In Revelation 22:8-9, John admits that he is enthralled by the angel who is giving him all this inside information about what is to come. In response, he falls down before the angel and pays homage.
The angel interrupts him. “Hey, don’t do that. I’m a servant of God like you are. Worship the real God.”
John Calvin said that the human heart is an idol factory.
It’s true. All day long we look for people to admire and emulate. This is natural, especially when that person possesses traits we’d like to have. If someone is extraordinarily successful we might believe that he doesn’t really put his pants on one leg at a time like we mere mortals do.
If you don’t believe this, just take a look at the racks by the register when you go grocery shopping. The tabloids show off celebrities’ lavish lifestyles, their seemingly powerful grip on love, or the appearance that they have their lives so together that a tsunami couldn’t tear it apart.
You might be tempted to worship yourself when celebrities engage in bad behavior.
This phenomenon reveals a couple things.
First, there aren’t any super people out there. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace (Romans 3:23, Ecclesiastes 7:20), no matter what our station in life. Mother Teresa needed Jesus just as much as the homeless man on the off ramp does. Your super successful neighbor sins daily – maybe more than you do. She has secrets that, if you found out, would undo her.
Here’s a side note. We don’t tell others about God’s all sufficient grace because we don’t believe it’s really all-sufficient. We forget that Jesus died to cover all our sin and to restore all that is broken about us. So we look to self-help books, our more righteous neighbors and associates, or ourselves to fix it.
Second, the Person we should be worshipping is Jesus, the One who brings the Gospel to pass in our lives. He is the only One worth worshipping. He is God Himself and wants to have a relationship with us. Jesus gives us unconditional love. That means He loves us despite the fact we are drawn to worship other things and people.
You worship Jesus when you know you’re loved and accepted. You’ll follow Him when you trust His grace is sufficient for you.