The message was about why we, as worshipers, bring an offering to God. The emphasis the past several weeks has been on worship in general and why we do what we do. Why does our worship include the Word of God? Why do we worship in song? Why do we pray in worship? You get the idea. These are worthwhile questions to ask and explore with your church family because it is very easy in our day to day life to simply act and respond out of habit. Sometimes, we forget to ask why.
While Pastor Bob Carpenter was teaching on “Why we worship with offerings” he used the scripture reference of Genesis 28:10-22. This is a wonderful account of Jacob’s dream where he hears directly from God. Pastor Bob mentioned that it may very well have been this point in Jacob’s life that the God of his father (Abraham) also became his God.
It’s impossible to know how the Holy Spirit is going to minister to the heart of a believer. I would not have expected this minor note in the message to become a spiritual foothold in my thoughts but here we are and here it is.
On the surface it is obvious. I call Jesus, Lord. He is the One True King. Do I want my children to know my God as their God? I want nothing more. What bothers me is I wanted my children to know my god as their god long before I even knew God. Okay, stay with me.
Before I knew Jesus as Lord, I had a lot of gods over my life and many of them I would have been pleased to have my children call their own. I had the gods of pride, money, self-sufficiency, career, recognition seeking and family to name a few. Each of these gods staked their claim on my life and worked hard to shape my identity. They seemed nice enough until I matured and realized that pride destroys relationships and encouraged bad decisions. Money became something I could never have enough of and did not know how to manage well. Self-sufficiency made it easy to give myself all the credit for what I did well and equally as easy to find myself depressed because I could not do well enough. Recognition seeking forced me to lose my way because what others thought of me was more important than what I thought of myself. Family was where I’d failed more than anyplace and was also the one place that I looked the hardest to find my self-worth.
That list, those gods …. they are not what I want my children to call their god.
I look around at all the people participating in generational cycles of divorce, pain, imprisonment, abuse and hatred and I wonder what god of their father do they call their god? What inheritance did they claim? What did their father teach them? What did your father teach you? Which gods did he lift up before you? What god do your children find you exalting?
We have serious work to do, men. Your children are watching you. Let them witness you in pursuit of the One True King.