Why Do We Worship God?
Worship, the act of freely giving love to God, forms and informs every activity of the Christian’s life. – John Wimber
John Wimber was the founder of the Association of Vineyard Churches. The church I pastor is part of that association. However I do not begin this article with a quote from him from any hero complex, but instead, because he was instrumental in bringing to the church at large what we would call today modern expressions of worship and the understanding of why do we worship God.
In this quote, I want you to focus on his definition of worship. “the act of freely giving love to God.” This is what I would call one of the best explanations of worship out there. Everything we do can be an act of worship but only if it is done out of a heart of love towards God. Love has to be the motivating factor.
But does God demand our worship?
I have seen many people try to put God in a bad light by claiming that He demands our worship and as such how that type of personality be worth calling God. This attitude not only comes from a heart that misunderstands the character of God but is looking for a reason to look at God unfavorably. God doesn’t demand our worship. He gives us the opportunity to worship.
Let me explain.
I live in the San Francisco Bay area. Currently, the Golden State Warriors are hot when it comes to basketball. They will probably be the NBA champions two years in a row at the time of this writing.
You should see my congregation get excited as they cheer on their team. This is a form of worship. They are expressing their love for their team.
The problem is that teams come and go.
I remember in 1977 when the Portland Trailblazers won the NBA championship. I grew up in the Portland area, and I remember how all the people talked about nothing but the Trailblazers.
Fast forward to the ’90s and all of a sudden the talk changed. Some of the players were having trouble with law enforcement. The team that was the darlings of the Portland area earned a new nickname. The Portland Jailblazers.
God created us with the ability to love and the need to be loved
You see, man is created with the ability to love. God made him that way. A person will always love something even if it is only themselves.
Think about it. People love things, other people, even ideas. We are created that way. We cannot help loving something.
The problem is that the things we attach our affections too, let us down inevitably.
My first car was a 63 Chevy Nova SS. It was candy apple red. I jacked up the back end, put wide tires on the back, and had a stereo system that could be heard a mile away. It was a beautiful car, and I loved it dearly. I spent more time waxing and polishing that car than I have done in any car since.
When I bought the car, it was 18 years old. Like cars of its day, it was made mostly out of metal and little out of plastic. Not like the cars made today.
Well, metal rusts, and there was rust around where the shocks mounted to the body in the front.
Because I had jacked up the back end of the car, it put more stress on the front end and more weight where those shocks were mounted.
One day I hit a bump just a little too hard, and the shocks broke the mounts and went up into the hood. My object of love failed.
Since that time, there have been many things that I have loved. Cars, homes, jobs, etc. None of them are eternal. They eventually fail.
The same is true with people. There is not a single perfect person around us. Just like my 63 Nova SS, people will fail us as well.
So we have a dilemma. We are created to love, and none of us would give up or want to have that ability diminished or taken away. Everything we love doesn’t last or fails us in some way.
So let’s take a look at a passage where Jesus was asked to worship these things.
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”Matthew 4:8-10
Jesus had gone without eating for 40 days in a fast. The devil comes to him to try to tempt Him. Notice the type of temptation that Satan uses against Jesus. He tried to lure Jesus with all the things of this world. The same things that we end up worshiping in our lives. A bunch of stuff.
However, Jesus knows that none of this stuff compares to His love relationship with our Heavenly Father or the love that His Father gives back.
Satan tries to use things that are failed. Things that do not satisfy in the long run. Things that do not or cannot love back as our Heavenly Father can. He still uses that tactic with us trying to draw us away from a love relationship with God.
There is only one person who will never fail, who will never change, who will never pass away. That is God Himself.
Why does God want us to worship Him?
- He created us with the ability to love, and the desire to be loved.
- Worship is the expression of love for someone or something.
- God is the person with whom we can set our affections upon who is above any other and who will love us back.
Why does God want us to worship Him?
He is eternal
He is safe
He loves us back.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,Ephesians 2:4
Why do we worship God? We return His love.