GodReflection: Is Worship for God or for Me?
Thank you for allowing me to reflect along with you as 2018 begins. I pray it will be a year where as I write and as we all engage we will grow more in the image of God and His Son.
Recently, I’ve began to wonder anew about worship—mostly in context of the assembly. Over a lifetime I’ve heard that since worship is to be directed toward God I shouldn’t be all that concerned when I depart from a worship service with an empty tank. After all worship is not for me.
But is my former assumption right? Perhaps it is not selfish to expect to gain personal benefit from worship? Maybe as a community who gathers in joint worship of the Holy, we should also tune in on each other with greater expectation.
Why not expect connection to the Holy so that each of our spirits will be recharged to power our walk?
Just maybe—worship is not only for God but ALSO for me. Perhaps it matters that the worship experience is conducive for me to give worship that in the act of giving—by the designed nature of worship—God gifts me?
Surely, God aches each time I assembly with the body to worship and leave with my spirit tank on empty. I suspect that happens because my gift was not given from the best I had to offer.
Is not the gift of worship to Father and Son a reciprocal act?
Paul the apostle recalled a lesson he had learned for Jesus. It seems to me it has application to the worship experience:
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35).
Is it possible by my gift of worship to Creator God, I actually receive the greater present?
Is worship for God or for me? Is it plausible that it is a “Both AND” experience? Is it conceivable the act of worship is for God AND for me?
Is it thinkable that in the presence of the body I am able to connect with God in a manner that is unique to the worship assembly?
Is it possible that in the very act of worship I not only connect with the Holy and those in the room but in addition I connect to every believer—past and present—who forms the body of Christ?
As I begin 2018 I want to examine what I’ve been taught, what I have taken for granted, and what I believe about worship. It may be more about me than I’ve previously consider.
After all, there is a sense that each of us are God’s projects as He give us every opportunity along life’s walk to let Him shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus. Maybe that is what worship is all about.
I invite you to read over my shoulder over the next twelve posts as I attempt to gain clarity in my own mind on the question, “Is worship for God, for me, or is it for the both of us?
I would love to read your insights into this vital question. Do feel free to share with me your thoughts and experience.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Both AND Worship.