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Monday, May 23, 2011

Worship – Our Innate Purpose

“Religion addresses only humanity’s external condition, not our internal confusion.”

~A.W. Tozer.

This 20th Century Biblical prophet and Christian mystic expounded material that is in some ways hard to swallow for many people (including many Christians) as it calls us back to the rawness of God at the heart of life every single time.

The truth is we all search for meaning. We all need it otherwise life loses it lustre and we inevitably become cursed in one way or another. The meaning to life is so inordinately difficult to understand as most of us look in entirely the wrong places for it.

Places We Search

For some it’s sought in the workplace. Know any workaholics? For others it’s education; know anyone with umpteen degrees? For others still it’s pleasure and thrills until one day they wake up, look into the mirror and find they’re not nineteen any longer. Age wearies them. It’s hopeless.

Have you perhaps sought to find meaning in these areas and come out empty handed?

The message to the meaning of life is more urgent than I first thought; the purpose of life.

It is to reconcile the inner discord within every single one of us. Most of us are blind to this.

It’s about God. It’s about Father-Son-Holy Spirit. It’s about relationship. It’s about growing passionately toward God for the rest of our lives. That’s worship. Our purpose is simply worship.

We are mirrors of the Almighty God. This is the very reason we were created in the first place, and without us recognising this fact we’ll never find meaning in our lives.

Worship – Singing Our Destined Song

Tozer cites John Keats who wrote of a “tongueless nightingale.”[1] What a brilliant metaphor. This nightingale had the songs — and songs of incredible beauty — but had no way of singing them... and this is us. This is our state, pre-Christ (assuming true spiritual re-birth). Our spiritual blindness pre-Christ prevents us from singing the true song that’s the sole purpose of our life.

Most people would not know it but God is a relational being, and God seeks a relationship with every one of us. He has designed our hearts and minds to relate with him. There’s no getting around it. We’ll never achieve true peace and inner accord without God.

When we commence a relationship with God, we suddenly find the keys to truth and the answers to the things that vexed us incessantly beforehand. Life becomes true. No more panaceas. No more lying and denial. No more shame and guilt. Total divine freedom to love God, and to love, period. In the words of Helmut Thielicke, life can begin again... (for the first time).

From first to last (well beyond our earthly life) our purpose is to worship God as a lifestyle and not an event. Everything else is temporary, fleeting and of little eternal (true) importance. Everything we think, say and do is to be aligned to worship, holy and utterly pleasing to God.

© 2009, 2011 S. J. Wickham.

[1] A.W. Tozer, The Worship Driven Life: The reason we were created, Ed. James L. Snyder (Oxford, UK: Monarch Books, 2008), p. 47. John Keats wrote this in The Eve of St Agnes.

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