In His Presence
In His Presence
In Isaiah 29:13 the Lord speaks these words, “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 made up only of rules taught by men.” No matter what version of the Bible you read these words in, they are powerful words.
As believers we gather every Sunday as God’s people in His presence. Here we encounter the one, true, living God. This time should never be viewed as boring or irrelevant. It is not to be driven by our recreational activities, social calendar, or the weather, and it is not pursued out of guilt. Again, it is an opportunity to come into the presence of God.
More than anything else, worship is just that, an opportunity. Yet, too often, we as believers have no sense of the presence of God. The worship crisis many churches face today is not the style of music or that the preaching is paltry. The real crisis is that most believers today have no sense of the presence of God and no willingness to pursue its development. Too often we place more importance on our comfort, likes and dislikes, and what we want, rather than the opportunity God has placed before us.
If we have no real sense of God’s presence, how can we be moved to worship and to glorify God? The answer is simple, we can’t!
The prophet Samuel reminds us to “consider what great things he (God) has done for you" (1Samuel 12:24). The idea is to focus on God, not on ourselves. While it is true than God cares about our wants and the desires of our heart, these feelings should not be our primary reason for worship. We worship God because even though we are sinners, He has opened the door of salvation through His Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ. We worship out of a deep sense of gratitude and our praise should fall upon Him, not ourselves.
So the next time you feel pressed for time, or you thoughts drifting during worship, ask yourself if you are worshiping God with words alone? Ask yourself if you are just going through the motions? Ask yourself if your heart is far from the one, true, living God?
Then remind yourself you are called to be a committed worshiper, not a casual observer. And remember the words of Psalm 86:10 “For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”