Say to all your people and your priests, “During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves?”
Zechariah 7:5b-6, NLT*
True worship is a heart-and-spirit response to the Living God.
Sadly, we can lose focus and make our Christian gatherings about us instead. Congregations can take sides over music styles, service format, formality of prayers, etc.
It becomes all about us – what pleases us, what we deem the best way to express ourselves. It becomes our activity – the routine we follow for personal satisfaction.
But God wants first place in our hearts. When the structure or control of the event means more than He whom we gather to honour, we have a problem.
When we fight amongst ourselves over it, we have a problem.
When we’re there for what we get instead of Who we worship, we have a problem.
We need to worship God privately and corporately. Different people will bring different styles and ways of expression. Our focus must always be on God, not on personal gratification or on how well we’ve “done the job.”
It’s the pure hearts He’s looking for, not the people who are trying to make it all about themselves.
God who is King over all, help me not seek to worship for the experience, although may I experience You. Gathering with other believers, help me not to insist on my preferences in song and structure at the expense of others who know a different way. Join our hearts to desire and to bless You, and unite us in worship that is pleasing to Your heart.
This week’s song is “Lord, I Give You My Heart (This is My Desire),” from Hillsong.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.