What is Worship?
This week we were introduced to our new sub-series "Delighting in God...Selections From The Psalms." As we walk through this series, we are going to look at, first, who God has revealed himself to be (his attributes), and then, how we should respond in light of that revelation. The key theme of the series is ultimately focused on the worship...the object of our worship, as well as the way in which we worship rightly.
Worship is in our DNA, it is part of who we are and who we were created by God to be. Because we were designed to worship, yet live as sinners in a broken and fallen world, our worship often gets misdirected. We tend to, if we are being honest, worship the wrong things. Moreover, even when the object of our intended worship is correct (God), we struggle to worship rightly. These two errors are equally destructive to our spiritual vitality.
First, when we worship (although we likely wouldn't classify it as such) the wrong things, we are falling into the sin of idolatry. Idolatry, at its most simple, is replacing the primary (God) with what is intended to be secondary (anything else...money, power, sex, hobbies, etc.). Many of our idols are in and of themselves good things...blessings given by God to be enjoyed. However, when we allow those things to consume us and draw our devotion away from God, we fall into error.
Idolatry is a common sin struggle that is often marginalized and rationalized away. We make light of it because we don't think that our out of balance lifestyles, where God is relegated to the sidelines while our time and resources are spent pursuing a myriad of other things, is really that big of a deal. We know God will be there waiting for us when we decide to give him some of our attention. Even worse, we don't recognize the issue at all, as we have become completely blind to our sin. However, the Bible tells tells us that we worship a jealous God, one who takes seriously his commandment to put no other gods before him. When asked which was the greatest commandment, Jesus was quick to point out this fact (Matthew 22:36-38).
Perhaps even more egregiously, when we do worship God, we often do so wrongly, or for the wrong reasons. Our worship isn't a means for us to in some way place God in our debt. Nor is it something to be used to earn his favor. Rather, our worship is meant to be an outward expression of the love in our heart for our Lord. Worship is a celebration of who God is and done in appreciation for what he has done for us. Motivated by anything else, our worship becomes vain religion.
Our worship is one of the fruits of a heart that has been radically transformed by the power of the Gospel. When we experience the life-changing love of Jesus, we can't help but be overwhelmed, which then pours forth from us in worship. Therefore, all that we do is a reflection of who we are. Our sinful attitudes reflect our flesh, the old man who lives to glorify self; while our gratitude and worship reflect the new man, who has been spiritually reborn, now walks in the newness of life, and lives to make much of his Lord and Savior.
If you missed this week's sermon (or just want to listen again), follow the link below to listen. Or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes.
Part 1 - Worship: The Act of Delighting
1. What does it mean to delight in God?
2. How can we be truly happy in life?
3. What implications does our worship have in this life and eternally?