At the start of our service yesterday I glanced around about me, as I’m prone to do, and took stock of what was happening in church. I wondered about a few faces I couldn’t see, and whether they’re okay. I wondered about the different things that the team were doing and whether everything was running smoothly.
As I turned back towards the front and analysed whether the lighting behind the team was symmetrical or not (it was, our team are awesome), I really felt God challenge me on one thing: who did you come to sing to this evening?
I had been distracted by good thoughts, in some instances by necessary thoughts, but I was distracted from something great. If we’re not careful we can come with so much on our mind when we enter church services that we find ourselves going into the worship on autopilot. That’s what I was about to do last night when I felt God demand my focus, attention and awe.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
– Psalm 100:4
I’m glad he did. Because in that moment I remembered who I was singing to. My mind and my spirit were drawn to the book of Job. I started to remember what He said when Job demanded a one to one to explain God’s actions. He spoke from a whirlwind and instead of addressing the myriad of questions that Job had, He reminded him who exactly it was He had come before.
The whole of Job 38-42 is this amazing discourse between God and man where man says, ‘I don’t understand,’ and God says, ‘I am’. He simply asks Job, were you there when I laid the foundations of the earth? Or when I set the sea in it’s place? When I commanded the morning?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place…
– Job 38:8-12
It is an amazing and poetic passage where God essentially puts perspective to the relationship between Himself and His creation. Sometimes, when we focus on other things, even other good things, we can lose sight of what is going on in that moment.
When we come into the house of God we come before the one who told the sea where to stop, who laid the foundations of everything.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendour of holiness.
– Psalm 29:2
That is a privilege, an honour, and an opportunity to lose ourselves in giving the glory due to His name. Next time you come into the house of God, just think for a moment about the immense and vast greatness of who you’re coming before. Soak in the thought of what He has done and who He is. Consider everything from creation to crucifixion and beyond.
I believe that should motivate us to great passion in our worship. The vastness of the thought of all He’s done is incomprehensible, indescribable. And yet He comes to commune with you, and with me. We must never allow ourselves to take the privilege of worshipping Him for-granted, or to allow familiarity to rob it of its meaning.
We stand before the creator God, just like Job did. Our stance, in worship and in life, should reflect that.