They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. (Rom. 1:25)

SITTING ALONGSIDE A FELLOW SCREAMING Buffalo Bills fans while being pelted by sleet in near zero weather is a good way to gauge how deep devotion can go. Few thrills compare to hearing the adulation of a football stadium filled with fans after your team runs the length of the field for a touchdown. You may see a similar adoration displayed at a musical concert, in a shopping mall, or even in a church. We have an innate hunger to worship and serve something, even if that something has been reduced to nature, ourselves, or consumer goods.

Perhaps we do that because we notice the residue of God’s handiwork in created things—the splendor, the awe, the beauty of all life—and make small gods of them. Paul told us that people often serve created things instead of the Creator.

Some Christians believe the way to honor God is to resist participating in worldly life at all. They think that by denying themselves the enjoyment of life, particularly the enjoyment of material things and bodily experiences, they will get closer to God. Fasting from such delights for a short while will remind us of our rootedness in the Creator, but we must eventually return to serving God in the world. When we do, we discover that the true object of our worship, where we place our heart’s desire, is in God.

Fast from one thing this week to focus your mind on God.

Richard Eckley is professor of theology at Houghton College and serves on the Women in Ministry Task Force for The Wesleyan Church.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.