Are You Insulting God in Worship?

The misunderstanding of a short, three-letter word can transform an act of heartfelt worship into a slanderous insult.

Perhaps you’ve heard Matt Redman’s song “Here for You” and are familiar with its lyrics. Here’s the first verse:

Let our praise be Your welcome
Let our songs be a sign
We are here for You, we are here for You

Let Your breath come from heaven
Fill our hearts with Your life
We are here for You, we are here for You

Little words can mean a lot. They can make the difference between good and evil, between heaven and hell. In this case, a right understanding of a single word is the only thing that prevents an act of worship from degenerating into a colossal insult to God. It’s the word “for.”

Here to Help?

Imagine for a moment that a person in your church has fallen ill and is bedridden. While he is helplessly laid up, his house suffers from disrepair. The yard is overgrown and desperately in need of care. You and a small group from the church show up unexpectedly at his home, prepared to do for him what he simply cannot do for himself.

“Why are you here?” he asks. “What’s this all about?”

“We are here for you,” everyone responds in unison.

Think about the meaning of “for” in that sentence. You are telling your friend that you are present in order to provide a service for him. He is weak and sickly and in great need, and you and your friends are here to do for him what he lacks the strength and ability to do on his own. He is in lack. You are here in order to supply for him a service that he is unable to accomplish in his own power.

Once the house has been cleaned and the yard has been mowed, the hedges trimmed, and the trash hauled off, he says, “I can’t believe you are so kind to me. That you would provide this service for me is amazing. I’ve been so weak and exhausted and I simply didn’t have the time or energy to do for myself what you’ve done for me. Thanks so much.”

What are we doing when we gather corporately and sing our praise to God? What is our intent? What is it that we believe we are achieving?

When we sing, “We are here for you,” in what sense do we use the word “for”?

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Sam Storms
Sam has spent 39 years in ministry and in 2008 became Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he currently serves. He has ministered in churches in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, & Missouri and was Visiting Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, 2000-2004. Sam is founder and president of Enjoying God Ministries and regularly blogs at www.samstorms.com.