January 31, 2021

Some people wonder why God needs to be worshiped. Is it possible that a person who does not worship God goes to hell? How can a loving God do that? Without understanding the depth of worshiping God, people can draw wrong conclusions about Him. In the book of Revelation we read that we will worship Him forever. Will it bore us?

Worship is not an act of duty or some kind of enforcement, but the expression of gratitude from the bottom of our hearts for Who God is and for the fact that He created everything, including me. We don’t ask ourselves why we should thank or honor our parents. We thank them because our heart is disposed to express this gratitude naturally. We didn’t choose parents. We are simply thankful that we have them and for raising us.

When people are big fans of famous movie stars, they lose their identity, completely imitating their identity. It becomes an obsession. But how true and justified is worship of God?

The problem with such a statement is that we are considering worshiping or admiration for someone or something in relation to people or objects. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that such worship is something wrong. And it is true. The Bible says that every person is created in the image and likeness of God, and in this sense is regarded as equal, regardless of skin color, nationality or ethnicity, and even position in society.

However, God is Perfect and Creator of everything. God deserves worship. This can be compared to how a scientist deserves an award for achievements in science or an elderly person is worthy of respect.

Another question, if God is humble and meek, then He will not need worship, even if He deserves it. Even if the Bible tells us that we should worship God, this does not mean at all that He needs it, since He is Self-sufficient and He is Who He is. This is evidenced by the following Scripture: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. NOR IS HE WORSHIPED WITH MEN’S HANDS, AS THOUGH HE NEEDED ANYTHING, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. (Acts 17:24-25) Any idea that God needs our worship is unbiblical and erroneous.

Does God desire our worship? Definitely yes! “Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” (1 Chronicles 16:29). In John 4:23, our Lord Jesus Christ said the following words: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24). This Samaritan woman, with whom Jesus spoke at the well, had a different idea of ​​worship. This is how our narrow understanding of worship looks today. The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 writes: “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” First, Paul uses the phrase “I urge.” And not in vain, since it is inherent in us to deviate from the truth in any spiritual matter. That is why, over time, it becomes just rituals and nothing more, not meaningful words. In different English translations of the Bible, instead of the word “service” the word “worship” is used. In the Greek original, the word “latreia” is used, which means “the service of sacred worship” or “any service to God.” Therefore, both translations are correct. So, first of all, God considers worship as a sacrifice of our bodies, so that we serve Him acceptably. This means sacrificing your Self for the sake of the One who knows best what we need, since He is the Creator.

Is it an arrogant act to want worship? Not at all. Arrogance includes pompous sense of self-sufficiency. The perfect God does not need to resort to such methods, He is Who He is and He knows how immeasurable His greatness is. Therefore, instead of wanting to be worshiped because of arrogance, He knows that only worshiping Him can fill us with meaning and satisfy us, giving us peace, joy and rest. We were created for a relationship with God, and worship is a desire to express gratitude to the One by whose will everything exists. He wishes us good, just as sincerely loving spouses wish each other good things. That is why “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with GROANINGS which cannot be uttered.” (Rom. 8:26), i.e. our very being strives for the One who gave everything purpose and meaning, otherwise we are restless in our vain search for our own things. We rebel against the One who gives us abundant life. Thus, worship is a natural response to who God is. God is not the One who seeks attention, but He is who He is. We cannot make up a god for ourselves, whom it would be beneficial for us to worship, putting our dreams, ideals and desires in the foreground, as if we are gods, and He is subordinate to us. On the contrary, He is the One by whom everything exists.

Why don’t we like worship? Because people don’t know how to worship in spirit and truth. All that worship has boiled down to singing, prayer, and attending a church. And in some churches even financial offerings. It’s no wonder why colossal amounts of money are being spent on musical equipment today. People have lost the spirit and truth of worship, which means they are trying to fill this void with something else. However, this does not bring them any spiritual benefit. Therefore, the Scripture calls on the people of God: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa. 55:1-2).

It is not music that makes our worship special, nor is it shaking hands with a neighbor during a worship service when we are asked to do so. After all, when someone is asked to do something, this involuntary act turns into a kind of ritual where the heart is not involved. Real desire is when we take the initiative. There is a time and a chance for everything. We cannot show people falsehood and fake things, and this is not worth teaching. Or, when we pray out loud, it does not bring us closer to God or makes us more spiritual. On the contrary, this was done by the Pharisees, who like to look spiritual in the eyes of people. The Heavenly Father appreciates what is in secret and rewards openly. Of course, this does not mean that we do not need to pray out loud, but learn to do it sincerely and when the heart, a pure heart, prompts us to do so. And of course, part of our worship consists of church worship, but this is just a small part of the worship that the Lord desires. Worship is, first of all, a humble commitment of our whole life to Him. And all our prayers, Bible reading, singing, financial offerings, serving others, striving to live a holy Christ-like life, and attending church must come from the heart, and it must all be rooted in a close relationship with the Lord.

So the spirit must be involved in worship and there must be truth. Otherwise it is a lifeless and fake theatrical performance. Spirit and truth necessarily show feelings and emotions, but not a beautiful loud performance with strained smiles. Any honest and sincere person feels the artificial forgery of the presence of the Spirit of God in people. Therefore, emotions without truth lead to strange behavior and manifestations, making worship superficial and shallow, thus creating only a spiritual form. If feelings and emotions come from a deep relationship with God and love for the teachings of God’s Word, then that is true worship. Worship is not a Sunday event, it is a lifestyle. Worship in spirit is contrary to the worship in the flesh. Unfortunately, very often it looks the other way around. Today more and more people worship with flesh rather than spirit. Therefore, if we seek the fleshly things, it only testifies to our pride. Carnal people do not want to worship or bow down before someone, as this deprives them of the opportunity to serve their own Self.

So, God does not need worship, but seeks worshipers in spirit and truth, because He knows that this will fill a person with meaning and contentment. The water that He gives will never make you thirst for something else.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” (John 7:37). “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14).

Max Volkov in Christ