The expectation of Scripture is that we will worship God. Hundreds of verses in the Bible contain exhortations to praise and worship the Lord. BUT… Have you ever wondered WHY we should worship God?
Obviously, first and foremost, He is worthy of our adoration. He holds our very breath in His hand. But there’s more. (Not that more is needed). I found it in Psalm 106:16-19. Referring to the time when Moses went up the mountain for 40 days and received the 10 Commandments, it reads, “They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped the molded image. Thus they changed their glory into the image of an ox that eats grass.” (Seems that calf has grown into a raging bull!)
This is huge!
The word used for “worship” here is “shachah” which means to “bow down, prostrate oneself before a superior in homage, and do reverence”. The word used for glory is “kabowd” which means, “glory, honor, splendor, abundance, riches”. So here’s what happens when you worship anything or anyone…
First of all, your act of worship is an acknowledgment that you believe that person or object is superior to you. When that happens, you exchange the glory and honor God crowned you with to have dominion in the earth, (Psalm 8:4-8) for the glory of something that we are to have dominion over.
The glory you carry cannot exceed the glory of what you worship.
The children of Israel worshiped the golden calf and so their glory was reduced to that of an ox that eats grass. But glory is an expression of worth and value, so by worshiping an ox, they exchanged their worth and value to that of an ox.
You see, in worship, we tend over time, to become like what we worship. I believe God wants us to worship Him, not because He is insecure, but because He wants us to realize we are sons and daughters of the King of kings. He wants us to find and step into our rightful place on earth and to “reign in life, through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17)
The more we worship God, the more we come to know who He is and who and what He made us to be. It is through worship that we find our worth, value and identity. If folks worship Elvis (as many do), they eventually end up singing his songs, dressing like him and combing their hair funny.
The more you worship someone or something, the more you grow in your love for them. Let me be bluntly honest on something… I simply and truly, adore my wife Judy. I have since the day we met and got engaged. (Same day). There are a number of traits or preferences Judy has that were not similar to mine.
She for example, has to have the perfect pillow to sleep on. (We are still trying to find that one). I on the other hand, didn’t care what pillow I used. But now, five years later, I wrestle each night with about 4 different pillows trying to get comfortable with one of them and, like Judy, am never completely happy with my pillow! Go figure. There are other examples, but over the years, we have grown more like each other and frankly, I find it both funny and heart warming.
Our preferences will change
The more we spend time loving, adoring and worshiping God, the more His preferences will become ours, our desires will line up with His and the more we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. Yes, God has a list of things He hates, even abhors. (Read Proverbs 6:16-19 for a partial list.) The more we worship Him, the more we will find ourselves detesting the same things He does. Similarly, the more we worship Him, the more we will discover His heart and we will love who and what He loves.
When we learn to love what God loves and hate what God hates, we become much more like Him. That’s more than an intellectual understanding. It’s more than just avoiding sin. When we worship God over time, we will hate the thought of sin. We will avoid it, not just because it is destructive, but also because we find it abhorrent.
You will no longer have to fight the battle against temptation and sin out of sheer will power. You will find that you are repulsed by it and will avoid it by preference and out of love for God. But as that change happens in you, you will simultaneously find yourself loving who and what God loves. You will WANT to be in His presence. You will WANT to worship Him. You will CRAVE His Word. You will LONG for the flush of His Spirit cascading through yours.
This, my friend, is the beauty of worship.
We become more and more like one of God’s kids and less and less like some dumb ox on Wall Street pursuing only his interests. That’s worth doing!
So here is what I am doing… I call it my 30/30 challenge. I purposefully set aside 30 minutes a day, to do nothing but worship God. It can be broken up throughout the day or all at once. I bow down or lay prostrate before Him. This is not a prayer walk. This is not Bible reading. This is worship. I’ll share more about what that looks like in subsequent blogs.
A good number of folks have written, commented or called to say they are joining me on this. Will you be one? I want to see what will happen in our lives if we follow through on this for just one month. I think it will be life changing. Care to join me? Let me know if you do and let’s stay in touch through the process.
Until next time, be fruitful and multiply!