It’s Not About Me
By DiAne Gates -
I got nothing from the sermon this morning. Should have stayed home. The music was loud and consisted of fifteen words, repeated over and over. And not a soul spoke to me.
Hmm, ever thought that?
Come on now, ‘fess up. I have.
Last week a friend of mine loaned me a book she bought at a garage sale. The title was In His Steps, by Charles M. Sheldon, published by Moody Press in 1956. This powerful book has caused me to rethink and refocus on the object of worship. And the conclusion is clear. . .
Worship is not about me.
What? That statement begs the question, then who or what is worship all about? What I get out of church? Me feeling good when I leave church? Me hearing the pastor give an acceptable sermon?
Or is my purpose to sit at Jesus feet and become more like Him? Only the Spirit can accomplish that in me—my part is to be quiet, to listen, and then obey. Scripture says I am to, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and come into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4 KJV).
Worship is all about God—not about me.
And to be truthful, if I’m not worshipping before I reach the church building, chances are I’m not going to worship once I’m inside.
So why do I go to church? Several thoughts spring to mind: To hear the pastor’s message and read God’s Word? To sing and listen to the special music, and enjoy the company of friends who believe as I do?
But is that worship?
Worship convicts me when I humble myself and recognize my traditions and self-righteousness are like filthy rags before God. I realize the vast chasm between a holy God and a sinner like me, then acknowledge and accept that Jesus paid the debt for my sins and gave me life—eternal life. And I am thankful.
Jesus commended the tax collector who stood outside the tabernacle and beat on his breast, crying out, “God be merciful to me—a sinner.” But He condemned the Pharisee who said, “God I thank Thee that I am not like other people…even like this tax collector” (Luke 18:11-13 NAS).
I don’t recall thinking, Lord, be merciful to me. I’m a sinner, as I’m racing through the church doors before the first song or prayer. I don’t even remember spending those moments in the car driving to church contemplating my desperate need for Him. Roget’s Thesaurus lists the verb worship as “adore, cherish, respect.”
Have I? No. It’s been all about me.
Is it any wonder I leave church in worse shape than when I arrived?
Are you tired of sitting in church every Sunday, singing a few praise choruses, reading a few scriptures, praying, then continuing with business as usual Monday through Friday? I wonder if our lives would change if we committed to ask Jesus what He would do each day, in every circumstance of our lives—relationships, finances, business?
In His Steps tells about a pastor and his congregation who found themselves asking that same question after an unsettling experience during a Sunday service brought them to question the core of their worship. They chose to surrender to the power of the Spirit of God. As a result, the preacher, the congregation, and their town was changed.
Those believers did not take their commitment lightly, nor should we. When we seek answers from man, we receive only what man can provide. When we ask God, we receive wisdom, power, and understanding from the Lord God Almighty.
But the battle begins in our hearts and minds. Our sinful nature shouts, “It’s all about me.” But when we make the choice to worship God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and we choose to follow in His steps, victory is certain.
I ask you to search for a copy of Charles M. Sheldon’s book and read it. Ask God to speak to your heart about worship, then share with others what He says to you.