Worship of God is the highest expression of relationship mankind is capable of. No earthly experience is more euphoric, more intimate and more fulfilling than the act of worshiping God. In worshiping God, we draw attention to and revel in His perfect, holy, awesome Person. In view of His infinite greatness and everlasting love toward us, our only right response is one of humility, brokenness, neediness, overwhelming gratitude, and praise—all expressions of worship.
A mere glimpse of God’s great love for us buckles our knees before Him in profound thanksgiving and praise! Before His glory, we are stripped of all pretense and worthiness. He sees right through us and knows our secret thoughts and passions. We are laid bare—naked and exposed before Him. Yet, God’s infinite love, joy and peace overcome our fear of exposure, and we find safety, acceptance and warm embrace in His presence through His Son, Jesus Christ. In His care we enjoy release and relief from all guilt and shame.
Worship represents that profound interaction that is both unique and fundamental to a relationship between a human being and God. In no other earthly relationships is worship a proper response for people. Worship belongs solely to God.
Our ability to worship God begins for us when He pursues us and we respond to His urgings to reconcile with Him through Christ. When we accept His free gift of forgiveness and reconciliation, He begins to transform us. We now possess a new desire to please Him in all things, to stay close to Him and to be like Him. We begin learning how to relate to and communicate with Him. This happy process will continue all our lives until we go to be with Him.
Rightly understood, worship is not an isolated event, but a lifestyle. When we find both our routine and ultimate satisfactions met in Him, we experience joy beyond compare. Drawing near to Him in worship, we invite Him to expose and purify us from all that is contrary to His nature. In His presence, we cannot remain unchanged! True worship of God will transform us to be more like Christ.
Worship of God in chorus with others pleases and glorifies God. The Psalmist urges, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:3) And, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6) And, “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:2) And, “With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise Him.” (Psalm 109:30)
Worshiping the Lord with others is the difference between shooting baskets by oneself and playing basketball on a team. Others’ enjoyment of God increases our enjoyment of Him. Our awe of Him is ratcheted up. The thrill of worshiping our God is contagious and prompts more worship. And because each follower of Christ brings God’s presence with them to worship, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
But many Christians do not experience what we’ve described above. Their relationship with God has become dysfunctional, stale and stagnant. There are a host of reasons for this, all of them lying at our feet, for God does not change. Some who call themselves Christians have never actually entered into a relationship with God at all. Others found the pull of other “gods” too enticing and strong, so they pursue the gods of money, fame, achievement or pleasure. And there are those who think so poorly of themselves and so mistrusting of God that they fail to grasp the genuineness of His love, forgiveness and acceptance.
I said earlier that worship is unique and fundamental to our relationship with God. Yet worship contains relational skills and principles similar to those found in other human relationships. As with any relationship, we must learn and practice these relational skills and principles in order to build a strong, healthy relationship with God.
Then, with Paul, we’ll cry out in unison:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?
Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-37 NIV)
©2018 Rob Fischer