1 ‘Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!’
We choose to worship firstly because He is worthy of it. We do not worship to enjoy the music, or to feel uplifted, or even to feel God’s spirit at work. As wonderful (and legitimate) as those blessings are, they are secondary to our ultimate purpose of humbly glorifying the sovereign God. That is why Matt Redman famously sings the words: ‘I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, all about You Jesus’. Worship is not for us; it is for and about Him.
With this in mind I’m lead on to a second - and possibly more subtle - form of selfishness with regard to a ‘lifestyle’ of worship. By living in the way that the bible teaches, there is a danger that we might come to feel entitled to seeing certain rewards and blessings in our lives. When we feel as though God ‘owes’ us for our good work, our obedience becomes moralistic leverage and not the expression of love that it is designed to be. To ‘love’ God for what He can do for us - rather than for who He is - is not loving Him at all. Indeed, such a lifestyle might appear Godly and righteous but it is merely a rebellious and disfigured response to His freely-given grace. In this same way (and by no co-incidence) our most authentic love relationships on Earth are not consumeristic but covenantal; a bride acts lovingly to her husband in order to honour him and their commitment, not to debit him. My prayer is that we, as the bride of Christ, will simply love Him to love Him, and not to debit Him.