The Holy Spirit: Human Beings – Made for Worship, But Broken Too

The Psalms speak of the whole of creation adoring and glorifying God.  Sun, moon, stars, fire, hail, snow, frost, wind, mountains, hills, fruit trees, cedars, wild beasts, sea monsters, cattle, creeping things, and birds are all exhorted to praise the Lord at various times in the Psalms.  The point is that simply by being what God created them to be, they bring glory to God.   A deer deers, a dog dogs, a platypus platypuses, a redwood redwoods, and a quark quarks and by so doing they give glory to God by simply being what God made them to be.

But with human beings, a new and unique dimension is added: we are rational animals.  Humans alone share something with God the Son that no other creature we know of possesses: a rational soul and a body in union with one another.  We alone can imitate Jesus Christ by worshipping the Father, not unconsciously (as a tree, a stone, or a fish do, merely by existing), nor simply with our intellect (as the purely spiritual intelligences called “angels” do), but with body, mind, and soul.

Or not.  For because of our fallenness, we can sin against that fundamental act of gratitude to our Creator and give that supreme gift of ourselves to someone or something else.  And because of original sin and the disordered appetites, weakened will, and darkened intellect that flow from it, we find that worshipping and adoring God is difficult to do while worshipping creatures is far too easy.

Mark that the issue is not and never shall be whether we shall offer adoration and glory; it is only to what or whom we shall offer it. Human beings are made in such a way that we simply cannot help offering ourselves in worship.  Every single one of us, believer or not, has some highest good to which we will offer ourselves with all our heart, mind, and strength.  And the great question we face is simply this: Will we offer ourselves to God or to what is not God? To give ourselves to what is not God is the sin of idolatry.  The four big idols are money, pleasure, power, and honor and to one or more of them, virtually every idolator offers himself (including Christians when they sin).  Whatever the object of our highest devotion is, if it is not God himself, revealed through Jesus Christ—it is an idol.  And the problem with idols is twofold: they cannot give us the happiness of the divine life we seek and they cannot bear the cruel burden we place on them with our worship.


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