I came across a passage in Tim Keller's book, King's Cross, where he explains that when he was in college he studied Mozart in music appreciation so that he'd get a good grade, then get a good job and basically earn money. But, subsequently, after seeing the beauty and the genius of Mozart he now willingly pays money to purchase his music.
This caused me to think about what my motives are when I come to God in worship and in prayer. Is worshiping God an item on a check list or a prerequisite to achieve some other goal? When I come to worship am I looking to receive something? A feeling, a blessing? Do I see God for who He is in all His glory or am I entering into a transaction of, "if I do this, will you bless me"?
Are we serving God or ourselves when we worship?
If worship means giving ultimate value to something or someone, then giving God that ultimate worth is an act of giving less value to everything else including our own interests, tastes, priorities and preferences.
What’s the difference between the transactional engagement in worship versus the reverential?
We are created with the desire to worship which means we will always be approaching God with a need. But we are tempted to listen to our flesh, governed by the spirit of the world, as to how best meet that need. But look at how Jesus deals with this.
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
11Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
We might come in the flesh looking to serve our own interest but when we see who Jesus really is, in his beauty and glory, and that he died for us, we can be free from the power of sin. We are compelled and empowered to submit to the spirt and die to ourselves. We worship in spirit and in truth because the god of self is not obscuring or distorting our view.
I hope that you are able to meet God everyday in his word and seek his face to see Him for who He really is in all His glory. And that you are moved to worship Him.
As for music this week, I'd like for us to spend more time playing so I hope we can all come on time and get some playing in. Please let me know ASAP if there are any particular songs you might want to try so I can prepare charts for them. You can also RSVP via our Facebook page .