How can you tell if someone is consumed with something or someone? Everything they do, their actions, thoughts, words, money, and focus is on that something or someone. Whatever is consumed is projected. This is the essence of worship. When you worship something, you ascribe so much worth to that something or someone that you are consumed with it. Particularly for those living in the West, especially those living in North America, consumption is an everyday reality.
The culture and society has cultivated consumers. Sure, there are things we consume out of necessity from green beans to toilet paper. (Like I said, some things are a necessity). But, the culture of consumerism reveals something else; it reveals for many, the things that truly consume us. For many it is sports and sport teams. The movie Fever Pitch revealed the obsession that some have over sports and sport teams. Then there are other who are truly consumed about money, materialism, and becoming much better. The movie Limitless is a perfect example of someone being consumed with these things.
Here’s what happens when we consume the things we love, are passionate about—we feel at peace, we feel satisfied. However, existentially, consumption is much like a fuel tank. The experience fills the tank, but only temporarily. Soon after the experience fads, empty befalls the individual leaving them longing for another consumption experience that will bring peace and fulfillment.
We worship what we consume, and what we consume is manifested in our life. For believers, our God is a consuming fire that never fades. As Moses approached the burning bush, seeing it consumed with fire, but not fading, so too our lives should be the bush consumed by God, to which the world draws near to see. In us consuming God, God consumes us. In our worship of God, his presence manifests itself in our life.
What does consumption look like for the believer? Abiding in the presence of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is done through a constant confession of the Supremacy of Christ and his lordship over our life (Matt 16:16) and a constant unity in community with fellow believers (Matt 18:15-20). In other words, to abide in God, and he in us, means that we are constantly confessing his lordship and position in our life, surrendering to him, as well as, constantly submitting ourselves to the community of faith, the family of God through humility and unity. Think about consumption for the believer; consuming for believers is not selfish, but selfless. So constant peace, fulfillment, and satisfaction can only come when the infinite supreme God is preeminent in our life, along with prioritizing others over ourselves.
How is our worship and consumption of God manifested in our life?
– Our desire to keep his commandments
– Our supreme love for God triumphing and trumping over our love for the world and the things in/of the world
– Our love for others; believer and non-believers
– Our focus to embrace and participate in God’s mission in the world of revealing himself and reaching all nations
– Avoiding false teachers, teaching, and spirits that would drive a wedge between us and God
The question for me and you? What consumes us? What are we worshipping? Simply put, the consumption factor reveals what we worship.