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Worship Frenzy

Are you good at deflecting man’s praise to God alone? I’m amazed seeing today’s celebrity culture. And it has even spilled over into the Church. I think it’s good to have role models, to have examples that inspire, and people we admire—but a lot of what I’m seeing today looks more like worship.

I think the show “American Idol” is appropriately named. Idolatry is in the air we breathe.

If anyone had the opportunity to soak up some major adoration and praise, even worship, it was the Apostle Paul. God was using him in such a powerful way that the Lord “bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done . . .”

In Lystra, the crowds decided that Paul and Barnabus must be gods, so they got in a worship frenzy (Acts 14:8–18).

Have you ever seen one of those? A worship frenzy?

I’ve seen people get wild in crowds when they get near a political leader they admire, their favorite sports hero, or a band at a concert. Or what about the worship frenzy that happens on Black Friday? Or at the opening of a long awaited movie?

Society doesn’t lack for worship . . . we’re just caught up in a worship frenzy for the wrong things.

Paul (thankfully) didn’t absorb the praise and adoration poured out on him and he took a strong proactive approach. In fact, he got a little radical. Barnabus and Paul literally tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd yelling out truth. Wow. They took this worship thing pretty seriously. They were going to make sure people understood what was wrong with adoring them and then point their “fans” to the only One they should actually be worshiping.

Paul was countering their idolatry with a proper perspective on worship. He was deflecting their praise to God alone. 

I love his first question: “Why are you doing these things?” (v. 15)

Paul challenges their celebrity hunger by first calling them to evaluate their motives and then he states some flat-out truth: We’re just men—same as you. He then deflects their praise to God alone and takes that as an opportunity to give them the good news of the gospel. 

My question for us to consider today is:

Am I doing that?

Are you doing that?

Do you hunger to get people’s attention? Are you caught up in the race to get twitter followers, more friends on your facebook page, more likes and comments? Are we using social media to promote the gospel or are we actually using it to promote ourselves?

Do you take every opportunity to counter the celebrity mindset by pointing people to the good news about the One who alone deserves our worship? Do you deflect the praise you’re given, to the only One deserving of praise? Are you reminding yourself that what we can get caught up in, go into a frenzy or lose sleep over, spend money on, or get in a huff about . . . is all temporary? 

I long for the day when our worship frenzy is holy and pure and entirely directed to God alone.    

We can easily get caught up in worship of the “creature rather than the Creator.” We all can do that. But today, let’s challenge the culture’s celebrity mindset by pointing out Who alone deserves all worship and praise.  

One Comment

  • Tambra Lucas

    OOOh Sister Kim,
    I so agree with you on this!!I was just discussing this with someone today. We are in a world of worshiping the greatness of humans and their great successes. Many celebrities even worship themselves. It has become really sickening. Our worship has been brought to a level of worthlessness. What for?? Some kind of worthless pleasure? And just like Paul said; “We are just like you, mere men.” Putting those mere men or women or ourselves on a pedestal as if they or we deserve more devotion, love, respect, and honor than our creator. That is definitely worthless worship. I do not see anything wrong with highly respecting an individual for their achievements, or their great wisdom, their great godliness, integrity, or their committed ministry to God and His kingdom. But never to the point of worshiping the ground they walk on, or being obsessed with them, it’s idolatry! Obsessions are “garbage worship,” we must GET RID OF THEM! It is an abomination to God, because He and only He is deserving of our worship. Worshiping God is worship in it’s highest form. Worshiping anything other, is worthless worship. Our greatest affections should be for Jesus, our Savior!! And like you said it is even spilling over into the churches. So is God witnessing our sincere worship towards Him , or is He seeing that we are really just worshiping the song that we really like, hummm? Is He seeing that we showed up for church to pour out our problems so that others will fill sorry for us and give us the attention we want or are we showing up in desperation to seek Him to hear from Him and to place our full attention on Christ, and His Truth.
    I cannot think of any greater worship than worshiping a God who has created all things, all men, has always been and will forever be, has defeated death, has loved us more than anyone ever has or will, and has given us a chance to live forever. Who else could do better or be greater? None! So why settle for worshiping anything less? It would be foolish to downgrade our worship to worthlessness. Worship God He is worthy of ALL our worship!!