Worship is a word that can be very divisive in a church. We have all heard the complaints. (Maybe we were the complainers.) The service is too long. Too short. The music was too loud. Too long. Worship was too traditional. Too contemporary. There were too many distractions. Perhaps you have some complaints that I have not listed. There are many – it seems like believers spend far too much time being upset over the issue of worship.
And frankly – I think that is pretty sad. Don’t get me wrong – I understand having strong opinions. I have them myself. There are certain ways I prefer to worship the Lord and there are other ways that are a little out of my comfort zone. I get that. But when we spend so much time complaining about worship, we miss the point of why worship exists.
Worship, first of all, is not about us. It is not for us. It is not meant to give us a fuzzy feeling or an emotional high or music to dance around to. Worship is for God. It is directed at God. It is His alone. And our whole lives should be lived to worship. Everything we do as believers should be worshipfully focused on Him. Why? Because He alone is worthy.
And why is he worthy? There are many reasons, but here is the one that hits me the hardest. Here is how the saints see it in heaven.
“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’” (Rev. 5:9-10 - ESV)
The short version is this – our Lord is worthy of worship because of the cross. At the cross, God provided a sacrifice that ransomed people from every tribe and nation and brought them into His kingdom to serve Him forever.
So it stands to reason – at least to me anyway – that any worship we express to God should not be complaint-centered, but cross-centered. Every song we sing, every prayer we express, every Scripture passage we ponder and every gift we give should be done in light of the cross. Worship should happen in light of the event that changed our lives, set our eternal hope and by His grace, touches everything we do in every day of our lives. As we set our lives to worship – in the church or outside of the church, that worship should be gripped by the cross, the single most important thing in your life. Don’t let the worship flowing from your life be centered on complaints, but rather on the cross.