Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Persistent Patterns

AW Tozer used to bewail that fact that so much effort was spent in schooling the saints to be workers. He had a simple conviction; teach them to be worshippers and the serving will follow automatically.

Paul makes the same connection but as a warning. Romans Ch1 details the development of the nations in their deadly slide into sin and puts all the blame on their worship. It all began, he says, when the race turned its back on the revelation of the true God and exchanged the truth of God for a lie. The consequence was that they...
...exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Rom 1:25

Do you see the pattern? They rejected truth, put the lie in its place and then 'worshipped and served'. They are an inseparable pair, worship and service. Have no doubt there is a law written into the race that we will ultimately serve what we worship and our behaviour will be the direct consequence of those first choices.

In the wilderness temptation Christ was offered a short-cut. His ultimate purpose is to bring the kingdoms of the world in subjection to the Father. 1Cor 15:24 NKJV It would only take a single short-term compromise to short-cut Calvary and 'cut to the chase'.
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve. Matt 4:8-10 NKJV.

There is it again, that persistent pattern... you shall worship... you shall serve...

Perhaps we need to challenge ourselves regularly to ask the question 'who (or what) am I worshipping?' Do we make an idol of the church or evangelism or mission? If so we will find ourselves 'serving our idol'. This is such a subtle temptation. In our culture we more easily reject the obscenity of bowing down to a stone god, but the subtle temptation to put something in God's place will continue to the end of our pilgrimage.
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 1John 5:20,21

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