Thinking About Worship

Any attitude that focuses on what I wish to receive instead of what I wish to give will hinder me in my worship.  I want to worship God because I believe Him to be real and because I believe Him to be good.  Attitudes of humility, gratitude, and reverence will help me in my worship.

My worship should focus on who God is and what He has done for His creation.  I am so grateful that He loves me and shows mercy to me.  I want to tell Him that I am aware of His love and appreciate it.  Worship is one way I can do that.

Jesus teaches us that God wants us to worship Him in “spirit and truth.”

…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24 NKJV)

I worship in truth when I worship as the church did in the New Testament period.

I worship in spirit when my attitude is correct in worship.  My attitude would include such traits as humility, gratitude, and reverence.  One direction of my attitude should be inward, to purge my heart of any emphasis on the things of this earthly life.  However, the main direction of my attitude should be outward/upward, to concentrate my thoughts on God in His holiness.  I must be acutely aware that as I worship the Father, I am in the very presence of His throne.  Though I remain on earth, it is as if I have entered heaven itself and kneel before my Maker.  Awe and respect must characterize my being.

In proper worship I may keenly experience the blessing of 2 Peter 1.4:

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV, emphasis mine, John)

Jesus has promised that where His people are gathered, He is present with them.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20 NKJV)

Surely God’s blessing that we may be “partakers of the divine nature” is fulfilled when the faithful church assembles together and worships in spirit and truth.  Surely one of the greatest blessings I can know in this physical body is reverent and devout worship.  What could be more serious than this time?  What could call for a more diligent concentrating of all my mental and emotional energies? Am I giving proper thought to my worship?

If I view my worship the way I view a trip to the store, or to a concert, or to a ball game, or visiting a restaurant – that I am a consumer and the purpose of the events of the worship time is to meet my needs – I will most certainly be disappointed.  I will be disappointed because I did not worship.  I was there, but I did no more than occupy a pew.  I might as well have been an inanimate song book that someone left on the seat from the last service.  I gave nothing – so I received nothing.

It is rather simple to get the outward forms of worship correct.  But remember God’s chastisement of His people in the Old Testament (who had the form right and thought that was good enough).

For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 NKJV)

Yes, I am aware that that is Old Testament.  Would it be better if Jesus quoted it?

But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. (Matthew 9:13 NKJV)

He even does it again three chapters later.

But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. (Matthew 12:7 NKJV)

The Jews thought God was obligated to bless them because they had the outward forms of worship correct.  But, their hearts were all messed up.  God would except neither them nor their worship.  It is the same with me in 2010.  If my attitude is not pure, holy, sincere, serious, grateful, humble, reverent, etc. – my correctness of outward form will be meaningless to God.  Partaking of the divine nature will be something I will never know.

Worship is not play time, visit time, daydream time, nap time or any kind of time except God time.  I shall take nothing in my life more seriously than my approach to God in worship.

Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Psalms 29:2)

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