Worship Changes Us

Wisdom Hunter Devotional, 5/4/2017
“The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths. Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.” Psalm 135:15-18
Would you consider yourself an idol worshipper? Likely not. Outside of church contexts, “idolatry” isn’t a common cultural phrase. The closest we come is perhaps the way in which we glamorize musical stars as “pop idols,” though perhaps this association is more significant than we might initially assume. Thousands of people pack into a stadium or concert hall to see something in these stars, these idols, that they desire.
In the Bible, idols were made of stone or metal, not designer jeans and electric guitars, but the connection is closer than you might think. People would go to these ancient idols in search of wealth, success, health, and ultimate meaning and purpose. And the insight of the Psalmist is deep and profound. “Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.”
We cannot give our time, money, and energy to something without it changing and affecting us deeply. This is a core truth of what it means to be a human being. The more you do something, the more your heart will desire it and, more significantly, the more you become like that thing.
The more time you spend mastering financial markets and acquiring wealth, the more you will find your worth and identity in your riches and possessions. The more time you spend in the gym or at a yoga class, the more aware you are of physical appearance and tempted to view your worth and value through a lens of physical beauty and attractiveness. The list could go on and on.
Have you ever wondered why Christians spend so much time in worship? Here’s a clue: it isn’t because God is a narcissist! Instead, he is a loving Father who desires that we live a flourishing life, fully alive to what it means to be human and made in his image. He, therefore, knows that, when we sing of his greatness, his faithfulness, of our trust in him no matter the circumstances, he knows that this act of worship changes us.
Placing our trust in God through worship is one way that he makes us like him. It reshapes and reforms our desires and our loves, turning them away from lesser gods and turning them instead to the only source of true life, meaning, and hope. Thanks be to God!