My Heart: 'What Do I Love?

Featuring Bob Kauflin Posted on April 3, 2010

What's the greatest challenge you face as a worship leader? You might think it's deciding which songs to sing, getting along with your pastor, receiving feedback from church members, or leading a team of unorganized, independent musicians.

Nope. Your greatest challenge is what you yourself bring to the platform each and every Sunday.
Your heart.

For years we've read about or experienced firsthand the “worship wars”—conflicts over music styles, song selections, and drums. But far too little has been said about the worship wars going on inside us. And they're much more significant.

Each of us has a battle raging within us over what we love most—God orsomething else.
Whenever we love and serve anything in place of God, we're engaging in idolatry. We love our idols because we think they'll provide the joy that comes from God alone. We think having them will truly satisfy us. We think they're worthy of our worship.

Of course, we're wrong.

Throughout Scripture, idolatry is the greatest snare the people of Godencounter. God condemns idolatry repeatedly in his Word. He hates it whenwe pursue, serve, or are emotionally drawn to other gods, which are not really gods at all. Idols enslave us and put us to shame (Isaiah 45:16; Psalm106:36). The apostle John warned his readers and us, “Little children, keepyourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). Idols are powerless to help us and end up making us into their own image (Psalm 115:8). Like David, we should hate idols and those who pay regard to them (Psalm 31:6). Too often, though, weourselves are the idolaters.

When some of us hear the word idolatry, we picture primitive tribesmenbowing down to statues of wood, metal, or stone. Or we think of countries likeIndia where Hindu temples dot the landscape. When I went to train pastors inIndia years ago, I met many men who had grown up worshiping idols as adaily ritual.

But idol worship is a daily ritual in America, too. Only it's more subtle and therefore more dangerous.
Idols are all around us. Can you spot them? They come in different forms.Material comforts. Financial security. Sensual pleasures. Musicians have their own special idols. New gear. Electronic gadgets. Hip clothes. The most powerful idols are the ones we can't even see. Things like reputation, power, and control.
As Christians we're sometimes like the people described in 2 Kings 17:33:“they feared the Lord but also served their own gods.” We fear the Lord externally, doing all the right things on Sunday morning—singing, strumming aguitar, lifting our hands—yet actively serve false gods throughout the week.We profess to love the true God but actually love false idols. It's a condition that God, in his mercy, is committed to changing.
That's a lesson I learned the hard way.

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