In his devotional book, New Morning Mercies, Paul Tripp says, "Sunday morning worship is for DISPLACING AND REPLACING."
This concept of displacing and replacing is found in the OT with the Israelites in the times of the Judges and Kings. It's one of the components of the "cycle of redemption" in their history. Each time Israel would fall into apostasy, God would raise up a judge or a king who would lead the nation in repentance and turning away from idols.
The cycle went something like this:
- Israel would fall away from God through sin and rebellion and serving other gods.
- God would bring in other rulers to conquer them and enslave them.
- The Israelites would cry out for deliverance.
- God would raise up a judge or a king to rescue and deliver them.
We're not so different from the Israelites - in fact, we all have our own "cycle of redemption" that we live out. And, we have many types of idols that we serve. All of us wrestle with having ourselves on the thrones of our hearts. Idols we often serve can include: success, money, people's approval, secret addictions, alcohol, drugs, porn, over-eating, and finding comfort in places other than in Christ.
One particular way we all experience a type of rebellion and idolatry is in the area of independence. We live in a culture that prizes independence and personal choice. We are daily bombarded with slogans like: "my body; my choice." In fact, we can now choose our own gender and have from 50-60 different ones to choose from. All during the week, we're told that we're the captains of our own souls. We get to decide. whatever. we. want! Personal autonomy is practically synonymous with being American.
But when we become Christians and God redeems us and adopts us into His family- that all changes! We are no longer the masters of our own destinies - we are called to submit our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the King, who has the power to save us - and rescue us from our idols.
We must submit: our lives. our tongues. our appetites. our desires. our thoughts. our behavior. our attitudes... ourselves - to God.
On Sunday morning, we aren't just singing songs - we have the opportunity to do business with God. The business of DISPLACING AND REPLACING -tearing down the idols (of self and independence) that we have allowed to creep into our hearts and replacing them with True Worship of the One, True God.