We are hard-wired for love. We want it, and we want to give it. It’s proven to be our most basic need. And why not? Our creator is love, and we are made in his image. We are also made to worship. Love and worship are fundamental to humanity. Even in this broken, sinful world, love and adoration are essential.
All people love and worship. Our world is not broken for lack of love or lack of desire to worship. The problem is misplaced love and worship. I believe all sin and brokenness are a result of misplaced love and adoration. The addict has no desire to ruin their life with lust. They don’t choose to break up their family or plunge their family or themselves into debt or jail. They have misplaced their affection. They have believed a lie.
Someone once said that Bill Gates and Mother Theresa have or did have the same motivation. Passion. One used their love to make themselves a sort of god in their mind, and one used her worship to serve God.
Jesus reminded us that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds. Putting God as our first love and our worship object doesn’t seem hard, but we often miss the mark. If you don’t think you have idols, try giving something you enjoy up for a day. It’s very revealing.
We are created to have an intimate relationship with God. He has given us everything we need to do that. But we have an enemy who longs to entice us away from God any way he can. I often feel down on myself and draw away from God or serving God. Why am I down on myself? Because I have become inactive and out of shape, and unhealthy. Why? Misplaced love and worship of food and knitting. They seem harmless, and they are, but they are the object of my worship because I believe they can do for me what only God can. They cannot bring me the inner peace I long for or security. Or I am anxious, so I turn to chocolate or a sugary item. Really?
There’s a constant war within us for our hearts. God loved us so much he sent his Son that our hearts of stone could be changed to a heart that loves Him and others. A fertile heart, but we need to be careful what we plant there. Amy Grant had a popular song I often used a line from to help me make the right choices. “Deep within you is a spiritual battle/ there is a voice of the darkness and a voice of the Light/ just by listening you’ve made a decision/ ‘cause the voice you hear is going to win the fight.” John records Jesus’ words on this battle in John 10:10, “A thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have Life and have it in abundance.”
By grace, we are saved from this battle, and grace will carry us each time we face it. God has given us his Word so we can fight, and Ephesians 11-18 gives us armor to be prepared for battle. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking there is no battle. The struggle is real, and we have to fight.