Are You Insulting God in Worship?

God Does Not Need You

If you are singing and praying and praising and preaching in order to do “for” God what you and your friends did “for” that sickly and needy man, you have insulted God. Now, why do I say that? Consider what the apostle Paul said in his speech on Mars Hill:

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17.24–25″ data-version=”esv” data-purpose=”bible-reference”>Acts 17:24–25)

Simply put, God does not need you or me. He is altogether self-sufficient, dependent on no one. He is, in fact, the one who is responsible for the existence and preservation of all life, yours and mine. Therefore, he cannot be “served” as if he were needy or exhausted or weak or lacking something that only you and I and the people of your church can supply.

To arrive on a Sunday morning and declare to God, “We are here for you,” in the sense that you believe there is something you can give to God that he doesn’t already have, or that you can shore up a weakness, or fill a gap or overcome a deficiency, is to insult God to the very core of his being.

That is why we must be extremely careful that we are never there “for” God in the sense in which we might be there “for” an invalid or someone who is destitute of the resources to care for himself.

Here to Be Refreshed

But let’s go back to your gracious and loving service “for” your friend who is bedridden. Let’s assume that after your hard day at work in his yard in 100-degree temperature, you are desperately thirsty.

Suddenly there appears a truck at the curb, offering ice-cold, refreshing water. You run up to the driver and say, “We are here for you.” Your obvious intent is that you are there for what the driver can supply. You don’t pretend to bring him anything other than your thirst. You are desperate for refreshment. Without it, you will faint. You are there humbly asking him for what he alone can provide: life-giving, thirst-quenching, soul-refreshing water.

That is how we are here for God in worship. We cannot add to his resources as if he were in lack. He is infinite and immeasurably abundant and needs nothing from us. Rather, we are here for God in the sense that we need him as a thirsty man needs water, as a hungry traveler needs food, as a bankrupt beggar needs money, as a guilty soul needs forgiveness, as a broken heart needs healing, as a lost sinner needs salvation. That is why we are here for God. Only he can supply what we lack. Only he can give us what we need.

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samstorms@churchleaders.com'
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.