I wanted to write something about worship today. I started thinking about what I would write while I was sitting in church watching the band practice for a few minutes before the service. I got no ideas from watching them. During the service, though, I began to think about whether people view worship as an “appetizer” or a “dessert.” Is worship something we do on Sunday to gear up for a tough week or is it a reward for a week spent in God’s service?
Now I realize I am looking at worship in a rather limited fashion here. The trend in today’s church is to speak about worship being more than something we do for a few minutes on a Sunday morning – worship is a lifestyle of continually affirming God’s worth, continually honoring Him. Today I’m just looking at a rather small subset of worship which is “praise and worship” or music and singing.
I think we have all gone to church and had great experiences worshipping God and perhaps felt that we have not earned our opportunity to worship. Perhaps we have gone an entire week without pausing to pray and without even opening the Bible. Yet on Sunday we head to church, throw our hands in the air and sing our hearts out. Does that seem hypocritical to you? It does to me. After all, shouldn’t worship be the culmination of a week’s service to God?
At the same time, I’m sure we’ve all had times where we have had a particularly spiritual week – a week in which we’ve been in constant prayer and devotion. A week where we feel we have grown so close to God that we can feel His pleasure when we sing to Him. Then when we come to church at the beginning of a new week and worship Him, isn’t it so sweet? It’s just like a decadent dessert at the end of a great meal.
So is worship a chance to start over or is it a chance to experience God’s reward?
It is both.
Have you had a week where you feel you have been far from God and where you have turned from Him? Ask for His forgiveness and then worship Him for His goodness and His willingness to forgive and restore. Worship Him for convicting you of your sin and allowing you to repent.
Have you had a week where you have felt God’s presence close enough to touch Him? Thank Him and then worship Him for His faithfulness and for His goodness in being close to you. Reach out through your worship and thank Him for the work He has done in you.
Either way, worship Him, for He is good. He delights in our worship as we delight in worshipping Him. Worship God and receive His pleasure as your own pleasure.