No more Christian celebrities
"Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory." (Psalm 24:10)
Jackson was celebrating his fourth birthday.
Excited at the prospect of a fun-filled day, he dressed quickly for church on that Sunday morning.
I fitted him with a birthday hat and secured a dollar bill to his shirt.
I knew the dollar bill and hat would tip people off to the importance of the day and encourage them to assist me in celebrating.
By the end of the church service my little man had almost $30 attached to his sweater.
Seizing the opportunity, I thought it was only fitting that Jackson learn a lesson in tithing.
I explained to him in obedience and thanksgiving we must give the first portion to the Lord from the resources that He gives to us.
I ask him to choose a few dollars that we could give to God. He carefully selected several.
I took his hand to guide him from the sanctuary into the lobby where the church keeps an offering container.
As we emerged from the sanctuary, I felt Jackson’s hand go limp and noticed his eyes widen with emotion.
He scanned the lobby anxiously.
"Jackson," I asked, "What’s wrong? What are you looking for?"
Without hesitation he responded in childlike simplicity, "Didn’t you saw we were bringing money to the Lord?
"Is He here in the lobby somewhere?"
I laughed and tried to explain the finer points of giving an offering to God as we walked toward the tithing container.
My explanation was cut short when Jackson gasped and stopped dead in his tracks.
Looking across the lobby, his eyes met with the man who leads praise and worship during our services.
With an outgoing personality, this man who holds the microphone on stage each week seemed larger than life to my small child.
Eyes agape and mouth widened, Jackson exclaimed, "Mom, is that THE LORD?"
The writer posed a similar question in Psalm 24.
"Who is this King of glory?"
His simple yet often forgotten response must resonate in the hearts of everyone on the earth, "The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle" (Psalm 24:8).
He alone is the Lord.
With widened eyes and mouths agape like seeking children, we point at the human celebrities of our faith and set them on a pedestal next to God.
Their positions in our hearts become so parallel that we have trouble distinguishing them from the Savior of our souls.
We read their commentaries on the Bible more than the Bible itself.
We rush to a meeting to hear from them instead of a personal one-on-one meeting with God. When they minister, we applaud in their faces instead of at His feet. We have unashamedly dished out adoration reserved for the Most High.
How often have we subconsciously placed mere humans in the position intended only for the Holy One? The more visible the gift and the more celebrated the ministry, the more we subconsciously align a human with the Almighty. It is alarming how frequently the church has glorified the ones for whom Christ died. We have begun to appoint and worship our "heroes." Strangely enough, the greatest of these are most often the ones for whom Christ has given the most mercy and extended the deepest deliverance. Friend, I can attest to that.
Our tendency to place others in the position reserved for God must end. We must turn our gaze and attention to the Lord alone. He alone deserves our utmost respect and celebration. When we sing, we do so to the glory of the Lord. When we serve, we do so out of reverence for the Lord. When we give, we do so out of the abundance He has allowed. In all these things in our eating and drinking and playing and working our object of affection and passion must be clearly pinpointed. We must not allow the veil of humanity to stand in the way of our clear view of God.
No more heroes. No more Christian celebrities. Seek Him alone. He is the one worthy of your everything. Today, ask yourself, "Who is my lord?" and see where your search leads.
Ask the Lord to show you the answer to these questions: Do I have a tendency to cling to a particular person in my life? Who? Why? Who have I hired to be "Jesus" for me? Who do I need to "fire" from that position so that the Lord can take that seat of prominence in my life?
"Father, forgive me for my idolatry. Please show me where I’ve put people and things in an improper place of prominence in my life. Cleanse me and help me to truly see You as the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Amen."
Priscilla Shirer is the author of Can We Talk? Soul-stirring Conversations with God. She joined James and Betty on LIFE Today this Thursday, Nov. 27.