May I get completely honest and heretical for a moment? I have approached worship before, not as a delight that God calls me to, but as a draining duty that I need to perform to somehow stroke the ego of an all-powerful God Who created me for that purpose.
I can feel resentful of this “demand” that God has placed on me. After all, I am already “doing” so many things to please God, and I am exhausted from these efforts. Does God really require one more thing of me? And doesn’t He already know how great He is? Why does He need me to remind Him? Oh, and the thought of spending all of eternity in heaven worshiping God next to strange looking angels brings thoughts ranging from boring to terrifying.
As you can probably see, my attitude does reflect worship – Worship of myself, focus on myself.
Obedience to God always brings blessings far beyond what we can imagine, and obeying God in worship is no different. Far from being a draining duty, worship offers beautiful benefits that will bless our lives. Here are just a few:
1. Worship satisfies our soul longings.
We were made to worship. When we choose an object to worship other than God, we will always be disappointed. People will disappoint us, wealth will never satisfy, exciting experiences do not last, and we will always be frustrated with ourselves. But God never disappoints. We were created to worship God, and only God-worship will truly satisfy our soul longings.
2. Worship readjusts our perspectives.
This life is a mess. Muslim extremists are killing children and brutally raping women. People are dying of starvation while corrupt politicians divert relief funds into their own bank accounts. People around the world are rejecting God and become antagonistic toward Christians. As a mother, my heart is filled with worry over the future of my children in this world.
When I come to God in worship and reflect on Who He is, my heart can rest in Him. I don’t understand what is going on here on earth. I don’t know why an all-powerful God allows human suffering and misery. But I do know that He is all-powerful and in control. I know that He made the world a beautiful place of peace with an abundance of good things for all people, and I know that sin changed all of that. I know that God is just. I know that God has a special place in His heart for vulnerable children. I know that this world is not all that there is to life – there is an after-life in heaven where all things will be made right. When I take my focus off of myself, off of the circumstances around me, and place it on God in worship, my worry is replaced with trust and acceptance. My heart changes. My perspective is readjusted.
3. Worship prepares us for prayer.
Jesus starts and ends the Lord’s Prayer with worship. Many of the prayers recorded in the Bible also start with worship. Why is that? Worship prepares us for prayer. Worship helps us to align our thoughts with God so that when we make petitions and offer up thanks, we can know that we are praying according to His will.
4. Worship develops a relationship with God.
In the book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald S. Whitney says, “The more we focus on God, the more we understand and appreciate how worthy He is.” It is impossible to have a relationship with our great Creator God if we know nothing about Him. As we learn more about God through the study of His Word, our hearts will naturally be drawn to worship Him because He is worthy. And, as we worship Him, we will be able to enter into a deeper relationship with Him. As we walk with Him through this life, we will learn to trust Him and love Him.
As we grow in relationship and worship, the thought of going to heaven to worship God for all of eternity becomes the longing of our hearts. The thought of worshiping God for all of eternity in heaven? It is the hope for peace, joy, love, and home.
How about you? What benefits of worship have you experienced? I would love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below.
More Resources from Path Through the Narrow Gate:
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