By Not Known
Why are we in this place of worship? Are we here for God? It certainly seems so. It’s logical, perhaps even biblical, isn’t it? We often tell one another that we are here in church to provide a service for God. We are presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. We give everything we have for God.
Think about it from another perspective. What if we have nothing worthy to give to God? What if all we have is the broken self, the frustrated self and the angry self? What if God says there’s really nothing He needs from us? All that we have is never good enough anyway. Even our praises and the songs we sing, the prayers we say, the offerings we make are all but feeble and unworthy, minuscule and tainted in so many ways.
So what does it really mean when we say, we are here for God?
In Acts 17:24-25, it says: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” God doesn’t need anything from us! God is the all-sufficient God, He does not depend on us for anything. He does not need us for anything. So what can we give to God in our worship?
Perhaps, it may be the other way around. That in worship, we ought to recognise that God is the one who preserves our lives. He gave His Son to us. He is the gracious God who provides for us endlessly. He is the God who grants us strength and encouragement, comfort and peace. In fact, all that we have comes from Him.
So, when we gather to worship, we are not here for God but rather we are here to declare our total inability to give anything to Him. It is more like we are here to recognise our weaknesses and our frailty, our unworthiness and our destitute state and that only God who is all-powerful and generous is the one who really supplies everything that we lack.
Worship is when we come to be refreshed, to be reminded, to be rejuvenated by an almighty God. It is like when we just ran 10km and saw a drink stall at the end of the run. We are the ones who are desperate for water and refreshment; not the drink seller. We are the ones who humbly ask what that seller can provide. It is like a hungry traveller, a bankrupt beggar and a guilty soul in need of rest, replenishment, comfort and assurance.
In that sense, we do not gather for God. God gathers us to fill us. In this sense, we who come ought to come firstly with a recognition of our depleted souls, of our restlessness and of our deep cries for peace. The worshipper comes waiting for God to breathe into us, to refresh us and to fill us with His life.
In this sense, we dare not say we are here for God; rather, all that we give, do and say is our offering back to God from what He has given us. See the difference? We are here not to give God what we have but to offer back to Him what He has already blessed us with.
How would you worship today?