We all know that worship is giving divine honor to the God of our Salvation. It is giving homage and reverence to that or who we submit ourselves to. It is what we prioritize in your hearts above, before or equal to God.
Many feel they aren’t guilty of worshipping ‘idols’ because they don’t physically bow down to a graven image.
However, the bible proves that God considers idolatry to be much more than just ‘bowing down’.
Quite simply, anytime we give something an equal or higher priority in our hearts than we do God, our Elohim, through His Son and our Savior Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Notice how Exodus Chapter 20 verses is written…
Exodus 20:4-5 (NKJV)
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor [a]serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting[b] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Exodus 20:4-5 (NLT)
4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.
Notice verse 4 first tells us ‘don’t make them’.
Then verse 5 of the NKJV tells us do not bow down to them, THEN it tells us ‘do not server them’.
Verse 5 in the NLT says your must not ‘bow down to them or worship them’.
God then goes on to say He is JEALOUS and will visit this iniquity to our children, grandchildren, and so on for generations (the bible says later the remedy for this is when children acknowledge, reject and repent of the sins of their ‘fathers’) (1) ONE WAY TO REMOVE GENERATIONAL CURSES…
Leviticus 26:40-42 (NKJV)
40 ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember;
I will remember the land.
Bowing down is only one POSTURE of worship, but is is not the only ACT of worship. 9 BIBLICALLY PROPER PRAYER POSTURES…
Look at Romans Chapter 12 verse 1…
Romans 12:1 (NKJV)
Romans 12:1 (NLT)
12 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b]
Notice that God considers how we present our bodies to God DAILY. How we daily live our lives is how we SERVE Him or WORSHIP Him. This is without bowing down to anything.
Now let’s look at what God says to us through the Apostle Paul in Colossians Chapter 3 and verse 5.
Colossians 3:5 (NKJV)
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
This is very powerful. We are given a list of SINS that we are to put to death. SINS that God has given us the power and responsibility to OVERCOME and PUT AWAY…NOT ask Him to TAKE FROM US. And the last one in that list is covetousness (an inordinate, disproportionately large, desire for worldly things or people). This can be GREED, RELATIONSHIP, or WHAT WE HAVE PASSION FOR. God considers WHAT WE PRIORITIZE BEFORE HIM IN OUR HEARTS TO BE WORSHIP!
Now let’s dig a little deeper. When you prioritize things above HIS CHILDREN, He takes it personal. Remember what Yeshua in Matthew 25…
Matthew 25:44-46 (NKJV)
44 “Then they also will answer [a]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
So, putting money, animals, possessions, the economy, career, ambition, above people is putting those things above God. Ignoring those who are considered disadvantaged, or what some consider to be undeserving (prisoners) is ignoring God.
Even in contemporary culture, giving pride, arrogance, the economy, heritage, monuments, statues etc. more priority in our hearts than God, or too much priority in our hearts over GOD’S CHILDREN is worshiping those things.
When we allow those in our family or people…our spouse, our children, our parents, our boss, our fraternity, sports team, our sorority, our organization, or political party, our leaders to influence our decisions more than God and His word…it’s worship and idolatry.
Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Matthew 7:12 (NKJV)
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Finally, it’s possible to worship ourselves more than we worship God. I was guilty of this for a season in my life. When we make a point to workout and exercise more than we read and study our bible or spent quality time with Him in devotion and praise. When we spend every moment we can trying to build worldly wealth to the point we even forsake His day of rest…it is worshipping ourselves and idolatry. I have been guilty of this. At one season of my life I would get up first thing and rush through a prayer to hurry to my workout before work. I would would then work out again on my lunch break at work to the point I felt stressed if I didn’t exercise at least twice a day…
When I was honest with myself, I was worshipping my body, more than I was worshipping God…
1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)
8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
Remember this…The devil knows he will never convince us to bow BOW DOWN to a graven image, so he convinces us more subtle ways to violate Exodus 20:4-5.
The reason that we get jealous sometimes when we feel our spouse or children is giving someone else priority over us in their hearts is because we are created in the image of God. We are capable of sharing His attributes and character. Godly jealously is that which is mentioned in Exodus 4:5.
We must be very careful that we are always worshiping God, and not unintentionally asking Him to worship us and our desires. We must study God’s word to find out HOW He wants us to worship Him and do so the way He wants us to, rather than make him settle for the way WE CHOSE to worship Him.
John 4:24 (NKJV)
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”