" ... a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." [John 4:22-24. NIV]
I often hear people say, "God created us to worship him." It sounds kind of spiritual but I don't believe it is true. For God to create people for the purpose of worshipping him would be a selfish reason for creation - as if God has some deep inner need that he has created us to fill.
Imagine me choosing to marry my wife Nicole because I simply want a cook, a house-keeper, and a lover. Not the makings of a great marriage! No, I married Nicole because I truly love her and I wanted to spend my life with her as my best friend. The other things are benefits of the relationship - not goals.
Notice that Jesus does not tell us that the Father is looking for 'worship'. He has worship all around him in heaven - with angels singing 'holy, holy, holy' on a continual basis. The Father is looking for 'worshippers'. He is looking for people who he can have a loving relationship with.
I believe that God created us in order to give himself to us - in unselfish love. God has no need outside of himself that he is trying to fulfill through us. He is self-existent and self-reliant. He does not need anyone. However, because he is love - he chooses to create us, to love us, to seek our well-being, and to desire a relationship with us. Incredible.
Read this comment from Paul and think about it for a moment ...
"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." [Romans 5:6-9. NLT]
How do you respond to a God like that? Once you have a revelation of his incredible love for you, you want to love him in return (1 John 4:19). You want to worship. Worship is our response to God's revelation of himself. When we see his magnificent creation and experience his incredible redemption, there's nothing we want to do but worship.
'Worship' is giving worth and honour to God. It is much more than a song, or attending a church service on a weekend. It is living a life that brings pleasure to God.
- Live a life focused on fulfilling God's purposes for the earth.
- Obey God's commands. Obedience is the ultimate act of worship.
- Sing songs of praise and worship to God on a regular basis. God's heart is moved when we worship him from our heart. We can do this along or with other followers of Christ.
May this be a year when we offer to God extravagant worship - at a level and with a depth of heart beyond where we have ever been before.