As a way of honoring the volunteers in our community groups ministry, my wife hosted a Christmas party for the wives of group leaders. I thought that this would be one of those parties that I could just slip out of, and go hang out with the guys. Suffice it to say that that didn’t happen. I was stuck in the house with a bunch of ladies who would be eating and exchanging gifts.
My job for the evening was to make lattes and hot chocolate for everybody. I am often delegated this responsibility because I worked at a coffee shop as a barista for over 3 years, and really enjoy coffee. I made a variety of different drinks that night.
What stood out to me was their response to the drinks, and what that did for me. Some ladies were very appreciative, saying, “Thanks!” or “We appreciate you doing this for us!” It was nice that they appreciated my drinks, but the greatest responses were, “That’s good,” and “I really like that,” and “I didn’t even know if this would be good, but I love it!” Now, I don’t say this to toot my own horn at all. I say this to point you to what worship is, at its core.
Worship is enjoying God. Sure, there are other aspects of worship. Take, for example, giving. Giving is an act of worship, right? But giving to others, merely because God says to give, isn’t enough (though it is a step of obedience). “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) There is a component to giving that requires an emotional commitment. A cheerful giver does not give merely because he or she has to give. They take delight in giving. But can an emotion really be commanded? Aren’t emotions just a reaction, not something that we can control or help?
“Delight yourself in the Lord.” (Psalm 37:4) There it is. Delighting involves an emotion. Delighting means that you have a positive affection towards something or someone. To delight in something means that you enjoy it. To delight in God means that we enjoy Him. David, the psalmist, delights in and longs for the sweet commandments and precepts of God. (Psalm 119:16, 24, 29-30, 36, 40, 47-48, 58, 70, 72, 77, 92, 103, 111, 131, 143, 162, 164, 174) How do you go about the business of delighting in God? I think it starts with two things: trusting in the Lord and committing your way to Him. (Psalm 37:3, 5) Delight can be both the catalyst and the result of trusting and committing, and is an essential aspect of worship.
The ladies showed the most value to my drinks when they enjoyed them. The empty cup and a smile went much further in my mind than words alone. What about with God? Do you think He just wants your words? Or does He want your heart, too?