GodReflection: News Flash—We Inherited God’s DNA
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Romans 12:1).
The course carried the title: Origins of Social Customs and Institutions. It was my second class in Cultural Anthropology at Texas Tech University. Age wise, the professor was near the end of her university career.
I can still see her as she enters the room and places her large purse on her desk in front of her, just enough to the side as to not block her eye contact with each student.
Then, without a note or a prompt she would begin to lecture with hardly a pause.
The learning experience was always rich.
During one class period, we explored the handful of cultural universals that ever society has in common. She listed seven or eight as I remember.
For example, every tribe or people group that has ever inhabited our earth used language to communicate. Likewise, all groups of people created art. Human kind has an artistic gene even though I often think mine must be dormant.
However, what caught my attention was when I heard that every tribe and people group identified throughout human history worshipped.
Did I get programmed to worship? Where did that come from? Why should I stand amazed?
I seem to recall the worship story of the sons in God’s first family. God accepted the worship of one and rejected the worship of the other (Genesis 4).
And then in the Apostle Paul’s unparalleled treatise to the Roman church on God’s free gift of grace to all who believe he writes in the introduction:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Sounds as if humankind is wired with a worship gene in their Holy DNA.
In his book Shaped By The Gospel, Timothy Keller quotes the novelist the late David Foster Wallace from his address to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College: “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
He proceeded to lists the gods we human beings—especially those of us who live in the “developed world”—most often worship.
And so, knees bow to money, things, body, beauty, sexual allure, power and intellect.
He concludes with a frightening statement: “But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is . . . they’re unconscious. They are default settings.”
I suspect there are other gods we could all add to the Wallace list.
I want to constantly remind myself of two Holy realities that allow me to be alert and to combat the Wallace god inventory.
First, I need to join with Jesus in his rebuff of Satan, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Throughout Scripture God is explicitly clear. The one thing He will not tolerate is His creatures bowing in worship to the created.
The second Holy reality is that as a disciple of Jesus I possess within my being the Holy Spirit of God. He sustains me in my struggle against the insidious little gods constantly placed in my path by Satan.
Is it possible that one of God’s purposes for my earth walk is to train me for eternity when my worship will be aimed totally and completely in His direction?
In my fallen Adamic body my dependence upon God is not a spotless “God only” worship record.
Perhaps, Jesus conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria has a meaning that goes even beyond my earth trek:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4-23-24).
And when the new earth and heaven dawn and God see His implanted DNA worship gene function at Designer capacity surely, He will smile with loving and Holy pride.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Worship Comes From Holy DNA.