Day Eight - Planned For God's Pleasure
I was planned for God’s pleasure. With this sentence Rick Warren begins day eight of The Purpose Driven Life and his discussion of the first of my five purposes. The first purpose of my life is to bring enjoyment and pleasure to God. As the crowning achievement of His creation, I can bring Him pleasure like nothing else.
Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship.” Therefore, anything that I do that brings Him pleasure is an act of worship. The Christian world has long operated under the false idea that only music is worshipping God, but, as is quite commonly taught these days, worship extends into every area of my life. The term “praise and worship music” is a misnomer, as all music, when sung to God, is worshipful. This realization of worship being more than music is what gave Matt Redman the inspiration for his beautiful song, The Heart of Worship:
When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
It’s all about you
All about you, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about you, Jesus
That song speaks of a realization that music can be used to drive us away from worship. Music can become an idol in a worship service if not used the way God intended it. If music is seen as the only legitimate form of worship, it is not true worship.
When I properly understand what worship is I will come to realize that worship is not for my benefit. Yes, I can be uplifted and encouraged through it, but worshipping God is not receiving but is giving away. I give worship to God as an expression of my love for Him and to give Him the glory He deserves.
Warren wraps up the chapter by stating that worship is not a part of my life; it is my life. The Bible commands that we praise God at all times and to worship Him continually. Therefore, any activity that is done for God’s glory and for His pleasure becomes an act of worship. “This is the secret to a lifestyle of worship - doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus.”
Warren quotes the Bible eleven times using six translations and paraphrases. As he tends to do, he often uses just a snippet of a verse and loses some of the true meaning. For example, he quotes John 4:23 as saying, “The Father seeks worshipers. The more accurate translation is “such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” A small point, I admit, but when seen in the proper context we see that the verse actually speaks of true worshipers. God does not desire just any worshipers; He desires those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. In other places he seems to find the words “worship” or “purpose” where those words are at best only hinted at. It seems at times that if seven translations said “good pleasure” and one translation said “purpose,” Warren would use the one that said “purpose” regardless of the accuracy of that word. And as I have said previously, I do not disagree with what he teaches; I simply disagree with the way he uses Scripture at times.
Point To Ponder
Today’s point to ponder is “I was planned for God’s pleasure.” As with Warren’s statements from day seven, this seems to clash with his teaching in day two that I was created so God could love me. I find it an incredible thought that God created me (and you!) for the express purpose of bringing Him glory. And I now have the choice to live each day in worship to Him; to live each day for the very purpose He created me. Of course this also means that I can choose to live each day for my own purposes. What a sobering thought that every moment of every day I can choose to rob God of worship that is rightly His. And what a glorious thought that in even the most boring aspects of my life I can glorify and honor Him by doing these tasks, however menial, as an act of worship. My prayer is that every word I say, every thought I think and every deed I do will be done as an act of worship to my Savior.
Tomorrow’s topic is What Makes God Smile?