Christians do not go to church on Sunday to worship themselves, but that is what many churches do today. You won’t hear the theme of their heart asking, “Was God honored and pleased by our service?” In fact, most people don’t even think of church as a place where God is adored, honored, and worshiped. Church is often seen as a religious gathering, a religious club, going to do religious things, which benefit those gathering. When this is the view, often this is what you hear being asked, “How was service(church)? Did you enjoy it? How was the message?” Then, as if this was a true Christian response, we say, “I didn’t like the sermon” or “the songs weren’t my favorite” or “I always feel so refreshed when I leave.” Since when did God care if you liked a sermon or not? Were you bought or did you buy him? Does God receive more or less honor from songs you like? When has church become about being refreshed and feeling good about yourself instead of being about God, and His being pleased?
I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t consider our music, sermons, or general fruit of the services. We ought to and must. But our judgement of a service should always start with God and not ourselves. But that often means getting on our faces and asking God if He was pleased. It means not responding to these questions without conviction wrought by the Holy Spirit. It means not responding to these questions flippantly, and centering the questions upon ourselves.
When we do judge music, or sermons, or the fruit of the service, it always must be in accordance with God, His Character, His Nature, and His Holiness. We cannot believe God to be pleased with sermons that don’t speak with the pure and simple gospel. If they add to the gospel then they are preaching a defective gospel. We cannot believe music pleased God if that music or songs are ought of sync with what is being sung and are not praises or adoration or ascribing greatness to God. We cannot believe the fruit we see in our churches please God if there is no fruit. Wickedness does not please God. But love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control all please God, and all are fruit of the Holy Spirit.
If we want to truly worship as Christians, then we worship in spirit and in truth. We worship as a Christian to believes the gospel message that our savior died and rose. Our savior is God, and he demands from us everything. He wants all of it. And we are not worthy if we will not give Him everything. We worship as children of God who abandoned all things in the world and listen and obey Christ only. We abandon all of ourselves. We submit and subject ourselves to God. We worship by faith, the gift that God has given His children.
So when we talk about true Christian worship, we would do well to look further than the modern church that calls itself the church in the United States. We would do well to find men and women who care solely about pleasing their God. True christian worship is done by Christians who actually follow Christ. If you don’t follow Christ, then you aren’t a Christian. If you have a problem with that you must take it up with Jesus in Luke 14, not me.
True Christian worship desires God above all. It longs and pants for God. It desires for God to be glorified and honored and praised above all.
Christian worship focuses on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.