Back to Basics: Misused Worship

Last week I began a new series for the month of March on revisiting the Ten Commandments. As a Christ follower, it is easy to get lost in the more tangible demands of the faith (i.e. going to church, reading the Bible, etc.) and forget about the commandments given to the children of God thousands of years ago. Commandments whose purpose were to take the Israelites from a pagan land and set them apart as holy followers of the one true God.

The commandments are progressive. We must first love God before we can fully love our neighbors. The first two commandments address keeping God as the only god in our lives; no other gods and no physical idols representing other gods. God is our Creator. He freed us from slavery of sin just as He freed the Israelites from their generational slavery in Egypt. He deserves to be our One and Only.

The next two commandments also address our worship of God and how we misuse our worship.

Commandment 3 – No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name. Ex.20:7 MSG

Commandment 4 – Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.” Exodus 20:8-11 MSG

Worship, by definition, is to honor or show reverence. If God is our One and Only God, then our words should reflect reverence and our lives should show how we use our time to honor Him. Last year, I committed to reading the Bible in its entirety. I had never spent much time in the Old Testament and was honestly intimidated by it. After reading the stories of the Israelites, kings, and prophets I had one overwhelming thought, they had no fear. The people turned from God and chose not to honor or fear Him. They repeatedly disobeyed and suffered for turning away from God. In His kindness, He lets them know if they return to Him, “Then they will know I am the Lord their God.” God wanted them to return to Commandments 1-4.

Today’s world could have been written thousands of years ago; no reverence, no fear, and no knowledge of God as Lord. This is reflected in the words that come out of our mouths. Words that speak against God and his holiness. If you want to live a life that honors God, your words must reflect that.

He should not be the object of our swearing if we truly honor the One true God.

It is easy to lose our reverence to God as our busy schedules push Him out of our lives. We have begun to honor busy-ness (idol) more than Him. We are teaching our kids to do the same. It took six days for God to create the entire universe and our world. He set the example of hard work for each of us, but He also showed us the value of rest. To set aside a day of rest is an outward expression of worshipping the One true God. God poured blessings into that holy day of rest. If we don’t take the time in our week to rest and value those blessings, we are missing out on some of God’s greatest gifts.

In the month of November, I wrote a series on Sabbath. Whichever day we choose to rest from our daily busy-ness, God has blessings for us. Our children need to know what it is like to have a day resting from constant activities, sports, and rigorous schedules. It doesn’t mean we sit around and do nothing. Many use this as a day for family activities to enjoy together. It can be a day free of screens, going on a nature walk or hike, or reading that stack of books you never seem to be able to get to. Then, after that day of rest our remaining six days become more productive because we work from a state or rest instead of towards it.

The remaining commandments, which we will discuss in the coming weeks, are about relationships with others. If our relationship with God is not on the right track, every other relationship will suffer. Are you struggling in your marriage or with a family member or friend? Check to see how God is being worshipped in your life. If your worship of God is being misplaced or misused, think about some changes you may need to make to get back on the right track in your relationship with Him.

Need a place to start? Check out the Prayer of Consecration in my free download. Sign up to be an email follower and you will receive a gift in your inbox.

Also, I ran across this amazing song of worship yesterday by Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe. It would make a perfect addition to your morning prayers or Sabbath. He is for you!

“The Blessing”

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