Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrating God

There was a time when retirement years weren’t celebrated and with good reason-there wasn’t any. People worked until they died or became physically incapacitated, at which time they depended on family and savings. Then a reason for celebration happened. While the United States of America was in the grips of economic depression, Congress passed a law creating the Social Security system. Income now flows in a person’s senior years.

Social Security and retirement savings give reason to celebrate our latter years, and the worship experience is the believer’s opportunity to celebrate God’s goodness.

Unfortunately, worship becomes drudgery when performed for the wrong reasons, such as coming because of rote tradition instead of a heartfelt desire to encounter the living God. Or showing up out of guilt, hoping the songs and sermon will alleviate emotional pain.

The psalmist’s picture of worship is radically different: It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 92:1)

Worship is celebrating God as Sovereign ruler and Savior. It is joy over his provision of our daily needs, and celebrates his promise to work good from all life’s circumstances-the enjoyable and unenjoyable. This only occurs when we’ve examined our heart’s condition prior to the experience and come desiring to encounter God, not merely fulfill a duty.

Worship also celebrates God’s eternal qualities. Our earthly future and eternal destiny are in his hands. Worshipping God presently prepares us for an eternity of the same but at a higher level. But if we’re not intentional, temporal responsibilities and attractions can sabotage our loyalties.

Those who master worshipping God effectively flourish like trees and bear fruit into their old age. Worship isn’t about carrying on a family tradition but celebrating an individual relationship with a living Lord; one that transforms the way we think, feel and act.

Enter into worship with anticipation.

Prayer: Father, may our worship be vibrant, exciting and heartfelt as we realize we’re worshipping a great and glorious God.