God Doesn’t Need Our Worship….We Need It!

nada-zip-zilchNothing

Zip

Nada

Zero

Zilch

Nil

That’s how much our worship of God adds to God.  Our “worship” doesn’t enhance Him and our lack of worship doesn’t take anything away from Him.  Put another way, God doesn’t need our worship.  In fact God doesn’t need anything from us:  our money, our time, our dedication, our service.

Theologians refer to this as God’s Independence:

“God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy.”  Grudem, Systematic Theology.

The New Testament states it this way:

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  Acts 17:24-25

Is God An Egomaniac?

Think about this:  If God does not need our worship, why does he require that we worship him and him alone?

Is it because he is the ultimate egomaniac?

Is it because he loves to hear the sound of his own name on the lips of his adoring fans?

No.  When we look at God’s acts in history that is not the picture we see.  It must be something else.

We All Worship Something

Humans are pretty predictable.  We are the ultimate evaluators.  We evaluate everything in life and prioritize them according to what we think is best.  For example, I highly value guitars.  But I value my wife and children more.  There is really no comparison; I rank family higher in importance.  What do I value more than family?  Whatever the answer to that questions is, I may value something even more than that.  I can keep going up the ladder of importance until I finally reach that one thing  I esteem more than anything or anyone else.

Whatever that thing or person is, that is what we worship.  We all worship someone or something, even if it is ourselves!

God Doesn’t Need Our Worship…We Need It!

I submit to you that God doesn’t need our worship; we need the worship we offer him.  I think that is why God demands our devotion.  There is no other thing or being more worthy of our ultimate devotion than Him.  It has been said that we become like that which we worship.  God, in his mercy, created us to become like him.  If that is going to happen, then we must actively place him at the top of our Top Ten List of Things I Value The Most.

Looking at worship this way means leads us to conclude that worship, though directed at God, is truly meant to serve humanity.

We are to worship God, not ourselves.

But God demands our worship, NOT for himself but for the good of his people.

At least, that’s the way I see it.

On a side note, that is one of the reasons I am so passionate and often critical about corporate worship.  It has the potential to truly shape us, but we often squander those opportunities because we don’t understand what worship is and why God demands it of us.

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About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on June 1, 2014, in Christianity, Theology, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I think it was you who asked me on my blog about why God asked for sacrifices if he didn’t need them. This post of yours would be my answer. Maybe that is why you asked the question. Either way, I totally agree with this blog, and the early churches would’ve applied this exact reasoning to sacrifices.

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    • Hi Paul,

      That doesn’t sound like something I would say. I don’t think that God needed the sacrifices, but he did require them. I usually point that out when people say God doesn’t care how we worship. If He doesn’t care How we worship, why did he go into so much detail about it in the OT and does He change?

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      • Yeah, I realized after I made this comment that there’s another Jim that was commenting on the same post–or at the same time on different posts. As a 52-year-old and a survivor of a rare form of acute leukemia–more accurately, a survivor of the treatment for acute leukemia–my short-term memory can be … let’s just say “unreliable” is being kind.

        I put a lot of stock in the things that seem universal in the early churches. While they didn’t prescribe OT worship with priests and altars, they used it as an example of God’s desire for order starting from the earliest of their writings. Of course so did the apostles (1 Cor. 14; large parts of Hebrews). I wouldn’t disagree with you on that.

        So it must have been the other Jim that asked why God required sacrifices if he didn’t need them. This post, referencing worship, answers the sacrifice question.

        That may not matter since it wasn’t you who asked the question. I would have commented anyway because I got a question one day, and you wrote an answer to that question–without seeing the question–the very next day.

        What I thought had happened was that you asked the question rhetorically, while you had ideas in your mind to answer the question. Turns out you didn’t ask it. You nonetheless provided an excellent answer to it, not even having seen the question.

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  2. You are so right with this post. We are the ones who need to worship. It may fill His heart to hear us but it fills our hearts to do it. Thanks for sharing and blessings to you.

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    • Thanks for sharing Sue!

      I don’t know if it fills his heart. That implies that there is something lacking or missing, or not full within the Godhead. But now I’m probably being too microscopic!

      You have inadvertently and unintentionally sparked a new post here at Not For Itching Ears. I’ve been arguing it in my mind for several months now! The gist of it is that the contemporary worship movement has so influenced the church that now we primarily define worship as a song. You alluded to this when you said “It may fill his heart to HEAR us…”

      Now, I’m not picking on you! We all do this. Whenever I have a discussion with someone about worship being a song, they almost universally respond with some variation of “Well, of course worship is MORE than singing…” But I think that singing should not be and is not the primary word to describe the worship of God. We could say that “Worship is much more than________________” and fill in the blank. Singing should not be the primary category. But it is. I will argue in that future post that teaching the church that worship is primarily a song is actually hurting the church.

      Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that you actually believe that. Your words are the ones that finally pushed me to write the article.

      Thanks for that!

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  3. This is such an important truth for every one of us to hear Jim. Jesus speaks of a time in eternity past when He and the Father enjoyed absolute perfect contentment in one another. He had no needs, but He gave. That’s why we worship. Set aside the gospel and salvation (oh that’s painful)… He had no need of creation. We have to somehow get it in our unbelievably thick skulls that even the next breath of air we will enjoy is His to give and His alone. We worship because He gives life and gives it abundantly in Christ Jesus. He created and we rebelled, but rather than do what I do everyday… write off those who abuse me, He gave more grace. Unbelievable and so worthy of our worship!

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  1. Pingback: Why Does God Require Our Worship? | Christianity 201

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