Habakkuk 3:17-18 (New International Version)
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
This verse makes it painfully clear what the attitude and heart of a true worshiper should look like. It can be easy to worship God when times are good and everything flows as we think it should. But when our situation turns ugly, when times are bad, when we find yourselves flat on our butts, no prospects in sight, no way to pull ourselves up, will we praise him then, too?
If we only praise or worship God when our situation makes it easy to do so, then we are probably not worshiping God, but our emotions. We worship him if we feel like it. We come to church only when things are going well for us. Otherwise we are M.I.A.
If we don’t “get into” Sunday morning worship because the choir or the band didn’t play “our song,” or we don’t enjoy the style of the music, or the preacher’s technique, then we are probably worshiping our preferences or perhaps our culture, but not God.
I have certainly been guilty of this. There have been times when I have “tipped” God with my applause or singing and perhaps even a “Hallelujah” or two, when my week or my season was good (by my standards). And when it wasn’t…My attitude was, “Well I’m here, ain’t I?” I have sulked through praise and worship, thinking “Can we just get this over, so I can hear the word? I don’t feel like rejoicing.” And there have certainly been times when I have been relieved to be running late, so that I didn’t have to sit through yet one more song from the choir, worship team, or soloist.
If you have felt that way, believe me I understand. But let me ask you this. What is the point of our relationship with God? If we’re only in it for what we can get from him, then we are just pimpin’ him, right? As one who sees our hearts, he is not fooled.
Our purpose for living can be summed up in two words: Love God.(Matthew 22: 36-38)
“Love” not “use” not “exploit” not “pimp.” The most natural expression of loving God, the majestic, self-existent “I AM,” is worship – not just for what he has done, which certainly deserves praise, but for who he is alone. The only proper place of the created before the Creator is one of abject humility. When we are thinking rightly about ourselves in relation to our Creator, it is clear that we have nothing with which we can commend ourselves to him. No resume, no accomplishments, no past successes can even approach his greatness. All we can do is bow down.
As we get to know and appreciate God as he reveals himself in the Bible and as he reveals himself in our lives, praise will pour out of us spontaneously, through out the day. We won’t have to wait for Sunday to worship him in song, we’ll worship him with our lives. And you and I both will be able to join Habakkuk and mean it when we say, “If everything fails, if nothing works or works out, I will still celebrate the LORD, my God.”
Be blessed Family!
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