My wife and I worshiped at a prayer and Bible study gathering at a local church we attend. I ended up on my knees and then my face. April worshiped freely for the first time in a congregation for a good while.
Interestingly, perhaps ironically, the verses that caught me this morning concerned worship.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” – Matthew 4: 8-10
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God . . . – Exodus 20: 4-5a
Do not worship totems created out of a desire to personify the most powerful characteristics of oneself and so trust what only you can accomplish. Do not devote your spiritual energy to exalt something or someone false who or what have the mistaken authority to bless or benefit the worshiper.
Last night, we found ourselves in the presence of the God who saves, delivers and makes new by virtue of his steadfast love and faithfulness most profoundly in the name and blood of his son. Without the selfish intention of exalting ourselves with physical or vocal antics, we worshiped in a free environment and his presence overwhelmed us. It wasn’t about what we could get or display. We exalted his name, and he displayed his glory by catching us up.
When worship is a self-seeking effort to point to totems of our own creation or to fulfill a religious obligation to be reciprocated with things of this world, the true God of grace and power is absent. More accurately, our God is not sought or invited.
Worship Freely in grace and truth. Our God who is ever present is waiting for our humble adoration and simple praise.
Steadfast love and faithfulness cover us.