Our Worship Disorder takes place in the immaterial man, and affects every aspect of a person if left unchecked. This Worship Disorder is what the majority of my counselee’s are affected with when they come in the door.
So what is a Worship Disorder?
Very simply put- it is the dedicated focus on something or someone other than God and His glory.
We have been made to worship, God created us that way and it is His desire that we worship Him. Instead we find many other things to lavish our attention on- money, spouses, children, careers, homes, cars, our bodies, food, sleep, leisure, recreation just to name a few that you may be familiar with.
But we also give far too much attention to things that are immaterial- feelings, desires, wants, perceived needs, lusts, thoughts, and emotions.
This giving of attention can become worship when it pushes out God and His Word, and your pursuit of fulfilling whatever your desires are becomes more important than the Lord.
This usually doesn’t happen overnight although in the case of some types of drug use it can – something like methamphetamine - because the drug is so physically addictive that after one single ingestion you can be addicted.
Usually our desire for this thing comes on slowly and takes over bit by bit. Replacing our Bible reading with pleasure reading, or listening to music, or something else. Before we know it, there is no more Bible reading time and we don’t even miss it! We have created a worship disorder!
And it gets worse, when we are worshiping anything other than God what is that called? The Bible calls it Idolatry.
In one manner or another idolatry is a practice we all are involved in. Idolatry begins in the heart. Isaiah 44: 14-20 contains a great illustration of the foolishness of idolatry. verse 20 of that passage says: “a deceived heart has turned him aside”
The desires of the heart are very deceptive and very strong and they tend to pull us far away from worshiping God. God knows we are very vulnerable in this area! This is one reason there are over 150 references to idols and warnings about idolatry in the Bible.
Idolatry begins in the inner man, the heart.
“Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. Deuteronomy 11:16
I wish I had a penny for every woman that came to counseling thinking she had one problem and leaving understanding that what she had been dealing with was actually idolatry. She just wants a husband who loves her, children who obey her, a job that rewards her, she just wants peace, or she just wants to feel good. We are functional idolaters all the time!
John Calvin says that the heart is an idol factory. I think mine goes 24/7! This is what the heart of an idolater looks like!
The focus of the heart is on self. What is most important to me, what I want, what I desire, what makes me happy or content, what makes me feel good, feel loved, wanted, desired.
Do you see yourself there at all? Do you find yourself wanting any of these things? If you thought about it for a few minutes and I gave you the time, how many of those things on that list would you honestly say you think about quite a bit?
Unless you are a very spiritually disciplined person, I would think most of you think about these things frequently.
What is the cut off point? When do casual thoughts turn into knowing I have a heart problem?
The cut off point is when I sin because I don’t get what I want, or I am willing to sin to get what I want. When I reach that stage, then I know that I have a larger problem than just an occasional sin.
He wants your desires and my desires to be in line with His- in the midst of the pain, in the middle of the crummy marriage or relationship. He wants us to stop worshipping and idolizing these people and things and fix our eyes on Him!
We get so caught up in our feelings, that we stop looking at God.
It is ok to have bad feelings, when a situation is not good it is not realistic to expect yourself to be happy. But it doesn’t mean that you live in the feelings, either good ones or bad ones.
Living by emotions is a dead end. You will never find stability, there is no even keel. You will find yourself brought high and low, up and down all the time! This just creates more misery for you. There is a better way!