Is the worship we bring to God worthy of Him? It was a question I was asked by God several years ago , one that started my journey to discover what the biblical worship that God desired was. Something we need to understand is God is deserving of worship all the time and everywhere. And His value never hinges on our performance, so His worth can never be increased or diminished. His greatness and majesty is overwhelming and absolute all the time. So I learned that my week was, or the condition my life was in was irrelevant to His worth and I could worship Him. But I still struggled with whether what I offered to Him was worthy of Him.
So much of modern Christianity is build around us and what we need and want and we come to God to be blessed and encouraged, and to ask for His stamp of approval on what we are doing and then we return to doing life according to our plans and desires. And our time for God becomes a time slot in our schedule where we do our religious duty to be a good Christian and then we carry on with life our life and hope that God approves of us. Years ago when the billionaire Howard Hughes died, his company’s public relations director asked the casinos in Las Vegas, where Hughes owned multiple casinos, to show him respect by giving him a minute of silence. For an uncomfortable sixty seconds, the casinos fell eerily silent. Then a pit boss looked at his watch, leaned forward, and whispered, “Okay, roll the dice. He’s had his minute.” (From the book, Howard Hughes: The Hidden Years, cited in “Our Daily Bread,” 11/77.)
Our religious activity often amounts mostly to “giving God His minute” before moving back to living our lives and doing our thing. As a result we have people who call themselves Christians who are at best the same as the world around them, and often even worse, and yet we are called to be a light in the darkness. We attach labels to each other and say we are doing God’s work while we tear down and destroy anyone who disagrees with us because we are “followers of the truth”. And we gather together to “worship” with hearts full of treachery and deceit, knowing we are not the people God desires, but we put on a good show and hide our true selves from everyone around us, at least for a couple of hours, before we return to normal life. A very sad state to be in and it doesn’t sound much like worship to me. It definitely doesn’t bring any glory to Him.
Worship that God desires is first built on the truth that He is supreme and the standard that we are to measure up to. It is also built on the truth that in ourselves we have nothing to offer and at every attempt to measure up to the standard we have failed. It is then built upon the opportunity for relationship provided to us by Jesus’ death and resurrection, paying for our inability to meet the standards, and opening the door to a life lived in transformational, spirit guided, life changing, relationship to our God and King who called us to live this way. And as we maintain that relationship and respond to His leading we live lives of worship to our King. Or as Paul taught we “Christian brothers, I ask you from my heart to give your bodies to God because of His loving-kindness to us. Let your bodies be a living and holy gift given to God. He is pleased with this kind of gift. This is the true worship that you should give Him.” Romans 12:1 New Life Version.
Then “worship” is no longer an activity where we “give God His time” before moving on. But it becomes a life living in the continual presence of our King, giving Him glory and honor, by our words, but also our actions, because we live in response to His guidance and simply follow His lead. We then enjoy Him, and He guides and directs us. We then can become like Him, which is the ultimate goal, and the result of worship. Because we always become like what we worship. You can always tell what our worship is focused on by our behaviour.
It is up to us whether we continue on the same path, giving God tidbits of our lives, or do we truly worship as Jesus commanded, and God desires to “Worship in Spirit and truth.” The rewards for discovering God’s plan and following are definitely life changing and can transform us and the world around us. Or we can remain in the struggle and miss out on the life following our plan and understanding. It doesn’t sound like much of a choice to me.