God asked the Jews an important question:
During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourself? (Zechariah 7:5&6)
It’s an honest question I think each of us need to consider for ourselves.
If I attend church services for a “worship experience”, who is the focus? Does God need the experience? Or do I? If I read my Bible, is it so I can feel good about my faithfulness?
I knew a woman who felt she had to take part in a communion service every Sunday because if she didn’t, she would have a terrible week.
If I blog, is it to be complimented on my post? I have to confess I like to see icons of people who “like” what I say. Is that what motivates me to hit “publish” each time?
If you listen to people like Joel Osteen you will likely begin to believe worship is about you, that following God is about you, that life is about you. Is it? Is it really?
Or is it about God?
Zechariah has a lot to say to us today. And he says something in 8:23 that I believe sums up why we worship, why we live lives set apart from the world, why we are kinder, more loving and forgiving, more honest than our unsaved neighbor. He talks about people from every nation going to Jerusalem to worship God. He says ten people will cling to the sleeve of one Jew and say:
Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you.
That’s our commission as Christians. All that we do, all that we say and are, is surrendered to God for one reason. Not so that we are blessed. But so that others are lead to the Savior.
That should be why we do what we do.
Heavenly Father, I want my worship to be pleasing to you, whether sitting in a pew on Sunday, or reading my Bible in my home, whether singing hymns in my car, or praying while talking to my neighbor over coffee. Forgive me for the tendency to make it about me. May the result of my worship of you in spirit and in truth cause people to want to get to know my Savior. I want my motivation to be you. I want my focus to be you. I want my life to be pleasing to you alone.