It’s a question frequently asked in the church today; in a world where churchgoers dispute the sanctity of traditional versus contemporary worship services, much attention is drawn to our manner of worship. But whether there’s an organ or an electric guitar, a hymnal or a giant screen, true worship is a reflection of the Christian life, not the medium through which it occurs. A heart that honors and obeys God will worship in truth no matter the circumstance. A heart that lacks such honor and obedience will worship falsely. The argument over what is considered “false” rages on, yet the foundation of false worship has nothing to do with music, style, instruments, etc. False worship is rooted in the heart, manifested in religiosity, and ultimately rejected by our God who deserves nothing less than the utmost praise, honor, and glory.
“God seeks true worshippers who honor and obey Him.” This concise yet profound statement speaks volumes on both the character of God and the life of the Christian. The LORD desires that both our internal affections and external actions be directed toward Him. And the two go hand in hand. A heart that truly honors God will yield a life of obedience to Him. A life that displays obedience to God is evidence of a heart that honors Him. The heart informs our worship, our obedience proves it. I often think about obedience in terms of a rigid dichotomy of whether or not I fall into sin. Do I sin or do I obey? Do I follow or do I forsake His commands? My gauge on obedience is centered on the observed aspects of my life, on how well I exercise discipline and self-control. And this isn’t necessarily bad; sin must be fought fervently, commands must be followed diligently. But perhaps these are the questions I should be asking myself in times of temptation: Does my heart aim to honor the LORD? Do I desire a clean heart? Do I love the LORD with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength? Because if the answer is a sincere, resounding yes, then the natural posture of my life will be that of obedience. Obedience becomes not an exercise in willpower, but an act of worship.
There are several ways we can respond to this, the most practical one being confronting the places of our life where we are not worshipping the LORD, and seeking to honor Him in those areas. In doing so we should strive to obey, and strive to grow in our fear and knowledge of God so that we may better honor Him. But overall, these truths about false worship (the root, the religiosity, and the rejection) should point us to true worship, worship stemming from a heart that longs, that faints for God. Our God is so inexplicably worthy of true, earnest, heartfelt worship. In meditating upon the very nature of God, His divine glory, His splendor and majesty, His mercy, His kindness, His holiness, His perfect judgement and abounding love, in understanding the depth of my sin and the severity of my rebellion against Him, the wrath I deserve yet will not endure because my Savior suffered, bled, and died in my place, what else can I do but fall down on my knees and worship the One who has so lovingly saved me? May the wonders of the gospel guide our hearts in true worship.
10.16.2020 Fall 2020 Week Two