God is worthy

God is worthy

Why on earth do we all sing together? If all we do should be worship, what's so special about what we do at church?

Read more …

Go back

James Grist

James Grist

James has been studying in London and is about to move to Cambridge for his PhD. His heart is to see Christians of all ages come to know and experience the Father’s Heart, and walk fully in their identity as an imitator of Christ, in all ways.

Streams

The Big Story #6: God's Church

The Big Story #6: God's Church

Rounding off our big Bible overview we look to the conclusion of the story and what we need to do to get there. God has chosen us to play a part in it, but how? What does it mean to be God's church?

Read more …

The Big Story #5: God's Son

The Big Story #5: God's Son

It all points to Him, everything that had come before, the promises, the prophecies, the people. Here we reach the climax of God's story in a person, God's son, Jesus Christ. We don't understand him until we see how he fits into what's come before.

Read more …

The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

Look around the world and we see kings, presidents, leaders who are very much flawed. Israel had a king - God, but they wanted a human king. We look at how that worked out for God's people.

Read more …

The Big Story #2: God's People

The Big Story #2: God's People

God's story is both cosmic in scope and intimate in care, we see that as he chose to fulfil his purposes in a family. But why did God choose Abraham and the people of Israel to be the ones who would be a blessing to the whole world?

Read more …

God is worthy

I grew up with the 'you should make everything you do worship to God' sermons. This was the thing of the time - the sacred/secular divide was broken down in Jesus, suddenly you can go about your life in a way which honors God - You get to bring Jesus in to everything that you do! How fantastic! This was a revelation to me in my early teens, and just what I needed to hear at the time from my youth pastor.

However, and yes there is a however, one part of worship which I never got to understand properly is that of the times when we all got together in church and sang songs. It seems weird to some people... Why do we stand up, sing, and then sit down?

There were some with with their hands raised up in the air, some danced, some stood stone still, some didn't sing, some seemed to sing in other languages, some only sang when their favorite hymn was played... and I didn't know why we should even bother with it. That was until the beginning of my time at secondary school, when I started digging into the meaning and reason why we do this as a church... and it freed me.

I want to take you on that journey in 1,000 words or less, so that you understand why I now cannot get enough of church worship, and why I don't care what song or style you use: I just want to worship.

Let's go to Revelation 4, and I'll show you this beautiful picture of why I now cannot get enough of this worship in church...

Worship in Heaven

Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.

In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back.The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

Revelation 4:4-11

There are three ideas that I want to bring out from this, which massively struck me when I first read it - and that God has been using to utterly blow my life wide open with a love for praising Him.

He is worthy

We get this amazing picture of what's going on in Heaven from Revelation 4 - everyone's worshipping God. The elders and the living beings are bowing down constantly before the throne. What are they saying?

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.

Why do we worship? Because God is worthy.

Why do we get up and meet together to sing songs? Because God is worthy.

Why do we sing 'Forever He is glorified' or 'Holy, Holy, God most Holy, Worthy to receive all glory, Heaven's shouting as we glorify'? Because God is worthy.

God is worthy. Start here, forget any of the things that come from the giving of worship to God: God's manifest presence (Psalm 22:3, 2 Chron 7:1-6), instructing each other in theology (Colossians 3:16), spiritual breakthrough (Acts 16:25-27). They are all good things, don't get me wrong, first and foremost this is about giving all the glory to God. He's worthy.

Copy Heaven

What does Jesus command us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13? 'On earth as in Heaven' - If you want to see more of the Kingdom of God on earth, start copying what's going on in Heaven. All things that God has created are worshipping Him, and the humans are closest to the throne (v7-8) - shouting 'Holy holy is the Lord God Almighty...'

This is where you're designed to be - in front of God's throne, shouting how great He is! He wants you to be closest to Him out of all creation! He made you in His image, and delights in you (Zephaniah 3:16-17 - God sings and dances over you!) Start following what's going on in Heaven, and you'll see earth transformed by the glorious presence of God.

Style is out

Finally, does the passage tell you much about what style, song, or rhythm to use? No! Don't worry! If you're there shouting how great God is, it really doesn't matter about the style - it's about worshiping with your whole heart, mind, body, and soul (Luke 10:27) in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Sack off the arguments as to 'oh well we need drums' or 'we need less organ' - and if you don't know the words, well I have great news! It's not about you! It's about Jesus. Get stuck in with your own song of praise and adoration, all because God is worthy!

Final Things...

I've got so much more to say on this... but I guess I'll just leave you with this. Worship, in Greek and Hebrew, means to 'Bow down' or to 'prostrate yourself' before the one being worshipped. In English it originally meant to 'add worth', add your worth to Him - worship can sometimes being called worth-ship.

Next time you meet with your church to sing, try something new - bow before the Lord of Eternity with both your heart, mind, but also your body, worship Him with all you have for He is worthy, and you'll see Heaven invade earth. Trust me, it's addictive - I can't get enough of it now, and God has rocked my world. beyond anything that I could ever imagine.

This outrageous worship will flow out in to your life, everything now becomes worship, and it transforms everything you've ever known. Truly, sung worship breaks down the sacred/secular divide in a way that only God can do. Enjoy it. He's so worthy.

Go back

Sign in or create your free account to add your comment or ask a question...