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Worship and the Ring

Worship and the Ring

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In the book there is a very sad, emasculated figure named Gollum. Do you remember him? He once owned a very powerful ring and he had a pet name for it. Do you remember the name? 

“My precious”. He would say it in a way that sounded like what it meant.

He craved the ring for all that it could give him--and that was precisely why it was dangerous for him to have the ring. Without it, he was left to crave for something he couldn’t have. He worshipped the ring but not for the right reason. And the misguided affection was his eventual destruction.

Even if you haven’t seen the movie perhaps you can figure out where I’m going with this analogy. The ring represents divine power. When we crave the divine for our own purposes it has the potential to destroy us. For that power released to an individual who is selfishly motivated is dangerous and destructive. Craving the power for the sake of personal gain leads to misguided decision making and inevitably self destruction. 

There is another character in the story named Froto. He is the hero and was deemed worthy to carry the ring because he didn’t desire it personally. Froto simply wanted to do his job. He pledged to deliver it safely to the appropriate destination no matter what difficulty he endured. That decision was fraught with tremendous challenge, difficulty and personal lose but he was true to his word.

Worship is something that is not easily understood. Like Gollum, we are tempted to worship the benefits of the power God gives. We see people every day choose something that becomes so “precious” that the quest of it consumes them and eventually destroys their soul. We too are tempted to pursue the gifts from God for our own benefit. In the process we can worship the outcomes and overlook the Giver.

One way this misguided approach reveals itself is when we don't get what we want from God. If we pray and we are disappointed with God and even choose not to listen or follow because He didn't do things the way we want we tip our hand that our motive is personal gain. We want God to serve us and when He doesn't we pledge our allegiance to another lesser god to attempt to get what we want. In reality we are trying to be our own god and we want the real God to be our servant. 

I believe this is one reason why God doesn't give us everything we want. When we can wait, trust, surrender and let go we demonstrate He is Lord--and that is true worship.

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