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The all-pervasive atmosphere of heaven is, and always will be, one of unrelenting, passionate worship. The only reason this all-consuming environment of adoration exists is because of the Triune God who sits enthroned at the center of it all. The question that needs to be asked, then, is what is it that God is supremely seeking in the midst of this everlasting environment of worship that He has created?
It seems to me that there are two possible answers: either He is ultimately seeking worship, or, He is ultimately seeking worshipers. Although these two possibilities may seem to be all but synonymous and inseparable, they are actually quite distinct and divergent. We will trace out these two lines of possible Divine intent.
If God is ultimately seeking worship, then, as the supreme object and sole recipient of that worship, He is ultimately seeking something for Himself. Furthermore, if worship is what He is ultimately seeking, then worshipers simply become the necessary means to that end. Lastly, if the supreme reason for God bringing into existence His created beings is to receive worship from them, it would be hard not to conclude that at the core of who God is is something akin to a Divine narcissism or egotism that has an eternal need or desire to feed on the adoration of His subservient creatures. This paints a rather unsettling picture of the Almighty and one that is quite strained to square with the God revealed in Scripture.
If, however, God is ultimately seeking worshipers, then He is ultimately seeking a relationship with His adoring creatures, not only for His own benefit and enjoyment, but also for theirs. In this scenario, worship becomes an essential means to His end and also a natural by-product of it. If this is indeed the case, then at the core of who God is is a Divine love that seeks oneness and fellowship with those whom He has created who choose to lovingly esteem and honor Him. This paints a picture that is quite different from the first scenario and one which readily squares with the God revealed in Scripture.
I believe that Scripture confirms that this second scenario is indeed the true one. If we look closely at what Jesus said in John 4:23, for instance, we see that what the Father is actually seeking is worshipers, and that the worship He describes is simply a means to making the kind of worshipers that He desires:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (NIV)
This revelation of the Father’s heart ought to revolutionize our worship of Him. When we come before Him, in public or private, let us reckon on the revelation that what our Heavenly Father ultimately desires in our worship is US and not merely our external, or even internal, expressions of praise and worship. These expressions may be vehicles through which we can engage with Him in spirit and express ourselves in truth, but let us never settle and stop short of the Father obtaining His ultimate desire in our worship, which is us, all of us!
We cannot end this meditation without also mentioning one last thing. The beautiful reality of this worshipful relationship with God is that as we give Him what He ultimately desires, ourselves, all of ourselves, He, in turn, also gives us what we ultimately desire, HIMSELF, all of HIMSELF!
Such a mutually-giving relationship of love is God’s glorious end in creating and ordaining worship as the never-ending, all-consuming, environment and atmosphere of His dwelling place, surrounded by all of His adoring creatures…including you and me! Amen!