Psalm 95:6-7 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.
Humility is never easy for me. Just like most stubborn Scots, I want to be fiercely independent and completely free, individually shaped and personally motivated by my own choices. I like to think that what I say or do is important, insightful, and meaningful. I want my life to have a purpose, so long as I can mold it into whatever I want it to be. I desire to be a self-made person, which frequently leads to pride and vanity, causing me to get too big for my boots or become swollen-headed. The high horse I am riding or the pedestal I have made for myself begins to falter, and I am left sprawling on the proverbial floor, dispatched from the lofty heights I have proudly climbed. However, I also get the feeling that those around me know of that experience, too.
Did you know that worship is meant to be an act of humility? Many folks misguidedly believe that worship services are meant to fill them, bolster them, support them, and uplift them. They feel that their time is precious, so worship should have a positive purpose that cheerfully changes them and really inspires them. Nothing could be further from the biblical truth. Worship, true and honest worship, is meant to humble us in the awesome presence of God. Even the old Hebrew words for worship, as in today’s psalm, literally mean to lie down prostrated, face first to the ground, as an humble act of faith before our Holy, Almighty, and Majestic God!
Some congregations go halfway on this by kneeling during their worship services, but most Christian folks sit in their church pews and sadly sometimes get distracted by their mobile phones or devices which command more of their attention. People say they are ‘bored’ of worship, but what is really happening is that they are spiritually disconnected to God and don’t really understand that we bring worship to God. He is the audience, we are merely meant to be His humble servants.
So, here’s a challenge for all of us: next Sunday morning, let’s all prepare ourselves to humbly worship God at church. Let’s also remember that the service is not about us in any shape or fashion – it’s all about serving God (why do you think it’s called a worship service, and not a worship experience?). Perhaps if we re-learn to be humble in worship, we will feel closer to God by the time the Benediction is given. J
Questions for personal reflection
What do I bring to God in worship? How does worship help me to serve Him humbly and faithfully?
Prayer: Lord God, we want to worship You truly, but sometimes we let our pride or personalities get in the way. Help us to become aware of the humble nature of real worship, where You are at the center of its purpose, and that we are merely Your servants. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.