I was reading through the early chapters of 1st Chronicles today. Admittedly, reading scores of genealogies is not something that I usually get excited about and today was no exception. However, as it always does, God’s word speaks and I was able to hear it.
1 Chronicles 9:33 says this, “Now these, the singers, the heads of fathers’ houses of the Levites, were in the chambers of the temple free from other service, for they were on duty day and night.”
Singers? Day and night? What is the point of all this fanfare and effort?
Why is worship so important?
I believe that the answer is this: We worship what we believe will satisfy us.
We’re Made for This
We were created by God and for God (Colossians 1:16) to declare his glory (Isaiah 43:21). The most natural thing that we can do is ascribe praise and worth to the one that we believe brings us peace, happiness, and identity.
There is nothing in this life that is more worthy of our praise when compared to God. He created the world for His glory and all of creation displays His majesty. (1 Chronicles 29:11). As 1 Corinthians 8:6 says, “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”
We Made a Mess
In our sin, though, we have often “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (Romans 1:25) and have fashioned our own substitutes to worship. The world around us says that we need, “more, better, faster, smarter, now” and oftentimes we believe, we bow, and we open our hearts to be filled with the love of money, pleasure, power, and pride.
Worshipping these things cannot satisfy, and they do not bring life. In fact, worshipping anything other than God brings death. The idols in our lives are like thieves that have stolen from us what we should be giving to God.
Only Jesus can satisfy the deepest desire of our hearts and make worshipping a life giving, restoring, and renewing act. He says it like this in John 10:10:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Heart, Soul, and Mind
If you grew up outside of the Church, or even if you grew up within the confines of American cultural Christianity, you might think that Sunday is the day that we bring our worship to God. It’s true that our gathering together as the Church is a special time to worship Jesus and encourage one another in the faith (Hebrews 10:23–25), but our primary act of worship is the entirety of our lives.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2)
Jesus wants all of our heart, soul, and mind to be His (Matthew 22:37). The Sunday morning experience can help to fuel our life of worship, but if we’re in Christ everything that we do is done for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Our singing, giving, and simply loving one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34), are all life-giving acts of worship that bring the satisfaction of a life lived as God intended.