Digging Up Structural Lie #2 and Worshiping God in Spirit and Truth
This is the third post in a series on STRUCTURAL LIES and how to identify and replace them with Truth. To read the first post, “Inspect Your Life for Structural Lies,” click here. For the second post, “Uncovering Structural Lie #1 and Replacing it with God’s Truth,” click here.
“Good girl, JoJo!”
I never thought I would say that to our 3-year-old Australian Shepherd.
Has God ever wondered the same about me?
If you’ve ever raised a smart, willful, super high energy pup (or child, ha!), you know what I mean. We’ve enjoyed some delightful pets – Roman the Wonder Dog, Maude Hoover the Dobie, and Rambo, the feisty chiweenie – but JoJo wins the prize for inventive chaos. She threw our lives in a tailspin her first couple of years.
Get rid of her? With five young granddaughters living nearby, we didn’t need an out-of-control, stubborn dog disrupting family time, herding and bowling over toddlers.
But we loved her.
I could write a book on the spiritual lessons I learned from this strong-willed pup. After two years of constant training and obedience classes, she has transformed into an extraordinary companion, well-behaved (except for digging in the backyard), and super smart. She knows her toys by name and will even pick up after herself and put them back in the toy basket when asked.
Much like JoJo, God delights in us, even in our willfulness. He puts in the time, “taking us to raise” as my mother used to say, to train us in the ways of righteousness. One of the most important truths He tries to instill in us involves the second law given to Moses in the Ten Commandments. If this lesson is not learned and learned well, complete devastation could result for our spiritual house.
Recap of “Structural Lies”
First, let’s recap what “structural lies” are and why it’s important to uncover them. (For a fuller understanding, see prior two posts: “Inspect Your Life for Structural Lies,” click here. For the second post, “Uncovering Structural Lie #1 and Replacing it with God’s Truth,” click here.)
God wants to uncover wrong beliefs, structural lies, which will compromise the integrity of our spiritual house. These lies must be identified, repaired through repentance, and replaced with truth. That one faulty lie, like JoJo’s inventive chaos, can cause our lives to spin out of control.
Structure is the framework of all creation. All things have structure – components that comprise the whole. If any part of an entity’s structure is faulty, the integrity of the whole is compromised. The faulty component must be repaired or replaced.
We need to examine our spiritual structure. Laying a solid foundation for our Christian walk is extremely important, but likewise is building a solid framework for our spiritual home. God wants us to discern His pattern for living a blessed life, which means the lies must be uncovered and rejected.
Is our spiritual house soundly built on Truth?
These structural lies are tied to the Ten Commandments, which are God’s moral law. Jesus said He didn’t come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it.” Jesus said, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Matthew 5:17 NLT
God has now written His Law on our hearts and we are to follow Jesus’ example and fulfill the Law. Which, of course, it totally impossible without the Holy Spirit in our hearts teaching, guiding, and correcting us every step of the way.
Uncovering the Lie
The full second commandment reads like this: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6
We will only deal with the first part here: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”
I’ve struggled to understand the spiritual application of this beyond the obvious point of not worshiping anyone but God. But He covered that point well in the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods but me.” Exodus 20:3 NLT
After studying what others have written, marinating in what God says in His Word, and seeking a deeper understanding, I think I have a handle on what the spiritual lie is and the spiritual truth we should apply to replace it. The second commandment is designed to teach us how to tame the natural inclination of our hearts to go our own way.
Even as professing Christians, we often serve God as we choose to perceive Him, rather than as He really is. We pursue our own "religious" desires and fabricate the god we want to serve. This is perversion of Truth and will destroy you.
Structural Lie #2:
I can make God in my own image, controlling who He is to me and how I choose to worship and serve Him.
Our human tendency is to worship the created thing rather than the Creator. We tend to idolize the work of our hands and become prideful in the thing we have created. When we try to create our own image of God, we are limiting Him, and putting Him in a box, a box we can control.
But we serve a limitless God who can’t be contained in our puny boxes.
If I worship God as I choose, I tailor-make Him in my desired image, and He ends up looking a lot like me. What results is an oddly distorted god with a perverted and skewed take on life that strangely reflects my own weird perspectives and opinions. God begins to look like my brand, my flavor of the month version of the truth.
Is that really who I want to serve?
Sorry. Not sorry. We don’t get to choose what God looks like or who He is. He cannot be labeled, categorized, or conformed to any image above the earth, on the earth, or beneath the earth. His true worshipers worship Him as He truly is.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
Jesus is the Perfect Image of God
Only One has ever fulfilled the image of God: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3 NIV (added emphasis)
Ask God to show you if you have attempted to make Him in your own image, controlling who He is to you and how you choose to serve Him. If so, simply confess that to God and repent.
Replace the lie with Truth:
I am made in God’s image. I submit to Him alone, and I will worship and serve Him in the way He directs.