The Heart of Worship

There comes a point when you have to ask yourself, “Why do I come to this place?”  Exactly what is the purpose of going to church?  I have a duty to glorify God.  I was raised going to church and that is what I do on Sunday mornings.  If I miss a Sunday, I might not be allowed into heaven.  My friends will look down on me if they don’t see me at church.  I partied really hard last night so I had better go “punch in” at church.  My spouse makes me go.  I need help paying rent this month so I need to go to church so they will help me out.  I could go on and on, but you get my point.  If any of those reasons ever cross your mind when getting ready to “go to church,” then the result will probably look something like this:

Church buildings all across the world are filled with people who expect to get something out of worship.  They are looking for the most exciting, entertaining, enticing worship service possible.  They are looking for what they can get out of worship.  Often times, church goers are even looking for what they are doing “right” in comparison to what others are doing wrong.  Sunday mornings can easily become a popularity contest, judge’s stand, ego booster, people pleaser, or show-and-tell.

There are people all over the world who are outwardly praising and glorifying God and Christ, while on the inside are completely disconnected.  They are thinking about the movie they watched the night before, the football game that will be on that afternoon, the bad telephone conversation they had with their mother, the ugly tie the preacher is wearing, how many times the prayer leader said “Father,” what’s for lunch, and so many countless other things that separate us from truly honoring God as Supreme Creator.

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men.” (Isaiah 29:13 NIV)

True worship involves bringing your heart before God.  There is no formula for what that should look like.  There are times that are hearts are filled with joy for the amazing gift that we have been given.  There are other times when our hearts are full of sorrow because we feel far from God or perhaps our hearts are filled with bitterness and resentment because we feel that we have been wronged by life’s circumstances.  God’s desire is for His people to worship Him with our hearts opened wide; to set aside the mundane things of this world and to draw our thoughts toward Him.  Honoring God with our heart is a far different thing than the lip service that He so often receives.

It’s time to take away all of the things that are barriers between our hearts and God.  It’s time to release our emotions to be filled with His goodness.  May we come before the throne of God with reverence and awe; praising Him for His majesty.  May we remove the trite things from our minds and offer Him our very being.  May we worship God the Father with sincerity and absence of self.

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 ways things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And 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

-Matt Redman

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