Call – Opelika-Auburn News
enjoy God is one tough lesson
“Thou art worthy” is one of the most inspiring “worship
songs” I have ever heard. I remember where I was seated when I first heard the
song – in a retreat center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I thought I was there to
bless others as a speaker. God had another plan – to bless me with that song.
The simple melody had an easy flow.
The words touched my heart so deeply that for a few moments I was unaware of
the tears that flowed gently down my cheeks. Here are the words that blessed me
Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy,
Thou art worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory, glory and honor,
Glory and honor and pow'r;
For Thou has created, hast all things created,
Thou hast created all things,
And for Thy pleasure they are created:
Thou art worthy, O Lord!
A Bible verse inspired Pauline Mills
to compose the song. These are the words of John in Revelation 4:11 – “You are
worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created
all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
This song was my introduction to
songs or choruses that were different from the hymns of my upbringing. The
songs I had known and loved were hymns “about” God; this was a song addressed
to God. Such songs were new and inspiring to me although I have not lost my
love of the ancient hymns that are dear to me.
“Thou art worthy” helps one to simply
worship God for who he is and what he has done for us. That the song is based
on a verse from Revelation is not surprising for that is what that book is all
about – the worship of God.
you can look past the strange symbolism in Revelation, you can see that the basic theme of Revelation is very clear –
the worship of almighty God. The
business of heaven is the worship of God. The worshippers John sees are 24
elders and four living creatures. The elders surely represent the 12 tribes of
beings have a proclivity for worship. No doubt God created us with a capacity
to worship. But he also gave us a free will. We can choose to worship God or we
can worship something else. Therein is our problem. Our sinful nature blinds us
to the need to worship God so we end up worshipping a thousand things other
than almighty God.
and until we are saved by grace, we are prone to worship little gods of our own
making. The fact is that we become like what we worship. When we worship the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we tend to become Christlike. If we
worship our own pleasure we become hollow, pathetic people who bear no
resemblance to the Christ.
to worship God with one’s whole heart is never easy. Early in our lives most of
us wanted God to do what we asked of him. We did not report for duty, asking
God to show us what he wanted of us. We talked to God as though he were our
servant. We whined when things did not
go our way.
we grow in grace we learn that God has a reason for the troubles he allows us
to have. He is more interested in our growth than in our comfort. We stop
asking why God let a crisis occur. Instead we ask what he is teaching us in the
midst of our misfortune.
we learn that instead of asking for things we can simply crawl into God’s lap
and let him love us for awhile. We can be still for a few minutes and, like a
little child, feel the sheer joy of being loved. Such a mature attitude only
comes, of course, when we choose to give up worshipping worthless idols made
with our hands and begin to cry with John, “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your
will they existed and were created.”
worship may require more than a steady diet of choruses. We need also the sense
of awe that comes from singing some of the great hymns of the faith. For
example, singing Reginald Heber’s hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty,”
reminds me that God is holy and worthy of my highest praise. Somehow the Spirit
“causes me to tremble” whenever I sing with others:
Holy, holy, holy!
All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns
Around the glassy sea,
Cherubim and seraphim
Falling down before thee,
Perfect in power, in love and
worship of God is not reserved for Sunday services. If the citizens of heaven
worship God in ceaseless praise, we can surely find ways to worship him every
day – at home, at work, and at play. We have every reason to praise God
constantly. He created us as well as all things. He gave us life. He makes
possible every breath we take.
gives us the power to speak the next word and to take the next step. He gives
us the capacity to choose good over evil, to forgive rather than to hate, to
value life rather than destroy it, to celebrate rather than to complain, and to
worship him rather than lesser gods.
it was John’s vision that inspired this inclusion in the Westminster Shorter
What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
worship of almighty God, begun here and continued with the saints and elders in
heaven, will enable us to do just that. Though
it is not easy, it is worth our best effort.
+ + +