Worship: Who is God to You?
June 3, 2018
Every Sunday, we go to church and spend anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour (sometimes more) singing songs of praise and worship. If you ever have the opportunity of looking at the congregation from the front side, you’d be able to see people with different kinds of demeanor while the music and singing are going on. There are those who are enthusiastically singing with all their hearts—and their throats—with their hands lifted high in the air. Some would be dancing. And I’m not just talking about swaying. I mean dancing with their feet, hands, hips, and shoulders moving almost like the Jabawokees came to the worship service. While others would be more demure with their hands raised and both feet firmly planted to the ground. During the slow singing part, often referred to by most people as the “worship” portion, a complete shift of mood and conduct takes place. Some would raise their hands. Some would just clasp them together while looking up to the sky (or the roof, that is). Some would be crying. Some would be smiling. While still, some would appear stoic with their arms folded across their chest.
So, in just one scenario of a worship service, you will see different kinds of ways that people express their praise and their worship to God. Now let’s not go into questioning whether or not any of these are the right or wrong way to “worship.” Let’s leave the theological discussion for some other time. However, the question we probably should ask, not others, but ourselves, is this… how well do we know the God whom we worship? Why is this important? Because the level of our understanding of who God is will surely have a big impact on—in fact, even determine—how we will worship God, not just in terms of demeanor but more so in terms of attitude. After all, worship is all about “worth-ship,” that is, the main focus is on the worth of the God whom we are worshipping. That’s why we hear it often said that we worship God for who He is and not just for what He has done (there’s even a song that says that). But then, if that’s the case, how then can we worship God for who He is if we don’t have a deep enough understanding of Him, His character, His attributes?
Let’s look at one very simple example. Whenever you relate to God, whether during worship or prayer, have you ever considered the greatness of this God that we are relating to? How both awesome and terrifying He is? We always sing that God is an awesome God. But terrifying? Did you know that the bible speaks of fearing God ninety-four times? In fact, Hebrews 10:31, referring to God judging His people, says that “it is a fearful [dreadful, terrifying] thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” In Revelations 1, when John in a vision saw Jesus in His glorified state, he fell to the ground like a dead man. And that was just a vision! If you read Isaiah 6 and Revelations 4, both of which are visions of God seated on the throne, you will find the kind of respect, reverence, and fear that is accorded to God by the heavenly creatures who surrounded Him.
Now, couple that understanding with the fact that God is the most powerful, eternal being that had created everything that exists, including this whole universe in which the planet earth is probably comparably as small as an atom. Or smaller. I mean, forget about healing the sick or raising the dead. These miracles are a walk in the park compared to creating the cosmos. God knows everything (omniscient). He can do anything (almighty). He is simultaneously anywhere and everywhere (omnipresent). He depends on nothing for His existence (God’s aseity). He has no beginning and no end (infinite). He fills all of space, time, and everything beyond or in between (God’s immensity). We were created for His pleasure and we have our being in Him (Acts 17:28; Rev 4:11). This means that if God even as much as stops thinking of the universe, everything will disappear and halt its existence, including us.
This is how great God whom we worship is. The description of who He is lies outside the bounds of our comprehension. The day I realized this and started to ponder upon it, it began to change the way I worshipped God, and even the way I prayed. For instance, it dawned on me that never should I treat God casually whether in my words or in my demeanor. Although, He has indeed called me (and us) “friend,” He is not like a buddy of mine whom I can, like, tap on the shoulder and say, “Hey! What’s up G?” Even if the president of the country were my friend (hypothetically, of course), I would not and should not treat him that way. How much more the God of this universe? I should be bowing before Him. I should be kneeling at His feet. I should be falling down on my face as though I were dead at His presence.
It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to treat God with the utmost of reverence and respect. We ought to do this when we pray to Him, when we sing to Him, when we dance before Him, when we do anything at all in His presence. But this can only happen once we understand deep in our hearts who God really is. And when we do, it will change our entire concept of worship.
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