We had another stellar night at axis on Wednesday. We started a new two-week series before spring break called Inside Worship. On this night we looked at the idea that we are all created with a "nagging void" in our lives. That void will DEMAND our attention. Ultimately, it's a void that can only truly be filled with a relationship with God, but many will spend their whole life searching, going from one thing to another, in an effort to find peace and contentment. The "void" does not go away and once we think we find something that will fill the void, our natural tendency is to devote ourselves to it.
I started the night talking briefly about the 10 Commandments and how the first 2 of the 10 Commandments deal with our worship of God: 1) Do not have any other gods before Me 2) Do not make an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. The next verse in Exodus 20 then says, "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." It's the idea that anything, no matter how big or how small that we allow to compete with our devotion to God, can be considered an idol in our lives.
I found the last part of that verse really interesting because God describes Himself as a "jealous God." I had always thought of jealousy as something negative ... and it can be. But, the more I thought about it, there is a jealousy that would be right and just. For instance, if I come home and find my wife with another man and she is giving him the affection that she promised only to me nearly 10 years ago when we were married, I'm going to be angry and jealous. Not only would it be OK, but it would be right! If I was simply like "It's OK. As long as you're happy. That's all I'm concerned about ... your happiness." Well, that would just express that I really didn't care much about our relationship. And, it wouldn't matter if it was a "big" man or a "small" man. If it was a "small" man, I wouldn't be like "He's a cute, tiny man. It's OK that you're with him. Now, if he was a "big" man, it would be different! But, I just want you to be happy." No! big or small, she's my wife and you keep your hands off of her!
I feel that describes God's jealousy. God created us. He longs for relationship with us. And, when we go to other things to seek out what only God can ultimately provide, it's just for Him to have a Godly jealousy.
We wrapped up the night talking about how Satan is God's "adversary" and as an adversary he competes with God. What does he compete for? Power? No way. Satan has no power, no authority compared to God. So, what does Satan compete for? I believe it's worship ... devotion ... because he knows if he can lie to us and get us to believe that something else will provide what we ALL desperately long for ... fulfillment ... if he can get us to believe that something else other than God can provide that, then he has won the battle for worship and devotion in our lives.
We then broke up in to our "Chat Groups" and spent the rest of the night talking about our devotion to God going over questions like: On a scale from 1 to 10, where would you describe your worship/devotion to God right now? How can you tell if something is important to someone...what would they do to demonstrate its importance? Have you ever devoted yourself to something more than you devoted yourself to God? Afterwards, I had several talks with our leaders and they mentioned how honest and open kids were with their answers and that it seemed to really get our students thinking about several areas of their life.
Next Week: A student led night looking at different forms of worship. Can't wait!