Worshipping Our Living God
“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. (Jeremiah 10:12-14)
Late one night I made a note to call a friend because we hadn’t spoken in a while. But before I could call her the next day, she emailed me, and then we had our phone call. I marvel at the way the Lord knits us together and actively works in our lives to be “in sync” with each other. There are many ways that the Lord’s providential concurrence of events blesses us when we yield to his Spirit for meaningful, biblical fellowship with others. There is no more significant expression of this then when we come together to worship our living God corporately in our local churches, with our Christian families.
Jeremiah wrote in the past tense about God’s formation of the earth by his wisdom and the heavens by his understanding. We worship the Lord for all he has done in the past, glorifying himself by his sovereign design of the world and absolute rule over all historical events, the placement of leaders, and humanitarian causes. We also praise God for his continual works, including sustaining the earth with water—in mists and raging storms with lightening. He causes the winds to blow as they do. On an extremely windy day I like to watch the clouds float by overhead, imagining the time when Christ will come on the clouds with even greater speed and notice (Mark 13:26; Revelation 1:7). But he is not absent now; he is alive and active, worthy of our attention, admiration, and exaltation.
But then we are caught by verse 14, in which Jeremiah pointedly declares that we are “stupid” and “without knowledge;” we are dead-idol makers. In his “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” John Calvin wrote, “the human mind is, so to speak, a perpetual forge of idols.” * Today our idols are smartphones, electronic games, possessions, beauty, success, philosophical mastery, superiority, and other people’s relationships or seasons of life, houses, and cars—even wisdom and knowledge can become idols. We are indeed senseless; if we would give God the attention we give to these, how blessed and delighted we would be, as he is glorified and honored.
Will you remember today that God is very much alive and present with you and your church family as you worship. Lord, help me fellowship with you today, my Living Father and Savior, who dwells in unapproachable light and with us lovingly, tenderly, and most definitely.
* Calvin, John, “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” Chapter 11, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.iii.xii.html