Does God have your attention?
In my study this morning I came across a simple verse that challenges us to do some important self-evaluation. At first glance most of us might think that the verse doesn’t apply to us but lets take a look at the verse and see what God shows us.
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21 NIV)
Most likely, those of us reading this verse today don’t have a small statue in the shape of another false God in our home that we bow down to in worship. But don’t dismiss the challenge from John too quickly. I went to a word study app that I use to help dig in a little to two key words in this verse, Keep & Idols.
- Keep: This is a challenge to “Be on your guard”
- Idols: This is referring to the worship of a false God or anything other than God our savior, Jesus Christ.
So here is my working expanded concept of this challenge from John:
My dear and valuable ones, loved by my father; Be on your Guard against the worship of anything that attempts to set itself above Gods word or the Love of your father.
So why am I asking if you about Attention in the title of this post? Great question! It’s because of what the concept of worship is all about. I’m not sure what all your definition of worship is, but I want to refresh and expand that a little so we can see how this “idol worship” verse applies to us.
Worship is about the direction of your Attention.
Worship includes things like singing in a personal or church gathering; when we sings songs of thanks and honor to God. But that is more of the expression of what is happening at a deeper level. Worship is about a Shift of Attention. When you worship God, you are turning your heart, thoughts & life towards him. What you Worship is what you focus on, and what you focus on is what you follow.
What are you giving your attention too?
So this verse isn’t just challenging us not to worship something that is false but are we giving our attention to something that is false or a distraction? What gets the primary attention of your heart, your time and your money? I remember a preacher once saying that we all “worship” our TV’s because everything in the home is turned towards it. While that’s a humorous angle, there is something to that reality. What is your life turned towards?
Final Encouragement: I want to invite you to do some prayerful self-evaluation about the attention and worship of your life. What are you giving your attention and heart to? Is your attention on yourself and getting what you want? or on God and doing what He wants? None of us are perfect at this 100% of the time but I remind you that our God is great and there is no one like Him and He deserves our full worship. Lets turn our hearts towards Jesus today with a renewed and fresh passion.