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 hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. Acts 17: 24 – 25
Today is a day of worship and many of us will be doing so in our own churches. But this verse reminds us that God is not confined to a temple or dwelling. God lives in our hearts, and as believers, we can worship Him anywhere.
For those who say they don’t find it necessary or important to be in church to worship God because they can sense His presence on a golf course, in the woods hiking, or sitting on their deck enjoying the beauty of the day, this passage confirms their beliefs. This may even take away some of those little “twinges of guilt” they may have been feeling.
But there’s more – if those who believe this are really more interested in relaxing their minds and bodies and enjoying nature, rather than on the true meaning of worship – it’s not a very strong position to take! For true “worship” has significance quite different than merely just sensing God’s presence and basking in our world’s beauty. True worship should be a time in which we are refreshing our spirits and spending time with our Creator in gratitude and praise.
Billy Graham, the much renowned and respected evangelist, has described it this way: “Worship takes place when we focus our hearts and minds completely on God. When we truly are worshipping God, our whole attention is on Him – who He is, how great He is, what He has done for us, how much He loves us. Only then can we praise Him as we should, and only then can we grow closer to Him. Our goal should be the same as that of the psalmist: ‘Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name’. (Psalm 103:1). Whenever our hearts are focused on God, then we can worship Him – whether we are walking in the woods He created, or reading our Bibles to discover His truth, or joining together with other believers in church.”
In other words, we can behold God’s beauty and glory anywhere, but to acknowledge it, appreciate it, and give Him honor and glory for it, is essential to our praise and worship. Everything that exists comes from His hands. We need to seek Him and come to know His loving nature through hearing His Word and spending time in His presence. We need to recognize that our amazing God has infinite knowledge that is the essence of His being.
Scripture tells us that His ways are unfathomable and unsearchable, and His character is perfect and compassionate. He gives us the gift of life and breath, and He lives in our hearts. We worship Him, not because He needs anything that we can give Him, but rather, because He is continually giving to us. He supports life and all of His creations with His divine providence. Since He is all sufficient, we can give Him nothing He needs, but we can and should give Him what He deserves, and that is our worship.
God loves us and longs to be with us. He cares about our lives, and He is aware of all things. What a comforting and wonderful thought!
Worshipping God should be about encountering Him, connecting with Him in a deep, personal, and passionate way and expressing our love and adoration for Him. God wants more than our presence in church with Him on Sunday mornings. He wants all of us, all of the time – our minds, bodies, emotions, hearts, and souls. Our worship should be done with enthusiasm, joy, and gratitude and a desire to catch a glimpse of God Himself to refresh our spirits and renew our trust in Him.
What a gift it is to do so, for as we worship and praise Him, our eyes are taken off our own circumstances and the problems of this world and placed on Him, who will carry us through all life has to bring. Let us worship the Lord of heaven and earth in spirit and in truth always.
Dear Lord of all creation, may we worship you with humble, loving hearts full of honor and praise for all the many blessings of life you give us. May we not look just to satisfy our own desires, but to have a personal encounter with you and worship you in spirit and truth with our entire being. In your most holy name we pray. Amen