Why We Worship God
Updated: Jan 17
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)
I have asked myself, “Why does God want our bodies? Why does God want our worship?” God is our Creator, so, intellectually I understand that God has the right to demand whatever God wants. A simple review of the chain of command – God is God and we are not – sufficiently answers the question of why we should worship God but it doesn’t answer the question as to why God wants us to worship Him. It isn’t that God is a supreme but dysfunctional being that needs people to praise and adore Him. God is complete within Godself, He doesn’t need our worship; this isn’t a destructive co-dependent connection God is demanding of us.
Our Creator God designed us to be worshippers. What we worship shapes our character and directs our soul’s formative development. What God knows, that humans often fail to acknowledge, is that we become like that which we worship. People who worship money become greedy, materialistic. People who worship power become manipulative, ruthless. People who worship pleasure become shallow, slothful or lustful. The outcome of our lives depends on who or what we worship. Since we are designed to worship we will worship something or someone including worshipping oneself.
When we worship God we are shaped such that we experience the good in life, the fullness of life that God intends for us. Anything we worship other than God makes us less than what we were created to be. False worship makes us less than human. Scripture confirms this principle:
“They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, ‘Do not do as they do.’” 2 Kings 17:15
“This is what the LORD says: ‘What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.’” Jeremiah 2:5
Romans 1:18-32 reveals an ugly picture of what becomes of those who refuse to worship God – depraved minds filled with futile thinking; foolish, dark hearts; all form of destructive and distorted sexual activity. However those who worship the true and living God become like Christ:
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
We worship God not only because it is the right thing to do (God is Sovereign) but it is the good thing to do (God is the very definition of goodness and the source of all that is good). So, as the children’s song says, “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory! Children of the Lord.” You will be better for it.