What do we say to those who think that God is undeniably self-centered by commanding that our utmost devotion and worship be offered to Him, and Him alone?
We were designed in God’s image, created for relationship just as God found relationship through the outworking of the Trinity before the world began. We were made to find worth in something greater than ourselves. While culture teaches us that we are to be independent units of self-reliance, living for our own glory, God’s plans for us are very different.
God created all things to bring Himself glory. His handiwork surrounds us each day, as the sun rises and sets. The depth of creation alone cries out in acclamation of its Maker, proving that none of us are without excuse if we refuse to offer praise to the Almighty Creator.
We were made to worship something, and as much as we chase after things of this world, we find time and time again that they fail to satisfy our deep need to be loved and fulfilled. Only God can provide that.
God commands us to worship Him, and only Him. This isn’t because He is a tyrant who finds His value in our recognition of His greatness. As Mark Driscoll has said, “He bestowed on us the dignity of being His image bearers solely for our benefit, not His own.”
He doesn’t need us. He is all that is perfect and complete. And yet He looks upon His creation and sees that it is good. God decrees that we worship Him because by doing so, we are living life as it is intended to be lived, for only in adoring Him can we find true joy. Worshiping God is doing what we were created to do. As long as we continue pursuing happiness outside of His will for us, there will always be something missing, we will always come up short.
The command to worship our Heavenly Father is an incredibly loving command. It is for our good. It is what will fill us with peace, with trust in Him who cares for us, who relieves every worry and provides for every need. Worship must stem from thankfulness, for gratitude drives us to worship.
God created man and said that it was very good. He created a perfect world, in perfect beauty and goodness, in perfect harmony and relationship with Himself, that was then tainted by our own sinfulness. By worshiping Him, by laying down our old ways and taking on new life in Christ, we are returning to the way we were made to be in the beginning, and through an ongoing process of sanctification we will continue to grow closer to that perfect relationship once again.
What a blessing and a privilege to live in relationship with Him who made us, whose very breath fills our lungs and who sustains every step. Let us cry out in gratitude, laying our lives down for the sake of His glory the way Jesus laid down His life out of a deep love for us and for our good.