Worship?! As a born and bred Pentecostal, I should know all about worship. On top of that, I just finished a seminary course in worship leadership. I got a perfect 100% in everything. Does that make me a budding expert on worship?
I’ve analyzed and critiqued two worship services of different "genre." I crafted my own Biblical foundation for worship and a theology of worship. I led a worship service and made a DVD of the experience for a grade. I commented on all different aspects of worship. Two very complete orders of worship were submitted-not to mention the project on dance in worship. You can see that one here. I read four books. All this after being a lifelong Pentecostal, a wacky Charismatic and having taught worship classes in churches. Wow, that was a lot of work on worship.
What about experiences? Well, there are plenty of them. I’ve shouted and done Jericho marches to the tune of I’ll Fly Away. I’ve literally rolled on the floor (I guess that makes me a genuine "Holy Roller"). I’ve knelt, been slain, danced, waved my hands, waved flags, own a glory hoop, a Tallit, a shofar and had some very, very deep, quiet intimate times with Jesus. Let me tell you, these were all great times. And for those of you who know me as a bit more nerdy and quiet, yes, I was sane the whole time. In fact, I recommend all those experiences!
Yesterday, David reminded us that our work is a part of our worship. I want to take that a bit further. The Westminster Catechism asks, What is the chief end of man (humanity)? The answer is: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I think this begs the question, if worship is about God and His glory, then how does God feel about what I offer for worship. Is the worship about me? How I feel? How I “perform?” or is it about Him?
I don’t know how God feels when we do a Jericho march around the church. Or when I wave my banners and dance? I like to think He enjoys it. God cares about me. Jesus died for my freedom. We know those ancient Hebrews got pretty expressive as they worshiped. When the glory of the Lord fills a house, we must react. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, he was only allowed to see his goodness. To see more would mean Moses’ death. You can read about it here.
So this business of worship and God’s glory is pretty serious business. I read a book last summer that said some things about how to please God in worship. After all that is our goal, not to feel good or have those Holy Ghost Goosebumps but to glorify God. John Piper says in Let the Nations Be Glad:
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied with Him. (Piper 20)
I pondered this phrase for weeks last summer. When I think of worship, I think it is not only about actions, liturgy, manifestations and the like. It is about being satisfied with God. Some of the meanings of the verb, to satisfy are:
· to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to
· to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision
· to give assurance to; convince
· to answer sufficiently
Yes, satisfying sure sounds like something only God can do?
Are you satisfied with God? The more satisfied you are with Him, the more you have worshipped and glorified God.
Hallelujah I have found Him
Whom my soul, so long has craved
Jesus satisfies my longings
By His blood I know am saved.
For all the lyrics to this wonderful hymn, see here.