One of my husbands favorite songs to play and sing at church was “Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman, a songwriter and worship leader. Redman wrote about his church, “There was a dynamic missing so the pastor did a pretty brave thing. He decided to get rid of the sound system and band for a season, and we gathered together with just our voices. His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away….the pastor challenged the congregation to be participants in worship, not consumers. To come ready to engage with God for themselves, from the heart, not just watch with their eyes. He wanted them to come as worshipers, not as concert-goers...Before long, we reintroduced the musicians and sound system.” Redman wrote these lyrics from this experience. “When the music fades and all is stripped away and I simply come. Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless Your heart. I’ll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear, You’re looking into my heart. I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus. I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it when it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.”
So many times we come to worship for ourselves forgetting that we come to worship to worship! Isaiah denounced the Israelites for honoring God with their lips and not their hearts. Isaiah 29: 13, “The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.’” How often do we make worship about us? It’s all about Him! We must come into God’s presence, giving all to Him, with a repentant and humble heart and ready to focus on Him. God does not need us to worship Him. He wants us to worship Him because WE need that connection and He is worthy of our praise! Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
We sang one of my favorites, “How Great Thou Art”. God was being praised as we sang, O Lord O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed….Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!” A song so full of praise! At the contemporary service we sang “So Will I” by Hillsong Worship. More praises for His creation as we sang, “God of creation There at the start, Before the beginning of time, With no point of reference, You spoke to the dark And fleshed out the wonder of light. And as You speak A hundred billion galaxies are born. In the vapor of Your breath the planets form. If the stars were made to worship so will I. I can see Your heart in everything You've made.” As my pastor says, our music leads us to the throne of God. When the sermon started I think we were all at the throne and what a great place to be!
Romans 12: 1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” We are to give our praise, our worship, our offerings, our prayers when we come to worship. We are to come to worship with a giving heart and that is when we will receive! God will be with us as we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! “I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.”