Seems an appropriate day to think a little about what we believe! What we believe about God will have a profound effect on how we worship, and it will have a significant effect on how we lead others in worship. Our worship is a declaration of the worth or value of God (worth-ship) and as such it must reflect the worth or value or position that we are giving God in our lives. What position or value am I giving God in my life today?
If our beliefs about God are small, if we believe in a lesser God, with limited powers, then naturally our worship of such a God would be less: why would such a God be worth worshipping? Or if we serve a disinterested God who doesn’t take a personal interest in me or in human history, then what’s the point in bothering anyway?
The truth is our God is almighty and all-powerful, He is eternal and everlasting, He is unchangingly faithful, and He is yet a Saviour and a Shepherd and a Friend. His greatness is such that we can never learn all about Him, never understand Him fully, never give Him all the worship He deserves. Getting to know God has been compared to dipping your toes in the Pacific Ocean; yes, you see it, you hear it, you feel it, you can even smell and taste it, and you may know a lot about it, but there is so much more, more than we know and more than we can ever know.
When we speak or sing about the might or power of the Lord, we can feed our faith by meditating on His greatness in creation, His ability to make stars and galaxies at a word of command. Or we might think about the glories of what He has made on the Earth around us, mountains and rivers, animals and birds, ecosystems and weather systems and the human race. Romans 1:20 makes it clear that God’s visible creation is so incredible that it even shows us God’s invisible qualities, His power and His divine nature! How can we not worship such a mighty God?
But our God is not just a mighty Creator, sitting in some palace in the sky. Isaiah explains this nicely:
For this is what the high and exalted One says—Isaiah 57:15, NIV
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
God lives with man. This speaks of our Emmanuel, our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate, the One who left His heavenly throne and entered into our humanity. He made Himself nothing, taking on human flesh and experiencing the most brutal human suffering as He even went to the point of death. This also we can never understand. How could the God who made the universe allow humans He had created to despise Him, beat Him, whip and torture Him, and nail Him to a cross until He was dead? The more we understand about Jesus, His life on Earth, His suffering, His death and His resurrection, the more our hearts fill with worship. This God loves us. Our God loves us, more than we can ever know.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16, NIV
Because He loves us, our worship is important to Him. He loves to hear us sing and worship. He treasures our praises and our prayers are stored up in heaven (Revelation 8:3). God’s personal love for each of us is a great truth neatly expressed by AW Tozer:
An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.Dr AW Tozer
What is our response? To read, study, pray, meditate, seek out great teaching, and join and lead the most God-honouring worship we can, so that all our unbelief, all our lesser beliefs, all our sub-optimal beliefs about God are steadily replaced by the truth of His greatness and love. The greater we know Him to be, the more pure our worship will become.