ESSENCE OF CHRcISTIAN WORSHIP
Who do we have to worship? It is the God of the universe, the Almighty, the Omnipotent, omniscient, He is the I am that I am as prescribed to us in Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other God but me”. What does it take to worship the Almighty God? First, we have to attune our mind, soul and spirit to Him who has the be all and end all of who we are or who we can ever be in life. Worshipping our God involves having to honor Him. At human level, we honor our boss, our parents and people both great and small as well as our individual selves. We honor the people created by God. In most cases, if we fail to honor them the ensuing consequences may be capable of hurting us and causing us untold regret on the long run.
How then do we think such a wanton neglect of our maker will please Him, if, as his hand-made from His free volition we refuse to honor Him for who HE is to us ? We do know for sure, He is greater than the greatest. The bible recorded in Exodus 34: 14 “For you shall worship no other God, for the Lord whose name is JEALOUS, is a jealous God” Can we in view of the foregoing, blame God for being angry with us if we treat moulded and carved images as well as human beings with great honor and veneration? Undoubtedly it is sinful not to honor God in our thought, words and deeds as part of our worship service to our creator.
As to where to worship the Lord, our first suggestion is in the church or sanctuary where we can fellowship with one another in the presence of the Lord. However, worshipping God is not confined to the church alone, for it goes beyond any specific building designated as church or sanctuary. Psalm 99: 5 tells us: “Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for He is holy”. For the purpose of emphasis, the Psalmist reiterated in Verse: 9 of the passage thus : ” Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy”. (KJV) The bible also declared in 1Chronicles 16: 29: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; bring an offering, and come before him, worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness”. Our worship is an expression of fearing the Lord. It assures us of positive consequences or with salutary effect(s) 1 Chro. 16: 30-33 continued by showing the positive effect of honoring God through our worship: “Fear before him, all the earth; the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth”.
His footstool connotes not only a church but also any place dedicated and sanctified for meeting with him. These include family altar at home , churches, prayer ground (holy ground) like Mount Olive, where Jesus used to pray while on earth, RCCG Prayer City in Nigeria and in Texas US, Canaan Land Convention Center OTA, Nigeria, Crusade Venues and many more all over the world.
We worship the Lord even in our daily conversation as we speak with the fear of the Lord in our heart, and also when we sing praises as individuals within congregation of worshippers. Worshipping God is foremost in man’s life. Jesus himself confronted Satan with this eternal truth to frustrate Satan’s deceptive effort at beguiling HIM as quoted from Matthew 4: 10 “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan; for It is written, Thou shall worship the Lord thy God, and him only shall thou serve.” Satan’s effort to beguile Jesus culminated in taking Him to the top of “exceeding high mountain” and showed him all the kingdoms of the world with the pervading glory with a view to making Jesus to worship him. Then Jesus bluntly gave him the final rebuff to silence Satan and left an enduring legacy of rebuffing Satan and getting rooted in worshipping the Almighty God.
Worshipping God is to man’s advantage, as written earlier on, because it gives God great impetus to bless all those who worship Him in spirit and truth. Jesus Christ told us in John 4: 23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is , when the truth worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him…….God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” In essence, we worship to please Him. When God is pleased with worshippers there is always outpouring of his blessings on them. Any born-again Christian should uphold worshipping God in truth and in spirit mainly or most importantly for who God is per se. Paul and Silas did it, it so moved God on the throne and it caused attendant earthquake in which the stocks on their legs got broken and prison humanly well secured gate got shattered. Acts 16: 21-26 (KJV)
If angelic hosts of Heaven and the twenty-four elders can afford to worship God 24/7 why should we, human beings, refuse to worship Him in all aspects of our life. I would at this juncture like to equate worshipping the Lord with having the fear of the Lord in our heart. Whosoever loves God whole-heartedly should find no reason for not worshipping our amazing God in all purity. A serious worshipper cannot be found working on his profit and loss account while the sermon is going on. Such a so-called believer was only there to worship money, and not his creator. The verdict as given by Jesus in Matthew 7: 21, concerning those who do not do God’s will, I pray, will not be our portion in Jesus most precious name. Worshipping God shows perfect submission to the will of God.