Thursday, December 7, 2023

The God We Worship (Psalm 84)

"My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" (Ps. 84:2).

Before we study further the discourses of God in the book of Job, we will consider what it means to worship the Lord. In a day when churches are trying to make worship services more relevant to the culture and more palatable to visitors, teaching on what it truly means to worship God is desperately needed.

First, we must understand that worship is essential to man’s nature. Because man is made in the image of God, he is religious by nature. Sin has not eradicated this aspect of humanity; man remains essentially religious. The problem is that he does not worship the one true God. Instead, he worships idols made in the image of created things. Even the most staunch atheist worships something, usually himself in one form or another.

True worship takes place only when the one true God is worshiped in His Spirit and by His revealed truth. When the true character of God and directives on how we can reflect that character in Christ are proclaimed, then worship is pleasing to God. If someone finds such worship boring, then they are looking, not for God, but for an idol to titillate their emotions and appease their consciences.

Churches today are bending over backwards to try to make worship interesting and captivating. The root of the problem is that people who find worship of God boring are not seeking after the living God in the first place. When people come before His presence truly seeking Him, they find themselves gripped by His holiness, grace, and majesty. In other words, only true believers will ever find worship “interesting.” Look at the enthusiasm the writer of Psalm 84 expresses for the worship of God: “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”

Every Christian should have such enthusiasm, such desire to approach God in worship. But notice, the reason the psalmist is so excited is because his heart and his flesh cry out for the living God. Worship to him is being in the presence of God. When that is central, the music, the choir, the preacher’s style, all fade into the background. If only more Christians would come into the presence of God and seek His face, worship will never be boring again.

What is your attitude in worship? Do you come to be entertained, to be swept away by fuzzy feelings, to learn some intellectual notions about God and Christianity, or do you come to seek God’s face, to know Him better, to adore Him and praise Him for who He is? Confess today any wrong attitudes you might have about worship.