Monday, October 10, 2011

The Proper “View” of Worship

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)

Excerpt from “Walking with God in Surrender” – 2011-10-09
Worship is our response to the revelation of who God is in view of the reality of who we are. In view of how lost he was in his fallen, sinful nature and how spiritually proud he was as a Jew - Paul responded in worship to the revelation of the constant, abundant “mercy” and “the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge” that God had poured into his life and the life of God’s chosen people who had so willfully rebelled and rejected God: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen!” When we see our desperate need in view of the revelation of God’s undeserved mercy towards us, our spontaneous response should be heartfelt praise and passionate worship.

True worship is not about music or emotions or what happens in this building on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. True worship is about being overwhelmed with the reality that we are seeing God in all His mercy and sovereignty and joy and holiness and love and grace and power and truth and glory more clearly than we have ever seen Him before – because God’s mercy and sovereignty and joy and holiness and love and grace and power and truth and glory penetrates our hearts and souls more deeply than they ever have before - because we clearly see our great, deep, desperate need for God and His mercy and sovereignty and joy and holiness and love and grace and power and truth and glory than we have seen it before. That is exactly the true worship of God Paul was experiencing here.

Our struggle with worship is that we tend not enough time looking at God and too much time looking at ourselves. We tend to define worship in terms of whether we liked the music or how we were emotionally moved or whether or not we liked the sermon or how long the service went. But none of those kinds of things are about God – they are about us. Worship is our response to the revelation of who God is in view of the reality of who we are. Our worship of God will improve when look to God instead of at ourselves - and when our opinion about worship stops being the standard for worship.

You see when you do truly and deeply and passionately fall in love with someone - you stop measuring, manipulating, or trying to control what happens to you. You find yourself so swept away with the one you love that you really don’t pay much attention to yourself anymore. You are entirely taken in with the one who has taken your heart. That’s true for human relationships because that’s how we were created to be in our relationship with God. Paul was genuinely overwhelmed by who God was when He was writing about God. In seeing who God truly was in view of his desperate need for God, Paul was grabbed by God in a way that we all should be grabbed by God so that real worship can take place.