According to the Pew Research Center, about one third of American adults currently identify as religious “nones”—people who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religious identity. Only 63% of US adults self-identify as Christians, down from 75% just a decade ago.
Church leaders are scrambling to determine what is driving individuals away from Christianity and what it will take to bring post-Christian Americans back into the fold. I won’t deny that these statistics are alarming and should be addressed. But I take comfort in remembering that declining belief—though catastrophic for those who have turned their back on the Lord, and deleterious for our societal wellbeing—holds no bearing on God’s worthiness. He continues to reign, whether or not we recognize His sovereignty.
C.S. Lewis once said, “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” In the year 2023, it seems we are a nation of lunatics attempting to blot out the sun with our refusal to acknowledge our Lord. These scribblings along our cell wells dim our view of Creator God, blinding us to His presence, yet His glory blazes on.
As humans, we were created by God to worship and bring glory to Him. Our main reason for existence is to please Him! And as we turn our gaze to Him and give Him praise, we become like the one we are worshipping. In His presence we reflect His holiness and become a blessing to everyone around us, a beacon of Christlike lightness in a darkened world.
Because we are a broken people living in a post-Genesis 3 world, it is not uncommon for us to lose sight of our ultimate purpose of pleasing God. But even when God ceases to be the object of our praise, our inherent need to worship something does not vanish. Instead of bowing our knee to our Creator, we turn our worship to unworthy sources—false gods, personal passions, or our own selfish desires. With our gaze turned upon these lesser recipients of our worship, our hearts are hardened, molded more into the image of the lesser gods receiving our praise than the One True God who is the ultimate source of glory and strength.
In Psalm 96, the psalmists calls upon God’s people to ascribe glory and honor to the Lord. Our offerings and praise are to be for Him, and Him alone. God is the ONLY deserving recipient of our honor. When we attribute to God what is God’s alone, we realign our hearts with the truth of who God is and the goodness of our purpose as His image bearers who bring honor to Him.
Nothing good comes from abandoning worship of the One True God. And though God does not guarantee worldly success or easy living to those who worship Him, He always has been and always will be deserving of our praise. And it is only through lives lived out as a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise that we can walk in the fullness of who we are created to be.
Heavenly Father, you are deserving of all glory and honor and praise. Forgive me for offering praise to lesser objects of worship. I ascribe all splendor, majesty, beauty, and strength to You and You Alone. Amen.