Sunday, April 3, 2016

What You Make of God's Glory Is the Test of Whether You Really Worship Him

I've been reading through Tim Keller and Kathy Keller's devotional on the Psalms, The Songs of Jesus. This description of God's glory struck me:

"What is God's glory? It is his infinite weight, his supreme importance. To glorify God is to obey him unconditionally. To ever say, 'I'll obey if . . .' is to give something else more importance or glory than God." (The Songs of Jesus, p. 43).

The glory of God is our supreme value and treasure. It is what we recognize as representing God's infinite worth, His being deserving of our complete worship and devotion. If we make our worship or obedience to God conditional, meaning we will only give it if God meets our desire or expectation for something else, then we aren't really worshiping God or treasuring Him. We are using Him as a means to what we really want. Which means we value it more than God. That is how you know when you have made an idol or false god out of something: you want it so much that you aren't satisfied with God unless He also gives this other thing to you. Truly worshiping God above all means that you don't need anything else along with Him. He is your ultimate desire. He may give you other things to enjoy too, and He does, but they aren't nearly as important as Him. That is giving God His true glory.

The Kellers make another good observation about worship as well:

"But while glorifying God is never less than obedience, it is more. God's glory also means his inexpressible beauty and perfection. It does not glorify him, then, if we only ever obey God simply out of duty. We must give him not only our will but also our heart, as we adore and enjoy him, as we find him infinitely attractive. And there is no greater beauty than to see the Son of God laying aside his glory and dying for us (Philippians 2:5-11)." (The Songs of Jesus, p. 43).

Worship isn't just submitting to God and obeying Him because we have to. It is enjoying God. Even when you don't feel this (and it is often difficult for most of us - often there are other things we feel we want more than God), what you should pursue in worship and prayer is that very feeling. You can worship God even when you don't feel it if you pray for the right feelings of devotion and affection and ask God to make you desire what you should. Desire for God should be heartfelt and genuine, but it also honors Him to say you know you should desire Him - that He is worth that much - but you don't right now, and you need His help. Never hesitate to come to God in prayer just because you don't feel what you should. Asking Him to fix that honors Him too. 

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