From the beginning of time, people have worshipped things. They worshipped objects of nature (sun, moon, stars, etc.), they worshipped dumb, mute creatures (cattle, snakes, fish, ctc.) Even as they were personal witnesses to unimaginable miracles of God, or were told of first-hand experiences by those that lived through those miracles, they would still turn to false gods – inanimate objects made of stone or cast out of metals such as bronze or gold. The number of “gods” that were worshipped were endless and all so very impersonal.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:1-14 NLT
That is the description of a personal God.
We have a God that created the entire world and everything in it – a very hands-on God – that loved us so much that He sent His own Son (the Word that created our world) to come to earth and sacrifice His own life so that we can have life everlasting. That is a very engaged and personal God. He lived, He breathed, He loved, He sacrificed. He was very real and when He left this earth, He left behind fulfillments of many prophecies spoken about Him to confirm who He was.
We only have to believe.
Jesus was not some weird mystic walking around projecting Himself above everyone else. He was down-to-earth and real. “The fiery, zealous Jesus may speak to us with a still, small voice, but do not rule out the roaring voice of thunder and lightning. He doesn’t always nudge us; sometimes He jolts us. The Jesus who offered comfort, healing, and peace to the troubled and outcast also blasted the legalists and the proud. The Jesus who drew calmly in the sand and urged the meek to persist in their meekness also made a scene at the Temple with His violent outburst. The Man of Sorrows is also a man of action. The Lamb of God is also the Lion of Judah.” *
He is a very personal God and worthy of our worship. We should never worship the created, we should worship the Creator.
It seems that people had in the past and still today have a need to worship something that they can touch or see. This can lead to people putting their faith into things that can be manipulated by evil spirits. Satan is an imposter and will do anything he can to deceive you. He knows God’s Word and he attempted to use it against Jesus when he was trying to tempt Him; and, he certainly is not below trying the same maneuvers on us. If we do not learn what God’s Word has to say to us so that we can use it for protection as Jesus did, then we can easily fall for Satan’s tricks with no defense.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ Jesus responded, ‘The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’ Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. ‘I will give it all to you,’ he said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’ ‘Get out of here, Satan,’ Jesus told him. ‘For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.” Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)
When Satan spoke to Jesus about the stones, Jesus simply quoted “…people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” He was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3b (NLT) So Satan upped his game in the second temptation by actually quoting scripture himself – Psalm 91:11-12 (NLT) “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.” But Jesus was having nothing to do with it. He replied with his own scripture. After that, because Satan has dominion over the earth, he offered it all up to Jesus if He would only kneel down and worship him. He really seemed to believe that THE Word that created the entire world would bow down to him to attain what will fully be His when He returns in all His glory. Jesus’ reply to him was based on Deuteronomy 6:13 (Voice) “‘Worship Him, your True God, and serve Him and swear oaths only in His name.’”
So this very personal God, THE Creator Himself, that walked on this earth, that still today loves us beyond our simple comprehension, is the one that deserves our devotion – not the “things” that we tend to put into places of importance above all else. Unchecked, those “things” will become our masters. I do not know about you, but I do not want to be a slave to things that are so impersonal. I prefer to place my devotion with the personal God that lived in a body just as I do – the personal God that faced every temptation I could ever face, but never gave in – the personal God that deserves every bit of devotion I can give.
Written by Karran Martin – December 23, 2020