Showiness in worship robs God of his glory, but so does a lack of visible display. Along with a contrite heart, prayerful dependence, and a response to the Word preached, the Scriptures call us to worship God with voice (Exod. 15:21; Acts 16:25), hands (Lev. 9:22; Ps. 119:48; Lam. 3:41), eyes lifted up (Ps. 121:1; John 17:1), feet (Ps. 87:7; Ps. 150:4), bowing (2 Chron. 7:3; Neh. 8:6; Ps. 95:6), and by standing (Ps. 22:23). All of these displays, properly motivated, point people to the unseen God whose presence we receive by faith and speak a powerful word of testimony to the unbeliever!
Is your worship sufficiently obvious that others are seeing the glory of God on display in you?
The prophet Isaiah said this:
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
3 And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Is. 60:1-3)
Through these verses we see God’s desire to display his glorious light TO a dark world THROUGH his people! While Isaiah 60 is largely eschatological in that all nations will one day acknowledge the supremacy of the one true and glorious God, it also has present-tense implications. It is set within the Isaianic call in chapters 55 and following to live a prepared life for the future coming of the Lord! This life includes a vision in chapter 55 for the nations (the foreigner) to be joined to the Lord in worship. We catch a glimpse of the evangelistic heart of the Lord, under the Old Covenant, for the redemption of the nations. And get this, the worship of God’s people serves that purpose!
Worship is a means of displaying the authenticity of our relationship with the living God and therefore displaying his glory!
This teaching must lead to personal evaluation:
- Is my worship so private that I am actually robbing God of glory?
- Is my worship evidence of a life changed by an encounter with the living God?
The Bible never calls us to be showy in worship, but God does use authentic worship to display his manifest glory to the nations. When people see you worshipping, is it obvious that you have encountered the one true God and can not help but worship him unashamedly?