Lara Writes for UCB Website



I don’t think the question has ever been will you worship but more who or what will you worship? Inside every human being is the need for something greater. Self-centred worship says “I am great”, people/celebrity-centred worship says “you are great” but God-centred worship says “God is great”. Sad to say, self-centred worship can creep into the church and we can even become guilty of worshipping worship itself. Our focus can shift from Him as our source to ‘look what we’ve achieved’. How can we ever impress perfection? Praise and worship offered in spirit and in truth will always resound with ‘Look what God has done’. It’s also possible for us to form a type of worship of church and worship leaders because we hold them in too high a regard. We stop pressing into God for ourselves because they can do it for us.

I’d like to share a story with you from the bible, which illustrates how important it is to put God first and to live in reverence before him. After the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant 1 Samuel 5 tells us that they set it beside Dagon in Dagon’s temple. Dagon who had the body of a fish but the hands and head of a human was the chief idol god of the Philistines. It goes on to say that early the next morning they found Dagon fallen on his face before the Ark. They took Dagon and set him back in his place beside the Ark but the same thing happened the following day except this time Dagon’s hands and head were broken off leaving just a stump. The Philistines hadn’t realised that when they brought the Ark of the Covenant into Dagon’s temple there was an atmosphere shift and an authority change. A higher power of influence had entered the temple, so much so that it literally toppled Dagon from his pedestal. Instead of sitting beside the Ark he was now on his face before the Ark. The Hebrew word for before in this text is Paniym (paw-neem) which translates ‘at the face of or in the presence of’. Dagon’s rightful place was to be in reverence before the face of God and not as an equal beside him.

It’s important that we ask ourselves this question:  Who or what is sitting beside God in our lives and therefore given equal importance?

I’ve discovered that we can be blinded when it comes to identifying these areas because they are usually good things such as ministry, gifts and talents, even people we love and respect.  We can be so caught up with doing things for God that we fail to minister unto God.  Let us never forget that we are called to love & honour Him with heart, mind, soul & strength and to serve Him with wholehearted devotion.

Having a father who is an artist I grew up watching him frame his work. He took great care to choose a frame that complimented the portrait and wouldn't distract from the beauty within the frame. What would be the sense in that? Have you ever been to an art gallery to gaze upon the frames? In a similar context, when I worked for a jewellers, each diamond ring was displayed in the window on an individual pedestal varying in height depending on its value. The greater the value, the higher the pedestal. This was intentional for maximum impact so that your eye was drawn to the most valuable ring even at a quick glance. It wasn’t that the lesser rings weren't valuable, they were simply displayed in the right place to make the great even greater and so it should be in our own lives. Isaiah 40:25 ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One.

When we put God first by living in reverence before him; when he alone becomes our primary passion and focus; when he alone is elevated above all else, everything will find its right place.  The question of ‘who do you worship’ is then easy to answer.