The Nature of Worship
It is often easy to lose sight of the very nature of worship and the result of this robs us of one of the great blessings God has for us. Before reading any more of this article stop and ask yourself, “Why do I come to worship each week?” There may be many reasons, but what is the fundamental, underlying reason you come to worship each week?
If you think first in terms of, “I do it because He commands me to,” perhaps you should think more about it. Did not Jesus describe those who “…draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me”? We do come to worship because He commands us, but if that is the primary reason, we are robbing ourselves of the true meaning of worship. Think about the following verses and my comments about them.
Psalm 100:2: “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” Notice how godly men came to worship realizing that this was the place, above all others, where we are “in His presence.” We come with gladness and praise before Him. In worship we are truly in His presence.
Psalm 95:2: “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Notice the plural pronouns in this verse. It is not a private time of praise David had in mind. It was “us” who came before Him in His presence. The next verse sheds even more reasons as to why we come to worship. “For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.” We should stand in awe that this great God would so graciously allow sinful men to come into His presence.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2: “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools…let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few.” Every aspect of worship is important, but in most acts we are actively involved. However, God designed worship as a time when by preaching He would speak to us! We are in His presence and should come motivated to hear His words.
Psalm 100:1-4: “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name.”
Worship is not just “making a payment” on a heavenly insurance policy. We do not come just to obey Him. Worship comes from hearts which long to praise Him in His presence.