The “How” of Worship


When a created thing becomes the object of our worship instead of a vehicle for it, we are guilty of idolatry.

The first commandment tells us whom we are to worship. The second commandment tells us how we are to worship. We are not to place any object that we can see or touch before our praise and adoration and thanksgiving to God.

We naturally desire to put a “face” on God to help us relate to Him. We long to worship something we can see. The Australian essayist Frank Borem tells the story of an old Scotsman who, as a boy, had trouble concentrating in prayer. He told his pastor, “I can’t imagine that God is really there and is listening to my prayers.” His pastor suggested that when he pray, he place an empty chair before him and imagine that Jesus Christ was seated in the chair. So at a young age, this Scotsman began a practice that he continued throughout his life. Early one morning he slipped out of bed, and hours later, he was found with his cold hand on the empty chair. He died in the presence of the One to whom he had prayed for so many years.

The man in this story used his chair as a visible “cue” to imagine an unseeable God... but he did not worship the chair. He only used it as a reminder of God’s presence. It helped his devotional life, and in this way, he became a strong disciple. But when a created thing becomes the object of our worship instead of a vehicle for it, we are guilty of idolatry. Never let anything come between you and your worship of Almighty God.


You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness...


2 Corinthians 11; Psalm 71-72

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