Just examine that statement for a moment. We are there for our group worship, the worship we are commanded to do when we are “gathered together.” Who is it that we are worshipping? I don’t think it’s me, and I don’t think it’s you. When it comes to the worship aspect, I think it matters what God thinks of it, not us.
We sit in an auditorium with a raised platform in front of us. Several different men take turns standing before us to lead us in various aspects of our worship to God. Sometimes that gives us the mistaken idea that we are the audience. No, we are the performers. God is the audience, and if He “doesn’t get much out of our worship,” it’s our fault, not His, nor that of the men who try so hard to lead us, and seldom get anything but complaints for their efforts.
What would you think of a performer who gave a lackadaisical performance, who acted like he couldn’t care less that someone was watching him? If I paid good money for a ticket, I would want my money back. I wonder if that’s what God thinks as we “worship” by barely mumbling through our songs, daydreaming during prayers, and making faces at the babies in front of us during the sermons. I wonder if He would like to have back what it cost Him for us to be able to come before Him and worship Him. You see, He is watching our performance; He is the audience. It doesn’t really matter if I don’t like the songs chosen, if I think the prayer is too long, if I think the sermon is boring. What matters is, did I worship God with all my heart in spite of those things? That’s what this Audience grades us on. I don’t want Him to ask for a refund.
So this Sunday as I leave the meetinghouse I should ask myself this, “How well did I worship my God this morning?” Whether or not this is all there is to my worship is another matter entirely, but this question certainly makes a good start on answering that one too, don’t you think?
Oh Jehovah, truly I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of Jehovah.
I will pay my vows unto Jehovah,
Even in the presence of all his people.
In the courts of Jehovah’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem,