Why are you going to worship the Lord God Almighty today? Is it because you believe and trust or is it simply because that is what you do on Sunday's?
When you stand in the Assembly this morning and you lift your hands in praise will it be because the Lord has delivered you this week and you are offering him a sacrifice of thanksgiving? Or is it simply because that is what you do in worship?
Too often our faith has no substance, no backbone, built on nothing but theory. When the storms hit, when the challenges present themselves, our great faith evaporates and we find ourselves seeking our own solutions instead of trusting our God. No, honestly, did you trust the Lord this week in your struggles and did he prove himself faithful? Or did you deal with it yourself, meeting your own needs, finding your own solutions, taking care of yourself?
Most of the time we get down on our knees, beg our God for his help, then get up and do what we think is best. So who are you worshiping today and why are you worshiping him? Is it just because he gave you life? Is it just because he forgave your sins? Then you are missing out on the most incredible life based on the most incredible relationship. You are missing out on faith.
There is more to Jesus than the cross and the empty grave. David, the worshiper extended this invitation to us:
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:1-3)
We are often moved by David's words because they stir something within us. They come from a depth of reality most of us fear to experience. They are often raw because they are real. David was David before God. He trusted that the Lord loved him and that love was something he could depend on when he failed, when he had to come in repentance. He considered himself blameless because when the Lord said he was forgiven he believed it and acted upon it. He trusted the Lord to deliver him from every situation, even when it looked impossible:
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7)
It wasn't a game for David. He believed this to be true, he trusted it and he lived by it. His relationship was dynamic in its power of trust and dependency. He believed it for himself and for all those who would simply turn and trust the Lord:
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)
We get it backwards. We come together on Sunday to "taste" and "see" but Sunday is a celebration of the Lord's unfailing love that we have experienced all week long. It is because we have lived the truth that "those who seek the Lord lack no good thing" that causes us to gather and celebrate the goodness of our God. Before we gather on Sunday we have already "tasted" and "seen" the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord.
None of us believe that our lives will be perfect and that our days will be without trouble. We live in a fallen world and bad things result from a sin filled world. But we have a God who delivers us from our troubles when we trust him. We have a God who strengthens and sustains us in our daily living. We have a God who is faithful to us as a result of his unfailing love. Real faith does not run off and try to find it's own deliverance but instead trusts that the Lord is good and that he delivers us:
A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken. (Psalm 33:19-20)
So as you stand in the assembly today and you lift up holy hands in praise, I hope you do so with a great testimony on your heart as a result of trusting the Lord this week. If not, confess your sin and he will be faithful to forgive you. Then ask him to give you eyes to see his goodness and a heart that will become dependent on his deliverance. Trust in the Lord for he is good! His love endures forever!