As God’s kingdom of priests, we are facilitators of worship before him. Worship is giving God praise, adoration, glory, honor, devotion, and love. It is an encounter with God where there is total submission to God. Unfortunately, some Christians have developed the idea that worship is for the worshiper rather than for God. They look to see what they are getting out of worship rather than what they are bringing to a holy God in worship.
The attitudes we are to bring to our worship are described in God’s Word.
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
(23) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
(24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Worship is first and foremost a heart attitude. We can expect to miss meeting God if we come with pride, sin, anger, an unrepentant spirit, or neglect in our relationship with him. When our approach to God is right, then our intellect, emotions, and senses come together for a glorious meeting with God through Christ. The prophet Micah asked the question,
“Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
Micah answers these questions with what is acceptable and pleasing to God in worship,
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Worship is both personal and corporate. We are a people belonging to God, and we function best in community together. God has even given us instructions for his worship that grow out of our relationship with him, our relationship with other believers, and the knowledge that when we relate to other believers we are indeed relating to him, as well! So God requires that we gather together.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Proclaiming God’s truth, with words and music, along with giving thanks to God are elements God requires.
(19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
(20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Even as God has given us his commands for the attitude and expressions he desires in worship, he also desires to be the central focus of our worship. Giving God glory is not accomplished with inner or outer confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:33
(33) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
One of the roles the man God uses can play is to identify and correct man-centered worship. Like most good things, there are counterfeits in worship that do not bring people before God in an acceptable fashion. People leave entertained and motivated, but they have not tasted the Living Waters. People may have been startled by how different or unique the experience was, but they may not have come away with the words of life. In fact, true worship may leave you broken, repentant, and sorrowful—quite the opposite of the hype some have brought inside the church walls.
God will refuse to accept worship that is halfhearted or less than what he deserves. Worship that requires little of us is likewise worth little to God. Evaluate your own worship. Does your worship experience end at the close of the service, or are you usually motivated to change or take action because of your encounter with God?