We live in a society where the question is often asked, “What’s in it for me?” This has often been true of worship as well. In the overabundance of variety in the religious scene of America, many pick their place of worship based on what they are able to get out of it. According to the Barna Group, 47% of worshipers “understand worship as activity undertaken for their personal benefit”. It is not rare for someone to move churches because they felt they were not getting anything from worship.
This idea is usually rejected on the basis that worship is not about the worshipers. God is to be the focus of worship, not entertainment, our desires, our preferences, or our opinions. Our worship is to be based solely on the truth of God’s word and nothing more (John 4:23-24; Colossians 3:16-17).
With that being said, this doesn’t mean we are not meant to get anything from our worship services. In fact, when we come together unified to worship according to God’s plan, we ought to experience some spiritual blessing that God has intended us to.
Worship Should Bring Us Closer to God
It would be a tragedy if one could say that after years of worshipping, they had not grown very much in their relationship with God. Sadly, this is the case for many. There are so many distractions out there, and unfortunately, worship has become just another thing on the to-do list.
For this reason, sometimes we struggle with not fully pouring out our hearts to God in worship and replacing it with superficial praise. The whole story of the Bible is God’s effort to reunite humanity with himself (John 3:16; Rom. 5:1). Worship is designed to be a complete outpouring of praise to our Creator.
Worship is recognizing what God has done in our lives and responding by praising his holy name. We enter worship with “confidence” and “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” and glorify his name with our mouths. When we fully commit ourselves to this through the truth of God’s holy word, we become closer to God’s heart. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
Worship Should Bring Us Together as a People
As I child, I often wondered why God eternally planned for his people to meet to together so often. Why could we not worship on our own? Why did the first century church come together on the first day of the week to worship? The answer is fellowship.
God designed the church to be a family. Worship is a time for us to edify one another and be encouraged while we worship alongside like-minded believers (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). When we meet together to worship the God we have devoted our lives to, we are to “stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Worship Should Bring Fulfillment to Our Lives
We were put on this earth for a purpose. We were created to bring glory to God through a relationship with him that affects our lives on earth and our lives in eternity. God himself said that he created us for his glory (Isaiah 43:7).
The only thing that can bring true fulfillment on this earth is a right relationship with God (Eccl. 12:13; Phil. 4:6). This is accomplished through complete surrendering of our lives to God in service (Romans 12:1), and offering acceptable and fervent worship (Hebrews 12:28-29).
What are you getting out of worship? Are you simply focused on the little details of your own likes and dislikes? Or are you fully devoted to pouring out your heart in worship, no matter what the setting is, according to the plan that God has revealed? We do not gain any of the spiritual blessings of worship if we do not first pour our hearts fully into our worship.
by Noah Icenhour