At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal. They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass. They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, Psalm 106:19-21
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:8-9 (see Isaiah 29:13)
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me. Deuteronomy 32:39
Partial worship comes from a heart of a person that attempts to add God to other things—they worship other things “adding in” the Creator. Idols are worshiped while mentioning God. Partial worship is what happens when a person tries to add God to other areas of worship. In 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 Paul speaks of what it looks like for a follower of Jesus to try and worship other things. He makes it clear that an idol is really not anything (has no real existence—1 Corinthians 8:4). Yet, he points out that behind every idol is a demon and demons do have real existence. And when an idol is worshiped, the demon that is behind the idol is worshiped and given power in the life of the one worshiping. This is a frightful truth that most people do not consider or realize. It perverts the worship of God. It is not possible to have true worship of God amid the worship of other idols. “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons” 1 Corinthians 10:21). The nation of Israel exchanged the worship of the Glorious Almighty God for the worship of a calf. Take time to read Psalm 106 today and consider what happens when one thinks they can worship what the pagans worship and try to add God to that. Followers of Jesus must learn from this example of the past. Look carefully at what happens to the children when other gods are worshiped by parents and grandparents (Psalm 106:34-39). Jesus reveals that kind of worship is in vain. It is empty, hopeless, futile, and pointless. We see this rampant among people who consider themselves to be Christians. They worship the very things that Paul speaks of in Romans 1 and then believe that they are worshiping God. They are not. God makes it clear that there is no god that can be beside him. Check out 1 Samuel 5:1-5. Realize that even things we think are good can become idols in our lives. Up to and including our thoughts about God. Ask God to search your heart today. Are there any idols that you are giving worth to? Are you worshiping demons—perhaps without even realizing it? Are you in any way trying to just add God amid other things that are really of greater worth to you than he is? Tozer has said, “I’ve got to tell you that if you do not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week.” Lay your heart before the Lord. Seek him fully and find the joy of knowing him in fullness. Worship him alone.