God alone deserves our worship and He alone can bare the weight of our worship. Nothing else can. Even good things. When we worship anything other than God, it destroys us.

The Bible says two things are always happening in our hearts. Hebrews 4:12 speaks of “the thoughts and intentions of our hearts”.

– We think, interpret, believe, trust
– We desire, worship, want, treasure

Tim Chester

I struggle with food. I always have. In 2012 I got into CrossFit and dropped over 100 pounds. I started competing and getting stronger, all under the banner of being healthy and defeating that mega sin of overeating and doing nothing. I loved how I felt and I loved how I looked. In reality I had stopped worshiping food and started worshipping something else. CrossFit, eating right, being strong, these are all good things. But worshipping them is not, and that’s what it had become for me. Same sin, different behavior. My relationship with God was no better as a CrossFitting beast than a 300 pound couch potato.

That’s where Satan really gets us. We think sins are centered around bad things, but the reality is that anything that becomes an idol is a sin. Anything that takes the place of God and is the focus of our worship is sin. Church, health, children, these are all areas where we can sin and think we are doing really well. We know there are issues when we cannot stop eating or drinking or spending hours on the internet looking at things we should not, but we do not easily recognize that working out, ministry, pouring everything into our children, are also idols we worship and are therefore sin.

There is a twofold problem in the heart: what we think or trust and what we desire or worship. Sin happens when we don’t trust God above everything (we interpret in the wrong way) and when we don’t desire God above everything (when we worship the wrong thing). Sin happens when we believe lies about God instead of God’s Word and when we worship idols instead of worshipping God.

Tim Chester

In our hearts we are always actively worshipping, trusting, desiring, following, loving, or serving something or somebody. When scripture speaks of the heart, it typically is emphasizing that we live before God, in all things and at all times. We respond to him either by trusting in him or trusting in our self-serving idols.

These spiritual allegiances of the heart are sometimes hidden, but like the quality of fruit on a tree, the heart will eventually reveal itself in word and deed. (Luke 6:43-45) Any violation of God’s law is an expression of the heart, as is faith and obedience. Our emotions are also, more often than not, animated by the orientation of our hearts. When our worship is true, we experience joy, peace, love and hope even in the difficult situations. When our worship is false, the things we desire are unattainable or impotent, we can be grieved, bitter, depressed, angry, or fearful. Our emotions usually mean something and it is wise to ask, “what are my emotions saying?” “ What are they pointing to?”

Tim Chester

The mistake I constantly make it trying to self correct. Okay, I see that I am overboard with my health now, the pendulum has swung the other direction. Couch potato moments away from a heart attack to fit and strong working out 7 days a week. The issue is not my health, it’s my heart. It’s not food or exercise, it’s idols. If God is at the center, if He has my worship, life will be sorted. Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. The answer is not to stop working out, it’s to stop worshipping things other than God.

When we are in love with someone, we don’t have to think about loving and cherishing them. We just do. And the things in our lives that compete for the love we give that person, they are ignored or forced into their proper place. That’s how it should be to love God. It’s a relationship, it’s a very real and beautiful relationship, not a formulae.

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