I am concerned when people say, as they do about certain occasions, “We want to have a meaningful worship experience.” Generally I find that the concern is not so much on what this worship is going to do for God, but on what it is going to do for the worshiper.
Stephen Charnock, the Puritan, wrote these words, “When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified, we put God below ourselves as though He had been made for us and not we for Him.” Worshiping in the spirit means that our spirits will be seeking God’s honor, God’s glory and God’s pleasure.
—Eric Alexander, “Worship: The Glory of Revival” Reformation and Revival Journal Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter 1993)
God is to be worshipped, not simply because He demands to be, but because this is the proper destiny of His creation. Anything less dishonours Him and disfigures it.
—Noel Due, Created For Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, 39
In the case of the God of the universe, such possibility of return [reciprocation for a favor bestowed] dissipates, as no human beings can offer anything in return that can do justice to the gift received. The only proper response, then, is praise and worship. In describing divine-human encounter, therefore, thanksgiving and praise understandably merge and become the one and only proper and response to God who is the source of all power and goodness.
In short, to offer thanks to God is to live a life of worship.
—David W. Pao, Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme, 28, 164
He has given me everything,
forgiven me everything,
promised me everything.
And I lack nothing except
the faith to believe it.
If we define all that we are before our great Caller and live our lives before one audience—the Audience of One—then we cannot define or decide our own achievements and our own success. It is not for us to say what we have accomplished. It is not for us to pronounce ourselves successful. It is not for us to spell out what our legacy has been. Indeed, it is not even for us to know. Only the Caller can say.
—Os Guinness, The Call
Biblically shaped worship is a powerful way to remind ourselves that although we are beloved by God, we’re not really the star of our own story. Only in union with Christ by the Spirit are we the children of God and brothers and sisters in the community of faith.
—Robbie F. Castleman, Story Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History, 203-4
In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.
If you worship money and things—if they are where you tap real meaning into life—then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough.
Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.
Worship power—you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay.
Worship your intellect, being seen as smart—you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.
—James K. A. Smith, Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works, 22