Is My Worship For Real?
Chasing life awakened the realization that the passion of my heart altered the focus of my devotion. Desiring the blessings found in Jesus intertwined with a craving for the materialistic offerings of this world has, at times, caused a counterfeit worship to emerge. Jesus wants our full devotion, but, sadly, my heart fails to supply a true offering of praise.
The ability to truly worship often gets snuffed out due to our constant pursuit of the stuff of this world. Chasing the kingdom of self rather than the Kingdom of God causes a destruction of the heart and attitude that alters the focus of our worship. Excitement for Jesus has stalled into a drudgery of religious practices rather than the development of a healthy relationship.
As a father, I take stock in opportunities with my children to do things that “make their day”. It gives me great joy to be able to give gifts and provide opportunities that bring a smile to their faces. I’m a dad and this role drives much of what I do. Some of my greatest desires for my kids are to be thankful, truly enjoy the experience, and not gripe about what they may have missed out on.
Don’t you think Jesus desires a similar attitude of gratefulness? With all that He has done for us, with all that He sacrificed, Jesus’ greatest desire is for us to enjoy His offerings with an “attitude of gratitude” - enjoying the experience of a relationship with Him, rather than griping about the experiences we feel we missed.
Look what the writer of Hebrews has to say:
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28-29)
Ultimately, worship comes down to a grateful heart. An attitude of ungratefulness pushes us towards counterfeit worship.
Did you see the progression?
Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. This is written as a factual statement. The Kingdom of God cannot and will not be shaken. Followers of Jesus truly have nothing to fear. The world around us will deteriorate, offering brokenness and strife, but Jesus’ Kingdom of hope will not be shaken. The key word in this passage is “since”. Since we are receiving that kingdom…
Let us be thankful. This really begs the question- Are we thankful for the kingdom that Jesus is giving? This is where the divide begins. Ungratefulness for what Jesus provides causes a craving for more and more stuff from this world. However, the stuff of this world never satisfies. Like drinking a soda rather than water, it may taste good, but the thirst is never satisfied.
Spiritually, the void in our heart creates a tremendous thirst. Seeking what the world offers may “taste good”, it may “feel right” in the moment, but it never satisfies. This unquenchable thirst for more develops a struggle of truly being thankful.
So, are we thankful for the Kingdom Jesus provides? If so, the final stage of this progression is…
Due to our thankfulness, let us worship God. Worship is inevitable when accompanied by a grateful heart.
By investigating this progression, I believe it is safe to conclude that a lifestyle that lacks the heart of worship may be derived from a life that really is not thankful, leading towards counterfeit worship - simply going through the motions rather than living a life sold out for Jesus.
So, how thankful are you?