Worship means ‘the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for God’. When we say that we worship the triune God, it implies that we worship our God as the Creator, Sustainer and Provider. God sent His only Begotten Son to save us. As a result of this, God dwells in us and is working through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. These aspects would guide us to understand the reasons for earnestly worshipping the triune God who is our hope in trying times.
Worship from the Heart
The first verse in the Bible is that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). In the first four verses of the first chapter of his Gospel, John writes that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”
In Genesis 1:2 we read “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The triune God, with an eternal purpose, was vividly at work in the creation of the world. A repeated expression in the creation narrative is that God found that the creation was good. In fact, the creation declares the glory of God.
God’s creation including human beings is the eternal plan of God. It is more profound that God has created us in His own image and likeness. And in response to that gracious act of God, we adore Him with utmost gratefulness and humility. God desires our true and earnest worship. Therefore our worship should be from the heart.
God sustains the creation. He has kept the entire course of creation in order so that they continue to perform their functions. If nature fails, we perish. Often, we hear that many natural disasters are caused by human greed and aggression towards nature and its resources.
Over-utilization of natural resources, particularly depleting non-renewable natural resources is a serious concern. Pollution of different kinds is talked about all over the world. If we really honour God, we will respect the beautiful creation.
God provides for us. After creating human beings, God blessed them and commanded, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28).
Three expressions – fruitful, subdue and dominion over, are crucial for us to understand the plan of God for humanity. God does not want us to be idle. He wants us to be fruitful. It calls for constant effort on our part. The Bible does not speak about fruitfulness at any cost or at the expense of the rest of the creation.
Often the word ‘subdue’ is deceptively used to exploit the creation. The word ‘subdue’ can be best understood as tending. It is connected with a responsible gardener who carefully tills the soil. The expression ‘dominion over’ needs to be understood as being stewards.
Stewarding is an incredibly careful service. Stewards do not destroy rather preserve. People have taken subdue to mean to destroy nature for profit. God provides for our needs but not for our wants or greed. The gracious acts of God – creation, sustenance and providence demand our faithful worship to God with gratitude. In all alarming situations, the greatest hope that we can have is that God is our creator, sustainer, and provider.
Dedicate ourselves for Honorable Worship
When humanity disobeyed God and missed the mark, God in His eternal wisdom decided to save humanity by sending His own Son to this world to die on the cross. The vicarious death carried the purpose of sending light into this world immersed in the darkness of sin. Light is another expression of salvation.
In John 1:4-5 we read “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Again John writes in 1:9, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” All of us who share the light of Christ by believing in his death and resurrection are expected to reflect the same light.
First and foremost, we should walk in the light of Christ as we are called to be light and guide others to the light. God deserves our true worship for calling us to walk in the light and to be light to others. In other words, we worship the triune God for saving us and making us a channel of salvation to others.
The other way of understanding God’s plan of our salvation is that God wants us to be righteous. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:7 writes “But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.”
Being righteous before God is often filled with many challenges. We may fail, but should not continue in failure. We have to move forward in doing right. It is crucial to know our weaknesses and limitations as well as be aware of the possibility that we can succeed by God’s grace. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:9 writes “ For we are glad when we are weak, and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.”
In Chapter 1:11-13, John writes “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” We have an extraordinary privilege as God calls us His children.
Our mere worship of the triune God is extremely insufficient when He has saved us to walk in the light, declared us righteous and given us the privilege to call Him as Father. We all can consider the unique privileges bestowed on us and dedicate ourselves for more profound and honourable worship of the triune God who is our hope.
Worship – A Privilege
The expression ‘and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters’, (Genesis 1:2) is to affirm that the triune God was in the creation and is involved in our salvation experience and now He is in fellowship with us. Paul’s concluding verse, in 2 Corinthians 13:14 is “ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is a unique privilege to everyone who calls God as Father. This is the great assurance that He is in us and works through us for our good. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul asked a question “Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” God who came in the form of a man and died on the cross is always with us in the form of the Holy Spirit as we believe in Him.
To explain God’s working in us Paul used another expression in verse three that “He is not weak in dealing with you but is powerful among you” (2 Corinthians 13: 3). We partake in the power of God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
In 2 Corinthians 13:4, Paul uses another expression “ For he was crucified in weakness but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.” We share in the power of God with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. This strengthens us and others as well.
According to John 14:26, the Father will send the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all that Jesus has said to us. Paul asks another pertinent question “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
The Holy Spirit helps to appropriate God’s salvation to us and effects conviction in our minds to see the truth of the Gospel in a clearer light. Further, the Holy Spirit unites the believer with Christ and places him/her in the body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. He sanctifies us and makes us more like Christ. He imparts love and gives hope. In response to the ever-abiding fellowship of the Holy Spirit, we are called to adore the Blessed Trinity.
It is a privilege to worship God realizing His gracious purposes. God’s plan of creation, salvation and fellowship are unfathomable. As frail human beings, we should surrender ourselves to understand the eternal plan of God in our lives and the entire creation. The best possible worship of the triune God is to approach Him with humility and a broken heart. This will guide our lives according to His eternal plan. God always desires faithful worship.
Faithful worship ensures our honesty to God, our reverence for salvation and our joy of living in fellowship with God. It ultimately brings peace to us and leads us to eternal life, our greatest hope.
Photo by Andrey Grinkevich on Unsplash