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  • Adam Butler

God Desires Godly Worship

Human beings are worshipers. We were designed that way. That is, we have a natural tendency to worship something, be it a person, an item, ourselves, etc. So what is worship? And who deserves it?

Worship, simply put, is worth-ship. When we worship, we are acknowledging something above ourselves, and giving praise and glory to whatever that may be. We are acknowledging its worth or value. When it comes to Biblical, Godly worship, this type of worship begins with the trinity-the perfect, triune God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are worthy of our worship. The persons of the trinity exist in perfect unity, eternally displaying love, community, and submission to each other.

Though God does not require our worship, as to suggest that there is something lacking in God, he deserves our worship and devotion and is worthy of all we can bring. Humans, after all, are created in His image (imago Dei), and should therefore reflect the worth and glory of our Father in heaven by ultimately pointing it back to Him.

As the Westminster catechism says, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. That is our purpose: to bring God the glory. We do so when we worship, being that we are image-bearers of the one true God. It is in our core to worship God. Our fallen nature, however, causes us to drift from this and worship other things. We seek the glory of ourselves and lift up the creation, rather than our Creator. This is sin.

What Does Worship Look Like?

While many of us may immediately picture a Sunday service and singing songs when we hear the word “worship,” it is so much deeper than this. Yes, melodies and rhythm are a means of expressing worship, but worship exists with or without the instrumentation and song. Rather, worship is an outpouring of ourselves back to God.

The writer of Hebrews says this: “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:15–17). Worship is sacrifice.

Worship Is Not:

About us.

I once saw a post on Instagram from a leader at a large church, in which she defined worship as “surrender to what God says about us.” I was shocked at the statement; how easy it is for us as sinful, fallen humans to take Godly worship and point the glory back on ourselves. If anything, when we do acknowledge ourselves in worship, it should be to remember our depravity and need for a Savior! The glory belongs to God alone.

This is not to say we should not marvel at God’s mercy and love for us by calling us sons and daughters though we are sinful. But worship should never be about us. It should be solely about God alone.

Worship is also not confined to Sunday mornings. For too many of us, it remains there, whereas we fail to recognize that all of life is continuous worship. The only question is: who will be the object of our praise?

God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14), burning with passion, who longs for His children to desire to worship Him. Will we bow in surrender to the King of Kings, to enjoy Him forever, or will we continue looking to worldly pleasures to be the objects of our devotion?

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