Spirituality is flourishing in 21st century America. One Raleigh resident said that raising chickens “is a spiritual endeavor, a powerful daily devotional that has brought me to my knees.” A famous scientist calls thinking about atheistic evolution “a spiritual endeavor, a powerful daily devotional that brings her to her knees”, adding “Science is, for me, informed worship.” Facebook posts described everything from a job to a pork chop as “awesome” and “amazing”!
Today, trivial things—from raising chickens to eating pork chops—dazzle us. They’re being talked about with religious, worshipful terminology. And the one truly awesome thing—the glorious God who created the universe—seems irrelevant. When “god” is talked about today, he no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign described in Scripture than the dim glow of my cell phone screen resembles the glory of the midday sun! God has become a “lightweight”—“without seriousness of purpose; trivial or trifling; of little influence, importance, or effect.” God needs to “gain weight” in our understanding! When one explores God’s dazzling attributes there is power to transform the way we face challenges and heartache in this life. Our God is glorious, he is weighty—and we just need to see him as he really is.
God spoke creation into existence. We can’t do that. And he created out of nothing— he didn’t use any raw materials. We can’t do that either. Consider only one aspect of God’s glorious creation: stars. There are an estimated one septillion stars. That’s 1 followed by 24 zeros. God spoke them all into existence, out of nothing, instantly and effortlessly! Our God is dazzling! Redemption also shows God’s weightiness. God brings glory to himself whenever he saves his people. Obviously, the person who becomes saved from eternal peril certainly benefits, but God says in Isaiah 43:25 and 48:9-11 that his main motive is his own glory, his own purposes. The glory for God’s free pity toward us helpless, undeserving rebels all goes to him.
Although many people don’t worship God, every human being worships something. Every man, woman, and child is a worshiper. Many people say that they’re not religious, but that’s a misunderstanding of what religion is. Most people think of religion as only the organized faiths, but religion is “belief in superior powers which govern the world” and “worship” is “honor, respect, or deference”. Look at Romans 1:18-32 and you’ll see that everybody is religious, everybody is a worshiper. Mankind is incurably religious. If we won’t worship the One True God, we will worship some created thing. The question is not, “Will you worship something?”, but rather, “What do you worship— what bedazzles you?” And, is it worthy of your worship? Only the True God is worthy of our worship. Robbing God of the honor due his name is the greatest act of treason in the universe.
The most important question we’ll ever answer is, “By what will we be dazzled?” It’s not wrong to find delight in things God created—from chickens, to stars, to pork chops. But no created thing is ultimate, and so none of them should become the ultimate focus of our delight. None of them are dazzling; only God is. This then, is the greatest, tragedy and travesty—that the glorious God who made us and loves us would be rejected in favor of an idolatrous attachment to created things. There’s a secondary reason why we should be dazzled by God alone: Psalm 115:1-8 warns us that we become like that which we worship. God intends to transform us into Christ’s image, but idolatry transforms us into the image of our idol, whatever it is. So, we have to ask ourselves—“Whom do we resemble the most?” In our character, do we see more of Christ—or of a greedy child? You become like that which you worship. Which also points to the solution! If you want to become more like God, simply gaze at him more consistently and accurately. Behold and Be Dazzled! But be dazzled by the TRUE God, not the false ones we come up with.
Application / Challenge
- Take five minutes and do a quick search for the words “awesome”, “amazing” or similar words of bedazzlement in your e-mails, texts, and Facebook posts.
- Join us live (August 16-18, 2015) at 6:30 for the rest of this series “Behold & Be Dazzled”. Or plug into the rest of this series when you can online. Open to adults, middle- and high-schoolers. Hear from a TCCer who experienced God’s bedazzling power in her marriage. Childcare is provided. Please register especially if you need childcare.
- Pray a simple prayer: “Lord, I want to see your dazzling greatness more clearly, and be changed into your dazzling, glorious image.”