Monday, July 13, 2009

Why Worship

I just finished reading a book about worship. I expected it to be really good because of the name- but you just can't judge a book by its cover. My biggest issue with this book was that it seemed to suggest that we worship because of what we get out of it. The book came accross as saying that the reason we should worship God is because our worship frees God up to bless us. Consider this quote from the book: "We need to begin to praise our way up, out of, and into what and where God calls us to be."

But is that really why we worship God- just to have our problems solved? I would contend that it is not! The Bible suggests that the correct reason to worship God is simply because He deserves it and is worthy of our worship. I suggest that when we approach worship selfishly, that we are not really worshiping God at all- we are worshiping ourselves. God is the greatest being in the universe. It is only right for us to praise and honor the One who made us and saved us.

Don't get me wrong. I'll freely acknowledge that we do benefit from our service to God and perhaps even our worship of God. And I have no problem with "selfish" motives to some extent. For example, decades ago C. S. Lewis pointed out that our desires for gain are not big enough. We ought to desire eternal reward, and that should motivate us to serve God and seek joy in Him. More recently, John Piper has become known for clearly demonstrating that the way that we do glorify God is by enjoying Him. Both of these well-respected saints are on to something. God does hold eternal joy and eternal reward out to us as a proper motivating factor in our service to Him. I am almost certain that neither Lewis or Piper would be comfortable, however, with the suggestion that we worship in order to manipulate God into giving us what we need. NO! We worship because God is worthy of our worship. And if we benefit in the present, then that is an extra bonus.

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