As a guest author, we welcome to this series Dr. Jason Groe, pastor of Upper Helton Baptist Church, who will present to us five of the eleven essentials we’ll explore. I pray he’ll be as big a blessing to you as he has been to me!
Worship is a multifaceted thing. As we continue our look at the essentials of biblical worship, another essential is that it is to be God-Glorifying in all it does. Worship is God-Glorifying when it understands its chief aim is to glorify God. The Westminister Shorter Catechism says, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever!” The “Wow-ness” of God permeates our hearts. Even the simple things produce great awe in our spirit. For example, my daughter when she was three, would see a leaf and say “Wooooowwwww daddy!” After some time, I unknowingly said, “Jadyn, it is JUST a leaf!” To which God quickly prompted me and taught me that she got it and I did not! God give us what a renewed sense of your awe!
God-Glorifying worship elevates the transcendence of God. God is “with us” but He is also “other” than us. When the majesty and “omni’s” of God are elevated God is put into His proper perspective. One of God’s greatest desires for us is that He become our greatest desire.
God is praised Him for who He is and thanked for what He has done. Most people know God for what He does rather than who He is.
God-Glorifying worship sees all that it does as unto the Lord. Paul taught we are to do everything “as unto the Lord.” A trap to avoid is humanistic worship. Worship which is done and man receives the glory. Loss of the sacred awe in our churches is serious. In our therapeutic society, emphasis on ourselves and how we feel has often replaced genuine worship for God. Reverence and Awe have been replaced with the yawn of familiarity. We need a revival that will bring back the awe and reverence of God.
God-Glorifying worship is not exclusive to one worship style. A terrible mistake made by congregations is limiting their worship to “traditional” or “contemporary” only. The focus should not be on the style but on the substance. I have been in churches where it did not matter what was in the song, as long as it sounded traditional, it must be Biblical. I have also been in churches where preaching was defined as “stomping, snorting, spitting, sweating and shouting”. Style cannot be superior to substance. God can be worshipped regardless the genre of music so long as the message is Christocentric and Biblically based.
God-Glorifying worship gathers to come near God Himself. In Ezekiel 44:15, God invites His people to “come near to Me to minister to Me.” One grave temptation we all face is to run around answering calls to service without ministering to the Lord. The emphasis in Ezekiel was on the WHO of their worship and not simply the WHAT and HOW of their worship. God desires us to come near to Him. When we come near to Him, He draws near to us. When we come near to Him, we desire more of Him. When we come near to Him, this world loses its appeal. When we come near to Him, we are most satisfied.