After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!” (Rev. 7:9-12)
We live in a culture which is increasingly self-centered. Media is driving a constant change in self-identity among young people. Pseudo-celebrities live indulgent and bizarre lives in Reality TV shows. Dating and marriage are trivialized in others. On television, people compete in cutthroat competition where deception and betrayal can ensure success—not just in a game, but in the potential for a celebrity life afterward.
Our youth is being indoctrinated into the cult of self. George Drinka notes that “hours spent with any attractive and appealing ‘friend’ on TV or the movies or the Internet influences the child’s moral development, just as hours spent every day with a good tennis coach strengthens the child’s tennis game” (Self-Centered: The New Normal?).
As people created in the image of God, we were made for something else. We were made to worship the Lord of Heaven and Earth. It's not just a command; it's what we were designed to do. All the cultures of the earth, back to the very beginning, have offered some idol to stand in place of devotion to God (1 Chron. 16:23-26; Rom. 1:22-23). In our culture, the greatest idol is ourselves—our desire to focus on our lives as the greatest good. But there is a greater good. There is One who is good, who deserves the entire devotion of our hearts and lives. This is what worship is—devotion to God in the way we live (Rom. 12:1) and the expression of our hearts and voices (1 Chron. 16:8-11).
In Revelation 7, John witnesses a scene of a coming day when the souls of those who have been purchased by the blood of Christ gather together at the throne, waiting for his return. People of every culture, ethnicity, language, and nation. From their mouths come praise and worship for the Lamb who was slain. I will be one of those people. John was given a glimpse of an event where I will be a participant, one day. And you also, if you are numbered among those who have put their trust in Christ. This is a moment we were created for. It is the purpose of our existence.
A life which is focused on self, or any other idol, is a life lived in contradiction to that day. It is a life in contradiction to the purpose for which it was made. And if we do not fulfill the purpose for which we were created, we cannot have the lives we were meant to have. The cult of self, the cult of celebrity, the cult of materialism—these are false paths to fulfillment in life. If you want to experience the full life you were created to have, practice the purpose for which you were made. Worship the Lord your God, today, as you will then. With all your heart, and mind, and soul. Don't let anything distract you from what really matters. Offer yourself completely to Him.
Picture yourself on that coming day. That's the destiny toward which you are heading. I will meet you there.