There are two activities I really enjoy in our church and they are our time spent in worship and the focus we have on missions. Making time in our services to worship God will change us as we draw closer to him, because God is worthy of our praise and takes great delight in our worship to Him. Mission changes people as we are obedient to the call and go to reach people of all nations with the transformational message of the Gospel.
However missions is a byproduct due to the lack of people not willing to come to worship God. Author and teacher John Piper says it this way “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” This highlights the truth that the reason for our existence here on earth is nothing more than to worship God. We are created for worship.
The purpose of mission is to bring back all peoples around the world to worship God and nothing else. The psalmist declares that “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalms 86:9 There is hope in this verse of nations returning back to God to worship Him. The task before us is huge and embedded in the scriptures we have this hope and encouragement that God’s desire will be accomplished. When I read “shall come….” this tells me that God has not given up on the nations and needs us doing the work of mission so all nations shall come and worship Him.
Taking a deeper look at Psalms 86:9 shows us:
God created you – “All nations whom you have made…”
God is Creator and over five days in creation at the end of each day what God saw was good. He loved what He created. On the sixth day creation was incomplete “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;…” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26,27. We are created differently to the rest of creation. Only man was created in God’s own image and in His own likeness. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31. God loves what He created, But greater love He has for man who of all creation God saw was very good.
God’s love is displayed through all creation to us and through sending Jesus so we no longer are tangled in sin. In Romans 1:20 it says “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” This means when people see us, they see God because we have all been created in His likeness.
God created you to worship Him – “Shall come and worship before you…”
If you have ever questioned the reason why you were born, God’s plan for you is to worship Him and Him alone. Everyone is created by God for the reason of worship. Sin entered into the world and brought separation between God and man. Because of sin, God had said He was sorry He created man. We know this problem was solved through the coming of Jesus and the sacrifice He made on our behalf. But because worship was designed as part of everyone, today we see people around the world worshipping things.
We are called to bring back the nations to worship God leaving the other things of worship behind. Hope is seen in the scriptures again that we can see this happen. In Psalms 22:27-28 it says “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’s, And He rules over the nations.” It has always been God’s desire that all people turn to Him and in His heart that every nation will follow Him to worship.
We need worship as it sustains us and gives us hope. “All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive.” Psalms 22:29. Two things this verse tells us we cannot live without:
Shall eat: we know how important eating is as it is a necessity to survive. Without food for a long period of time we will die from starvation. Eating is a natural thing we all do and we notice it when we stop eating.
Shall worship: as food is sustenance to our body, worship is to our soul and spirit. We cannot live without worship as it too is a natural thing we do. I hope for us that worship is so prominent in our lives we do notice and miss it if we stop. There is a problem in our world today which is what we worship and that is why we must not stop our work in mission till we see God’s desire fulfilled.
God created you to glorify Him – “And shall glorify your name”
With all God has given to us and entrusted us with we must always be reminded that it is not about us. It’s so easy to fall in the trap of being selfish with the things God gives to us and allows us to do. We must always be reminding ourselves that it’s not about us, it all about God. That is why we are created to glorify Him.
The danger of shifting who we glorify will end bad. The example the Bible shows us is the fall of Lucifer which says in Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! It was clear that Lucifer wanted a lot more from God than what he already had. His beauty and splendour was converted to be an attraction to him and not what he was created for to show God’s amazing goodness and power. Self glorification was Lucifer’s demise and it destroyed him as it will for us.
We were never created to draw attention to ourselves, rather to be used to draw people to God. The trap of shifting the glory is in what we say and how we present ourselves. It was seen in Lucifer when he said “I will…” Isaiah 14:13-14 shows us the wrong motivation: “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” The problem of the ‘I wills’ takes our focus off what God has called us to do and focus on what we do.
Don’t forget the verse that keeps us all in check “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.” Psalms 115:1
God created you for His assignment
Looking around us we see that God’s desire has not been fulfilled and the creation He loves grieves Him because of sin. The call for those in Christ Jesus is to draw people across the world to Him and leading them to a place where they stop worshipping things and worship God. It‘s no wonder when someone is saved all heaven erupts in praise and worship. Jesus said “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
The assignment you are created for is not to stay within the walls of a church to worship, but through worship to God our Creator there is a calling on all of us to go out and take the gospel to people in our communities, our nation and our world. God said “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And He said, “Go, and tell….”
Our response to the assignment God has given to our church is the same as Isaiah had said… “Here I am, send me!” What a great time we are living in and the freedom we all have to serve God as people around the world will some day come and worship God and only Him.
The people who have dedicated their lives to worship God and glorify Him can respond to this great assignment. It’s my prayer for our church that we will be those people who have a stirring and a hunger to see God’s desire happen. Remember: Worship God first, give him all the glory and then tell everyone about Him for all nations who God has made will come to worship Him.
I will be preaching “Created for Worship” on Sunday 6 March at Belmont. Anyone wanting to listen to this message can call the Office at Belmont or download it from our website. It’s a message we all need to hear, to stir us up to do great exploits for the Kingdom of God.
In Christ alone