Five Indicators of What God You Worship
Do you believe in God? Yes. Ok, which one?
While over 80% of Americans believe that there is a God, we may differ on who that is.
This makes verses like “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” greatly impacted by which God we are walking with.
Here are 5 questions to ask to determine if the God we believe in is actually the God that we worship.
1. Where does your mind drift?
When you are in the car stuck in traffic, or when you are sitting in a boring meeting, what do you daydream about? I’m not talking about natural things – like what’s for dinner or did I close the garage door? Nor am I talking about the weird things that pop up from the past like suddenly I’m thinking about a touch football game I lost in 4th grade or an episode of Knight Rider I can’t forget. I’m talking about the things we worry about, or fixate on, or are always trying to fix, solve or revise history. That stupid thing we said in a meeting and now everyone probably thinks I’m the dumbest person on staff. My mind drifts to regrets from the past, or possible success in the future, and if I could just do this one thing then everyone will be really impressed. What do we call something that consumes our attention that promises to change our lives – we call that a god.
2. What scares you?
What scares you more: There is no God, or there is no more money in the bank? There is no God or there is no more job? Even in my line of work – ministry – it can become easy to be more consumed about the work of God than a relationship with God. I fear to lose my church, my congregation, my reputation… more than my connection with God. Maybe there’s something in your life you think you can’t live without. Your job. Your friends. God forbid, your spouse or kids. Your parents. Your reputation. What do you call something that we can’t live without? We call that a god.
3. What does your calendar say?
Time is a good indicator of where our heart is. Make a quick list of your priorities. Most of us would say God, Family, Friends, Work. But then look at the last 4-6 weeks of your calendar. For most of us, the order is reversed. Obviously, we have to go to work and that takes up a good chunk of our week, but what are we doing at work. Our best to serve our true master, God? Our best to serve others? And what are we doing when we are home? Cell phones down, focused on our kids and spouse, meeting their needs, serving them? Or are we trying to decompress from work and find some level of personal joy in hobbies, recreational activities, or stress relievers? And what about time with God? How many times are we in church, reading our Bible, praying, serving? What do you call something that dominates our time – a god.
4. What does your bank statement say?
It’s common now to hear pastors say: “Show me your bank statement and I’ll show you your heart”, but it was Jesus who said it first: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” Now I know you’re thinking, well, I’ve got to eat and live indoors, but let’s take rent and food off the table. How about what do you spend your money on that brings you joy? How do you use your money to make you smile? Nothing wrong with golf memberships, home decorating hobbies, and even fashion compulsions, but does it hamper our ability to tithe and help alleviate others suffering because of it? What do we call something that controls our finances at the expense of others – a god.
5. What do you look at on your phone?
There may be an app for everything. And while you and we may have dozens of apps on our phones, the truth is we probably only use a few. And odds are they are social media apps. Most Americans look at their phones 100 times a day, and what we are checking most often is Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. And while we are looking at what others are doing, eating and wearing… what we’re really wondering is “Did anyone comment on my post?” or “How many likes did I get?” What do we call something that demands our attention and our determines our worth – a god.
Oh, we aren’t Satanists. We’re not worshiping the Devil. We may not even listen to Stairway to Heaven. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t worshipping the WRONG God. Our obsessions, concerns, anxieties and time wasters tell us more about who our god is rather than our proximity on Sunday morning.
As Beth Moore says in Believing God… “I don’t think the biggest threat to our theology is humanism or the host of world religions. Our biggest threat is cut-and-paste Christianity. If man places his faith in a god he has created in his own image, has he placed his faith in God at all?”
The book Justice. Mercy. Humility: A Simple Path to Following Jesus seeks to define how we can live that out.
Rusty George is the Lead Pastor at Real Life Church in Southern California; a multi-site church with campuses in Canyon Country, Simi Valley, Valencia and a large online community. Under Rusty’s lead, Real Life has become one of the fastest growing churches in America–growing by 111% in 2011 alone.
Beyond leading his church of 6,000+ members every weekend, Rusty is a global speaker, leader and teacher focusing his message on helping people find and follow Jesus. Rusty has also written several books and writes regularly here at pastorrustygeorge.com.
Aside from being a loyal Chiefs, Royals and Lakers fan, Rusty is first and foremost committed to his family. Rusty has been married to his wife, Lorrie, for over twenty years and they have two daughters, Lindsey and Sidney. As a family they enjoy walking the dogs, watching the Food Network and playing board games together.