and night.  The four beasts continually praise God with the words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8).  Have you ever wondered why all these people are gathered in the throne room worshipping God?  When I realized that Satan and his demons are fallen angels I realized that worship is a key way we keep from falling into darkness.  The multitude of angels that stay faithful to God need to worship God to do so.  If God’s angels need to worship God corporately to stay faithful don’t you think we need to as well? 

If we want to grow in spiritual maturity, we must follow Jesus’ example: study, prayer and worship.  For Jesus, worship was a discipline; that is, something done regularly that draws us closer to God.  Our worship must be regular to guide us in using our power for God’s purposes. Whenever, or wherever, we worship, the common hope is that when we experience God, our worship and adoration inspires and strengthens us in using our power to God’s glory, not to the service of evil.

What is the definition of a spiritual discipline?  Is worship a spiritual discipline for you?  Why or why not?  What do you need to do differently to get more out of worship at your church?  If you don’t have a church how can you justify this if both Jesus and the angels need to worship God regularly?  What do you need to do differently to get more out of your personal daily worship?

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles go to lagrangepres.com.