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Gotta Serve Somebody

In 1980, Bob Dylan was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal by a Male Singer. The title of his winning song was, You Gotta Serve Somebody. The chorus of the song goes like this, “But you’re going to have to serve somebody, yes indeed, you’re going to have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re going to have to serve somebody.”


The words of the song remind us that we, human beings, are not worship neutral. We all bow down before our own particular deities. In fact, it was John Calvin, the Geneva Reformer who said, “The human heart is a potential idol factory.


Human beings were designed for worship. We have been called to worship our Creator. But it wasn’t long after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, that mankind began to create and serve other gods, gods of his own making, gods created his own image.


The Apostle John, knowing that this propensity is in the heart of every man and woman, wrote the following to the church of his day, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” (I John 5:21).


Now, most of us when we hear the word idol, think of little carved statues of birds and beast and the like. And being citizens of the 21st century, we are more sophisticated than to bow down at such a shrine. But idols don’t necessarily come in statues made of stone and gilded with gold. Our idols are made up of those things that predominately fill our hearts and minds. We can make an idol out of money, a sports team, celebrities, sex, entertainment, positions, possessions, attainments, or even our children and grandchildren.


Though God has created many things for our enjoyment, these must always take a second place to the worship of God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Psalmist Asaph wrote, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You” (Psalm 73:25).


In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). The “these things” of which He spoke are the necessities of life, food, clothing, shelter, etc. Mankind’s headlong pursuit is most often for “these things.” Jesus says, “I know what your true needs are, seek Me first, above all else and I will make sure that “these things’ are yours.”


We are all going to serve something or somebody, as Dylan said, “…it may be the devil, it may the Lord, but you’re going to have to serve somebody. At whose shrine will you bow today?

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