God—the Holy One—asks us to worship Him? Isn’t that a bit… ummm… selfish… and therefore, unholy?
Let me ask you this, if Queen Elizabeth asked you to dinner, do you suppose there might be some value in honouring her? Maybe even asking someone how to best do so? Would she expect to be honoured? I think so.
If dinner with Queen Elizabeth means nothing to you, then think about a person you admire more than anyone else. If he or she invited you to a private dinner, just to hear your heart and your dreams, would you be excited? Would you honour that person?
The Bible is full of commands to worship God, to praise Him, to pray to Him. 1 Timothy 2:8 says, “I desire therefore that the (people) pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands…”
If you have ever worshipped God with all that you are, and felt the wonderful presence of His Holy Spirit fill you, you will understand that nothing of God’s call to worship is selfish.
God knows that when we worship Him, whether through songs, dance, prayer, weeping, or any other form of worship, we are filled with His power. It is in worship that our spirits are strengthened so that we remain grounded in our faith, and encouraged.
It is in worship that we are recharged when life has knocked the life out of us. And through worship we find the courage to stand up, when circumstances tell us we are defeated, that there is nothing left worth fighting for.
God asks us to worship, so that we will know Him intimately. Worship is about drawing near to the heart of God, about being so close that we can feel His breath, and His heartbeat. And it is in this closeness that we discover His passion and see what moves His heart.
In this intimacy with our Creator, we find ourselves, and our dreams are made clear. It is as if the key to unlocking our destiny, and unleashing our full potential, is hidden deep in His heart. Apart from Him we can do nothing of value. By worshipping Him, we take our eyes off of ourselves and see the world through His eyes. As we do, we are equipped for the things He has planned for us because our highest purpose is always found in serving others, just as God—through the life of Jesus—showed us to do.
Is God selfish? Is He egotistical in asking us to worship Him? No. He doesn’t need our worship. But we need worship to shift our focus from ourselves and ‘our world’, so that we are able to get through the hell of life, and serve Him by helping others. He knows that hidden in the very heart of worship is our greatest potential, and if we will discover true worship, we will also discover our true identity and be free to live our destiny.
God is gracious that He, who needs nothing and no one, accepts and even longs for time with us. He is humble, in all his greatness, that He pours love into us in spite of our sinfulness and humanity.
Worshipping God and being invited into His presence is an honour that we don’t deserve.