To worry is a choice we make. Though we have valid concerns that arise within our lives, we do not have to give way to anxiety regarding those present concerns. So, though tempted, we do not not have to give way to worry.
Worship, however, is not a choice. We are designed to worship. We will bow our knee and exalt someone or something. The question for each of us then becomes, will we worship our fear or worship our Creator?
Taking a little closer look, I hope that as Christians we can begin to see that we are designed to worship, not worry. Pulling up the hood and taking a glance at the inner make-up of our soul, this is what you might see - three cups that have the capacity to be filled. As we make choices to fill the “Fear-Cup” and “Belief-Cup”, they then merge together, filling our capacity to worship. Out of this system flows our thought-life, our desires, our relating, our outlook, etc… When we allow concerns to overtake us in worry, these worries then fill our “Fear-Cup.” This then results in challenging and eventually limiting what’s in the “Belief-Cup.” It’s at this point, as we give way to anxiety, and fear begins to fill our mind, that we find ourselves lifting up our fears and worshipping them.
We see this how this plays out practically in 1 Samuel 13, when Saul is awaiting the prophet, Samuel, to arrive at Gilgal to make the offering.
“The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble because the troops were in a difficult situation. They hid in caves, thickets, among rocks, and in holes and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul, however, was still at Gilgal, and all his troops were gripped with fear. He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering. Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to greet him, and Samuel asked, “What have you done?” (1Samuel 13:6-10).
Saul had valid concerns.
- He was concerned that his men were deserting him out of their fear.
- He was concerned that Samuel was not coming.
- He was concerned about his vulnerable position at Gilgal.
- He was concerned about his personal reputation.
Instead of worshipping God, he gave way to worry, which altered his beliefs.
- His worries caused him to question his belief in the Lord.
- His worries led him to question if he could trust Samuel, and the Lord, to be faithful.
- His worries caused him to doubt that God cared for him.
His actions revealed what he truly worshipped.
- He exalted (worshipped) his worries.
- He took matters into his own hands, instead of humbling himself to the hand of God.
Let's reflect back on the verse this Topical Series hinges upon: "Humble yourself to the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6a). Placing this verse into practice means exalting the Lord at all times, which reveals our worship is to Him.
Perhaps, if Saul had rallied his troops with a resolved trust in the God of Israel, the God who created the heavens, yet bound Himself into a covenant with the people he was anointed to lead, Saul's history might read a little differently today.