You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. Exodus 20:3-5, NIV
God created worship for himself! We don’t need to look any further than the first of the Ten Commandments to realize this truth. Here is almighty God telling us in no uncertain terms that he expects worship to be his and only his. You’ve heard it said, and may have said it yourself, “I didn’t get anything out of that worship service today.” But worship is not primarily for us to “get something.” Instead, true worship happens when we present ourselves to God. It is all about what we bring to him.
Experiencing true worship does not result from the church building, the band, the choir, the organ, the musical style, the performers or the ministers, or any other packaging or personalities. True worship is not dependent on whether our worship is expressed in a liturgical service, an evangelical service or any other particular form or format. Worship is all about God and for God. This truth must saturate our minds and hearts to flush out any self-centeredness God finds in our worship. In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren wrote, “True worship—bringing God pleasure— happens when you give yourself completely to God. Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about.”
What is the core of Christian worship that is non-negotiable? What is the essence of true worship that transcends all our styles, cultures, and traditions? Is there a common worship theology that holds true regardless of denomination or local church affiliation? If we expect to embrace true worship that will power our Church Train back to our original destination (making disciples who make disciples), we must answer these questions. We must discover God’s definition of worship that will effectively empower us as worshiping disciples on mission. We will delve into the answers to these questions in upcoming blogs, so stay tuned!
“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:25, NIV
Here is the main thing we need to understand if we are going to truly worship God. God does not need us. We need God. God is complete, in and of himself. His glory is not dependent on us glorifying him. He was almighty and all-glorious before creation. He was Alpha and Omega before he created us to have relationship with him. And our worship can’t add one ounce to his completeness. My greatest performance does not bring value to my supremely worthy God.
Do you have the unstated assumption that your worship or your worship leading is crucial to God? Get over it! Become an instrument in HIS HAND. — Mark Powers