Do you ever wonder why it can be so easy to give time and effort to some things, but when it comes to our relationship with God and His worship, it can seem, at times, an uphill battle? We can all identify with being so preoccupied with ourselves and our stuff all week, that come Sunday, it's all we can do to "jar" ourselves awake spiritually for a couple of hours. I would venture to say that for many of us, this is all too common and we find ourselves stuck in something of a holding pattern, living out a weak faith wondering what is wrong. Why do we find worship and relationship so hard at times, and why doesn't it get easier as the days and sometimes years roll by? So often, we try to "get by" from Sunday to Sunday and can't seem to live a consistent "everyday" faith where our hearts are always engaged in the worship of God.
There are many small reasons for the state of our worship, or lack of, but I'll venture a guess that all the smaller reasons and life patterns that lead to a poor worship life originate in one mindset: An improper view of who God is that results in a failure to give Him the place He is due in our lives.
In the book, The Pursuit Of God by A.W. Tozer, there is a chapter dedicated to the relationship between God and man, Creator and the created. Tozer states that the difficulties we have in worship can be traced to an upset in the proper relationship between God and man. We have skewed it. He touches on many things in this particular chapter but what I want to primarily focus on is our view of God and how it relates to our level of worship.
It seems to me that one of the gravest situations today in our churches is that we at times, have taken God and re-made him. We have created a being that we can understand and explain and that we feel comfortable with. A ”safe” God. We have tried to create a God that waits on hold for us while we do what we want. Then when we feel like being spiritual, we expect Him to show up and meet our needs. The problem here is obvious: God is the great "I AM," not the "I Am…whatever you need me to be." Tozer puts it this way, "When He (God) speaks in the first person He says, "I AM"; when we speak of Him we say, "He is"; when we speak to Him we say, "You are". Everyone and everything measures from that fixed point." (I have paraphrased Tozer's language a bit.)
There is no changing Him and there is no re-making Him. God is forever faithful, unchanging and so far beyond our small human minds. He has chosen to reveal Himself to us through his Word (written and spoken), through His Spirit and through all of His works. Still we find Him beyond grasping. He simply is who He is. Why do we think that we, in our frailty, can change this God to suit our needs? God is to be taken wholly, with NO exceptions. He is the Master of the universe, Creator of the galaxy, the most high God, and Savior of our souls. He deserves ALL glory, ALL honor and ALL praise. Any failure to ascribe Him what He is due (Psalm 29) is a failure on our part to recognize Him rightfully.
This is what it is to worship Him in truth. Until we rightly acknowledge who He is, we will never be able to have a meaningful relationship with Him and meaningful worship of Him. It starts with a heart that is hungry, and a willingness to take stock of our own lives. If we are not willing to seek God on His terms and to live our lives in that light, then we have no right to expect Him to work in our hearts and in our churches. But, just as David said to his son Solomon as his life was ending, (1 Chronicles 28:9) if we acknowledge God for who He is and seek Him, He will be found .
The Creator of the universe desires relationship with you and me, and this is no small thing. Unfortunately, we so often become too busy with ourselves to take God up on this offer. Why, oh why, do we expect God to work around our schedules and at our whims? You and I have been extended the most glorious opportunity ever conceived. Let us view ourselves in the proper light and humbly seek His face because He desires it. Not when it suits us, but as part of our very being. Let our lives be bent toward the pursuit of Him, and let us live out our days knowing who we are, in light of who God is.