Human beings are worshippers by nature. That’s who we are. It would be impossible for us to stop worshipping. The reason we do the things we do, desire the things we desire, and pursue the things we pursue is we are most fundamentally worshippers.

God actually made us that way so we would be able to worship him. However, things get twisted around in our sinful hearts, and we end up worshipping “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).

For example in my own life, first with my son Caleb and more recently with newborn son Silas, there are some nights when I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I would like to get. And when I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like, I have a tendency to get a just a little bit cranky. That’s especially the case when it’s 3:00 in the morning and this kid in our house won’t stop crying.

Now, guess what I’m doing in that moment. I’m worshipping. But I’m not worshipping God—I’m worshipping comfort, I’m worshipping convenience, I’m worshipping my productivity the next day. Why else would I be angry and irritated in those circumstances? There’s no injustice against humanity that’s taking place. It’s just me worshipping my silly idols.

Here are some questions compiled by someone much smarter than me to help you diagnose the functional “gods” that you may be worshipping:

What do you think about or talk about most often?
What do you love or seek?
Where do you bank your hopes?
What are you working toward or building your life around?
What do you constantly fear will be taken away from you?
Where do you find your ultimate refuge, safety, comfort, and escape?
Who are you trying to please or impress? 

Now consider this: only Jesus is worthy of your worship. If your joy is rooted in Jesus, it can never be taken away—no matter what circumstance you face, no matter what people do to you, no matter what life goal you fail to accomplish. If your joy is in Christ, it can’t be touched.

Why would you worship anything else? Why would you look to anything else for a sense of significance or as a place of refuge? Only Jesus can satisfy the deepest desires of your heart.