Worship and Church Part 2
In his book Engaging with God —a Biblical theology of worship, David Peterson presents the thesis that “the worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with Him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible.”Worship, then, is relational. It’s an ‘engagement’ and this is a beautiful word to describe worship because worship is a form of communication with our Heavenly Father who is always aware of where we are and so he delights to see us focusing our attention and praise on Him and to give Him time. One of the best things we can do for a friend or a spouse is to spend time with them, how much more our Creator delights to see us going into His presence -a presence that not only glorifies Him, but also transforms us into His image.
The Father’s heart is delighted when we worship Him for who He is. A friend once used a great analogy, according to my friend, when two are engaged they look forward to seeing each other because of who the other person is and not so much because the other person might be carrying a gift or flowers. In the same terms, our Father in Heaven delights to see us praise Him and not so much wait to praise Him if and only if He answers our prayers and requests the way we want Him to. Worship is an individual engagement as well as a corporate one. Aside from bringing our request to God, it’s essential that we lift up His name on a regular basis and declare His goodness and who He is.
There are a lot of ‘mysterious’ things in the spiritual world that may surpass our understanding while we are on earth, but the truth that we ought to hold on to is that worship is essential, it serves to enrich our relationship with God, and worshipping changes us also. How wonderful it must be when the eyes of our merciful Father look down upon us from Heaven and see that we’re in His presence lifting up His name…expressing things like: “Heavenly Father I praise you for who You are. I praise you that you never change and your will is good for us. Lord I praise you that you are the Healer, the Saviour, the one who has so much mercy and grace upon us. I praise you that you protect us and you provide for our needs. Thank you that your Word is alive and at work in this world.” Throughout the Scriptures there are numerous occasions where God’s names and characters are mentioned. How helpful it is to search for these and use them in our praise and worship.
When we draw near to God, He draws near to us also (James 4:8) and it is in times of being in His Holy presence that He reveals Himself, His love, and His plans to us. When we draw near to God, worship Him, and express our love to Him, He blesses us beyond our understanding. What an incredible opportunity we have to be able to communicate with God! You know how surprised the rest of the world will be if they heard from you that God speaks to you personally? What a great honour to have been chosen as His children, may we all continue worshiping His Holy name on a regular basis and may our Sunday corporate worship be an overflow of all the blessings we receive during our week’s individual worship time. To God be all the honour an glory for He is Worthy.