Man’s Innate Desire to Worship – By Ronald Rodriguez
Today we have a guest post by Ronald Rodriguez. He has his own blog called “Bear Veracity.” Want to know why it is titled as such? Guess you will have to pay him a visit and find out. Hope you enjoy his writing today. Leave him some thoughts on the post and make him feel good. Blessings and walk good!
There are many old-time favorite shows that we all hold dear and have many fond memories that take us back to different moments in our lives. I might be a young man, but I really loved watching numerous classics as a young child like the Andy Griffin Show, I love Lucy, The Little House On The Prairie and so many other others.
I am certain that we all have a favorite episode of one of these old-time series that we can say taught us something. Well, that is the case for me at least because I can still remember one episode of The Little House on the Prairie due to what I learned from it.
In this particular episode, Pa was working hard to grow the crops like usual. The amount of work he did was normal as it was hard to make a living out on the frontier. I mention this because one night came as the family was asleep; Pa was awakened by lightning and thunder. Of course, he looked outside to see what was going on, to see a hailstorm hammering his crops. Seeing this, he immediately put on his hat and jacket and ran out to the field. With this going on, Ma immediately started to pray. Mary looked through the window while Laura tried to get around her to see Pa out in the dark trying to save the crops. Pa finally came in right before dawn and gave the family the bad news that the entire crop was lost. These crops that he worked hard on for months had been lost in one night. Their whole livelihood was lost due to this one storm.
This is certainly a dramatic event in anyone’s life. This episode got me thinking what would I do in this situation? What would you do in this situation? I pondered, would I complain? Would you? Or would your first reaction be to worship God? Or would you not worship Him because you do not believe in Him or believe He is a manmade concoction.
The first several questions I will not address, as I really want to discuss the later two more importantly. In regards to “would your first reaction be to worship God?” I suggest that all of us should turn to God in humility and gratefulness. Wait, you said what? Why? I say this because our lives of faith in God begin with worship. Let’s not forget that A.W. Tozer stated that worship is the main purpose of why we were created in His own image.
God created man is His own image for man to worship God more than anything else. Man is the only creation of God that He is able to use to admire Himself. Man is the only creation capable of fulfilling this role, because man is the mirror image of God. As a result, God looks upon man to see himself like a new father would look upon a new born child to see if the baby looks like him. The purpose and intent of God in creating man in His image was for man to reflect His glory. A.W. Tozer adds that “man’s supreme function through all eternity is to reflect God’s highest glory, and that God might look into the mirror called man and see His own glory shining there. Through man, God could reflect His glory to all creation.”
We all are a mirror image of Him, which is the reason why we were created. It is our purpose to make Him the centerpiece of our lives to fulfill our desire to worship. We were not created to make our work what we worship. We were not created to place our desire to worship into learning new things. We were not created solely to enjoy ourselves, even to indulge in the pure pleasures of life or for the thrills life brings.
Before we move forward it is important to evaluate the later question concerning that worship is not necessarily a Christian invention. This is stated because when cultures from around the world are studied, the majority – if not all of them – worship some form of deity. Thus, to say mans innate desire to worship is based on non-belief or false premises is an insufficient explanations. History shows us that every culture has found a way to worship their own deities in some form.
The Apostles taught that man has fallen, which destroyed the glory of God on earth. As a result, the reflection of God in man was broken. God is unable to look upon humankind and see His complete glory reflected due our sinful nature. This is a result of man’s failure to fulfill our created purpose to worship Him. Man has forgotten his purpose and continues to stray away farther to find other things to fill that emptiness. If God is not in the heart of man, he will find something else to place there. Furthermore, if man does not enjoy worshiping God, he finds something else to worship.
We all have life experiences and seen others who decide not worship God and attempt to fill the void with something else. It could be boats, idolizing money, going to parties or so many other examples in our own lives, or that we have seen firsthand. Those that do not know what to do or do not want to acknowledge God always find something to replace Him, in an attempt to fulfill our innate desire to worship. Through this God becomes lost to the individual that replaces him with the numerous pleasures in life that man has invented. Those satisfied in mans own pleasures will always contest the existence of God. Many will argue how can a good God allow evil? Or over the meaning of life.
The argument about the existence of God with people can become a never ending cycle. As a result, asking them why is it that man, which is on a planet, has a desire to worship a deity that is not on the planet? Is this simply a innate spiritual trait or is it simply the product of someone’s environment? If this is the case, why is there a desire in all men throughout the world to worship a deity?
Man does seek to worship simply because he was created to do so. The chief concern in the matter is that man is also created with a free will. As a result, he is able to make his own decision to worship God or not. That single variable placed into the equation changes everything, and forces us to consider that deities can come in various forms, which man chooses from. Thus, we can choose to make anything from our house, our car or any other material possession, or even wealth into our own personal deity.
It is a must to examine man when considering his innate desire to worship. The examination is not limited to one nation or culture, but open to humankind. As a result, this examination is not bound by ethnicity, race, wealth, intelligence or any other category we could place an individual in. In addition, the issue that is being addressed is not a matter of art, literature, language, history, mathematics, or even science. The examination is a matter of basic concepts that are “devoted to the systematic examination of basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, causality, and freedom.” Hence, the issue has been mans philosophical issue throughout its existence.
In addressing the issue of mans innate desire to worship, D.L. Moody wrote that “[p]hilosophers [have] agreed that even the most primitive races of mankind reach out beyond the world of matter to a superior Being. It is as natural for man to feel after God as it is for the ivy to feel after a support. Hunger and thirst drive man to seek for food, and there is a hunger of the soul that needs satisfying, too. Man does not need to be commanded to worship, as there is not a race so high or so low in the scale of civilization but has some kind of god. What he needs is to be directed aright.” This explicitly illustrates why man needs The Ten Commandments, particularly the first commandment.
This issue clearly illustrates the need for the first commandment. But why would God explicitly say who to worship? He has done this not to leave us ignorant or worshiping other objects, possessions, or people that we were not meant to worship. Furthermore, He knows that man has an innate desire to worship Him as man is created this way and searches to find his creator. But God understood that man needed to be explicitly told who to direct their desire to worship towards. This is the reason behind why God began the declaration with His own character, and demanded that He receive our exclusive recognition – when Moses received the ten commandments - saying ”I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3)