What are we worshipping?
Each moment, we can choose to acknowledge the power of God, good, over evil. This opens the way to healing, as a man witnessed when his father was quickly healed of a broken leg.
“Worship” may seem like an outdated word. Actually, it’s anything but.
What we worship – honor as powerful – has a lot to do with what qualities are active in us. For instance, if we’re anticipating that evil will come out on top instead of good, this brings out fear. If we accept that good is supreme, we feel hope.
The First Commandment says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). The Bible, in a myriad of ways, brings out that there exists a single, unopposed force, a single God. In the New Testament, Christ Jesus proclaims, “There is one God; and there is none other but he” (Mark 12:32), and he proves the supremacy of this all-good God by drawing upon God’s all-power to destroy the evils of lack, disease, sin, and death.
To acknowledge as legitimate only one God – who is entirely good – is the path to healing, resolution, and spiritual transformation. The woman who founded Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, counsels, “Have one God and you will have no devil” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 252).
This may seem illogical, when before us sit so many examples of evil acts and intentions. But again Jesus’ example offers encouragement. After his resurrection, some of his followers – not recognizing Jesus – made reference to the terrible things that had preceded his resurrection, such as betrayal, torture, and desertion.
“What things?” was Jesus’ frank response (Luke 24:19), conveying that God is All, is Spirit and Life itself. Near the beginning of her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy explains, “Jesus urged the commandment, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ which may be rendered: Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life, – even God, good” (pp. 19-20). The entirety of existence, the spiritual reality, consists of only God and God’s spiritual creation, which reflects divine goodness.
An openness to the all-power of God, good, opens the way to freedom, spiritual abundance, justice, health. We might say that we’re worshipping evil whenever we expect it to inevitably harm, spoil opportunities, wreck relationships, erode health. Within the immeasurable scope of God’s allness and supremacy, evil is not truly in action. In fact, it has no place at all. So how are we to categorize its claims? “In the words of our Master,” observes Mary Baker Eddy, “it, the ‘devil’ (alias evil), ‘was a liar, and the father of it’” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 67).
In the Bible, Jesus once handled the baseless lie that God’s spiritual offspring include illness when a father brought his son, who suffered from seizures, to him. Evil certainly seemed to be in action, and with much terrifying drama. But rather than worshipping, or giving credence to, the lie that illness is part of our true nature as God’s children, Jesus utterly disarmed it. Drawing on the authority of God, divine Life, he “rebuked the devil,” and the child was healed (Matthew 17:18).
When I was a child, my father fell while playing sports, breaking his leg. Over the next couple of days, I watched him pray, acknowledging diligently for himself his unalterable being as the spiritual creation of God. The following day, to my great joy, he was walking normally, completely healed.
He explained that his turning point came when he recognized that what actually moved him, as God’s spiritual creation, wasn’t a physical leg but the Spirit alone. While evil had seemed to be active in the form of an accident, through prayer my father had come to realize that the only truthful action was the perfect continuity of God, divine Life.
Each coming day offers opportunities to worship God, good, to reject the notion that God is sharing His presence and power with evil. With unmovable confidence, “We know what we worship,” declared Jesus (John 4:22). We are all fully equipped with the spiritual capability to see and know divine Truth, and experience its power over evil.