Don’t Wait Until You’re Worthy to Worship God
Misty Honnold [Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer]
We are created to worship. Our lives are an expression of what we worship. Some worship their jobs, or financial increase, others worship family or friends, and there are even those who worship the fact that they worship nothing. The word worship means to “give worth to something.” We give worth to the things we give our time, attention and money to.
As believers in Christ, we know we are supposed to worship God and we hear about worshiping God; we gather in churches on Sunday morning, call it worship, and feel like we have done our due diligence in worshiping God. But the question remains: have we truly given the Creator of all things our worship? Have we expressed His worthiness through our lifestyle, where our finances go, and through our deeds and words?
What Keeps Us From True Worship?
I used to clean houses for extra income. Time and time again, my clients would “clean” before I came to clean. Apparently, there was shame around how they lived, so they would spend a few hours cleaning up their act before the one they were paying (me) came to clean their house.
Just as my clients were ashamed for me to see the pile of dirty dishes, unmade bed, piles of mail, and even the dust bunnies in the corner, many people stay outside the gates of the presence of the Lord because they are trying to clean themselves up, when He beckons us to come as we are.
The Effects of Shame
My clients would never receive the full benefit of my services while shame kept them doing the work that they paid me to do. As believers, we will never receive the full benefits of the cross while we allow the unspoken bondage of shame to keep us closed in the closet, or keep us striving to be worthy so we can worship the Worthy One.
Brene Brown says of shame, “We all have it, the less we talk about it the bigger it is.” So, let’s bring shame out of the closet, recognize that it is a real thing and keeps us shackled to hiding or striving. Shame keeps us from living the abundant life that comes from knowing God. Shame keeps us from true worship.
Worship in the Word
Worship is designed to put the beauty of God on display. Worship starts within and becomes an expression of what we believe in our hearts. External worship is simply an overflow of our internal reality.
In Matthew 15:8-9, Jesus differentiates between internal and external expressions of worship, and how He feels about the two: “These people honor me only with their words, for their hearts are so very distant from me. They pretend to worship me, but their worship is nothing more than the empty traditions of men.” (TPT)
We are told by Jesus in John 4 what true worship is: “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Our spirit is our “life-force,” or our breath of life. God is looking for those who worship Him with their breath, their life and in truth, indicating the truth of who God is. God never asks us to worship Him based on the truth of who we are. In fact, He invites us to come as we are and worship Him; in that choice of worshiping Him, He transforms our ashes to beauty. We become like Him because we see Him for who He really is.
Unfortunately, we will never attain the worthiness to enter His presence, but it is clear that Jesus is not looking for worthy people to worship Him. In fact, He died to make a way for us to worship in spirit and in truth. When we worship the Worthy One, we are transformed into His image. Without Him we will never be worthy.
Our greatest act of worship is simply to come. The Father is looking for those of us who worship in spirit and in TRUTH… bringing the truth of our desperate need, bringing the truth of our sin and shame, bringing all of our ashes to Him so He can exchange them for His beauty.
Worship is simply coming to Him because of what He did.