“If God is not the defining center of our faith, life, and identity, then who or what is? (58)” Now there is a question. The Hirsch’s continue to challenge our thinking in relation to the center of our faith in chapter 2 of “Untamed”. There is nothing more central to who we are than what we worship.
Missional Discipleship, at its core, is about worship.
Worship at its core is about the person or object worshiped.
If we get this wrong then we get it all wrong. The Crusader, the jihadist, the cult leader all do evil because their worship is wrongly placed.
So, how do we know if we are worshiping rightly? The answer, Israel’s Shema:
““Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
(Deuteronomy 6:4–5 ESV)
This is the compass by which we set our heading in discipleship because it points us towards the reality and truth of who God is and what God has called us to do. Jesus said it this way,
“Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
(Mark 12:29–31 ESV)
Notice his expansion to love your neighbor. If you love God, then you will love your neighbor. It is a simple cause and effect relationship. If you do not love your neighbor, then you do not love God. I think that this modern re-telling of the “Good Samaritan” proves helpful here.
The Hirsch’s argue that this place of “biblical knowing” comes when right thinking, right acting, and right feeling intersect. The process of getting us to this point is the task of discipleship.
The issue at stake here remember is worship. The Hirsch’s define it this way, “offering our whole world back to God. (76)” If our lives are not becoming to a greater degree more and more unified under the living God then we are not worshiping.
My challenge for each of us is to take stock here. Where are you disunified under God in your life? In what ways are you creating God in your image? Where are you missing in the areas of right acting, right thinking, and right feeling?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments…