Worship. It’s what we were created to do and as such humanity will, in fact, worship.
And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:1-3 (ESV)
The question then is not “Are we worshipers?” but rather “Whom or what do we worship?”
God lovingly commanded us to beware of our tendency to worship anything other than Him, our good and holy Creator. We were made for worship. We glorify God, and find our greatest joy, through rightful worship. As a songbird glorifies its Maker by bringing forth melodic trills, humans follow suit as we align our worship toward the rightful recipient – the one, true God.
So then, how shall we worship?
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:19-26 (ESV)
In this amazing account from the gospel of John, Jesus turns this woman’s attention from peripheral matters on worship (one of geographical and ritualistic concern – this mountain… Jerusalem?) to what is the essence of Christian worship. Jesus teaches that “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” What an astounding statement!
David, the shepherd king, sang of God’s rightful place in receiving worship from His good creation, both in heaven and throughout the earth.
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
Psalm 29:1-2 (ESV)
All of creation is admonished to worship the Lord, to give God the glory due his name.
It’s what we were made to do. The Westminster Shorter Catechism points to this truth in asking, “What is the chief end of man?” and answering “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. David sings of the glory due God’s name and the catechism speaks to the very foundation of our existence. We were made to worship God and to enjoy him. And that enjoyment, our utmost joy, will have no end!
Francis A. Schaeffer eloquently unpacked the catechism’s first inquiry: “‘The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.’ It would be scripturally false to leave out the second phrase – ‘and to enjoy him forever.’ The men who formulated this showed great wisdom and insight in saying ‘and to enjoy him forever.’ Nevertheless, the first phrase is the first phrase: ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God.’ And in Christianity we have a non-determined God who did not need to create because there was love and communication within the Trinity, and yet having been created, we as men can glorify God. But we must feel the force of both sides of the issue. If we fail to emphasize that we can glorify God, we must raise the whole question of whether men are significant at all. We begin to lose our humanity as soon as we begin to lose the emphasis that what we do makes a difference. We can glorify God, and the Old and New Testament say that we can even make God sad. That is tremendous.”
We were made for worship. It’s what makes us human. It’s what we were designed to do and if we worship anything other than the rightful recipient we become less our ourselves, a mere shell of what we were actually created for.
The Samaritan woman in John chapter 4 encountered Jesus the Christ and it changed her life forever. She knew that the Christ was coming and said as much to Jesus. He then revealed to her that the Christ, the Messiah had come and was standing there before her! The good and true King had come and the scriptures teach that He will come again.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 (ESV)
Let us heed the words of the psalmist and fill our lungs, hearts, and minds with true and rightful worship to our creator God. May we worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in spirit and in truth.
Let us thank God for His good creation and offer praise to His holy name.
Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to stir in our hearts, leading us to worship Him as we ought.
Let us join with the ransomed Church of Jesus – past, present and future and echo the strains of the heavenly beings in Revelation 4:11.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Amen and amen.