What makes a man real? Is it his fame? Is it his fortune? Is it his honor, strength or praise? What is the motive behind each of these acts? By considering the motive, a true man will be revealed.
In Romans, Chapter 2 starting in verse 28, Paul describes what makes a true Jew. He states that a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, and that circumcision is not merely outward. Today, we can definitely apply this to what makes a true Christian. Is a Christian real if he or she is only one outwardly? Is baptism merely an external act?
Paul continues, telling the people of Rome what makes a true Jew, “a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” In the same way, a Christian is only a Christian if he or she is one inwardly, and baptism is baptism of the heart, by the Spirit.
What does this have to do with worship? Paul concludes his statement with this, “Such a man’s (referring to the true Jew) praise is not from men, but from God.” If our motive is to gain praise from men, we have missed the mark. We are to seek praise from God.
Does this somehow devalue the holiness of God? No. Zephaniah stated that God will someday quiet us with His love. He will someday rejoice over us with singing. Nehemiah constantly asked God to remember him with favor. David asks for the Lord’s ear in return for his obedience. We have grown into the idea that God only desires for us to sing to Him. Sometimes, I believe He wants to sing over us. When will we take the time to allow God the pleasure? Could this be the source of true worship?
We stand up at the beginning of church, or Chapel, service and sing to God hoping we can somehow add to his holiness and glory. We sing songs thinking that we have the ability to lift God up. Where is our motivation? Are we praising God in our own power? This will only cause us to fall short.
This is my challenge to you: stop praising. We have to lift an offering up to God through the power that He gives us. How do we gain this power? We do so by allowing God the time to sing over us. What exactly does this mean?
Have you ever been speechless in God’s presence? Have you ever wanted to just sit in silence at the wonder of His glory? Have you ever been so broken that all you could do was cry in the Father’s arms? These are only some of the moments when God sings over us. He quiets us with His unfailing love.
What if we asked God to sing over us before we began to worship in a public setting? How great would our offering be unto the Lord? We would be worshiping from the power that God places within us. It would not fall short. It would rise as a pleasing aroma to our God. In return, God would continue to sing over us while we lift up our praises, making the moment more and more intimate.
Then we remember God already has all glory. He is already the highest being. What we do should be in response to the glory God already owns. Our worship should be about us allowing God to hold us up, because that ultimately serves His glory. This is the moment when praise becomes worship.
When I previously challenged you to stop praising, I meant it. I want your interactions with God to be so much more intimate than praise. Also, allow me to challenge you not to limit this state of worship to a church building, or Chapel. Worship was meant to be a way of life. Could you imagine what life would be like if Christ was constantly singing over us, and we were constantly using that power to serve His glory? The entire world would be shaken.
Worship is no longer an act, but an attitude. It is no longer a discipline, but a characteristic. Today, let us begin to worship together.