Everybody worships. That statement might sound surprising to some, but all people worship something. Whether a person be a true follower of Christ, an agnostic, or an atheist, everybody worships. Worship is when we express our allegiance to the person or thing that most informs our life. Some people worship a career. Others worship some form of entertainment, a hobby, or family.
Worship has always been central to the existence of the people of God. Perhaps we tend to view the book of Leviticus as solely a list of legal requirements for the people of ancient Israel. However, it is ultimately about worship. The Old Law was intended to impress upon the people their reliance on God, as well as the distinction between the true God and false gods. Worshiping the true God leads to spiritual life and flourishing, but worshiping the false gods leads to spiritual death and decay. Most of the Old Testament is based on this premise.
When we turn to the New Testament, the same truth remains. Worshiping the true and living God leads to life. But worshiping the false gods of this world leads to death. The Gospels present to us several different idols. Tradition, pride, and wealth all compete for that which is most important. All of these things, when worshiped, lead to spiritual death.
The resurrection of Jesus is the pinnacle of the gospel story, revealing the way out of the deadly cycle of idolatry. Jesus overcomes sin and death. His tomb is empty. The only way to experience true and everlasting life is to submit to the living Lord.
Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). That which we “seek first” will inevitably be connected to that which we worship. And, that which we “seek first” will lead to our spiritual health or lack thereof.
So, the question is, “What do we seek first?” It should be God and the Kingdom of God. Jesus came to show us what life in God’s Kingdom is all about. It consists of those things which cannot be stolen and cannot be destroyed by moth or rust (Matthew 6:19-21).
The Kingdom of God is not just for one location or for one group of people. Rather, it is for all people everywhere. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23).