It is often said that when one comes to worship the Christian is not coming to be served, but to serve God. This is why it is called a worship service.
So- with that thought in mind- should I expect something from worship? I believe so. Based on Isaiah’s experience in the “divine throne room,” minister Bob Russell, in his book, When God Builds a Church, lays out four legitimate expectations one can have from a worship experience.
- You should expect a sense of God’s presence. Isaiah 6:1 says, “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Worship is neither entertainment nor boredom. It should convey the mighty holiness of God.
- You should expect a conviction of our sinfulness. “Woe to me!” Isaiah cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips.” Isaiah 6:2. The closer we get to God the more aware we are of our sinfulness. The brighter the light the more wrinkles show. Conviction of our sin is telltale sign we have been near God.
- You should expect a joyful reminder of God’s grace. God’s love washes away our sins and worship should remind us of this fact. “One of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken from you and atoned for.” Isaiah 6:6-7 A worship experience should convict us of our sin, but it should never leave us there. The good news is Jesus’ blood purifies us from all sin! 1 John 1:7.
- You should expect inspiration to serve. “Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I seen? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Instead of an instinct to criticize, you should leave worship with an incentive to share the truth with the lost and minister to the hurting in the world.
Every worship service has ways to improve, changes we can make, and so on. Worship engenders a lot of opinions with as many different takes as the sand on the seashore. For me, at the end of each Sunday I ask a simple question, “Did I worship today?”