Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Matthew 4 : 10 – 11
Percy Shelly wrote the famous poem Ozymandias, in which a traveller recalls stumbling across an ancient statue of a King in the desert. The inscription on the statue read:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
But when the traveller looked on ‘his works’ there was nothing to see. The sands had long since swallowed all of his achievements. Nothing was left but desert, “boundless and bare”.
All through history people have chased after wealth and power. Great empires have been built and vast fortunes amassed. But in time all Empires fall, all coffers run dry, and even the greatest of Kings must one day die.
The Bible talks a lot about idolatry. Nowadays we are unlike to start worshipping a Golden Calf, but we still have idols. They are the things that we worship: wealth and power, fame and success, the praise of others and financial security. None of these things are bad in themselves, but when we make them the centre of our lives we begin to worship them instead of God. It is part of our journey of faith to notice the things we placed on a pedestal and to mindfully turn out attention back to the things that are actually important.
Prayer: Lord help me worship you and you alone. Help me to see the things that I am idolising and instead turn that attention to what truly matters.
Action: How do you worship God? People worship in all different ways, through music, art, in nature, in contemplation. Spend some time worshipping God in whatever ways feels natural to you.