Worship is one of the great joys of the Christian experience. You and I have the opportunity to know God and to be known by Him. We can talk to Him and hear from Him! Jesus spoke of the way in which the Heavenly Father wants people to worship Him “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Unfortunately, many modern believers have made worship all about songs, style, showmanship, and the spectacle. They’ve missed the real heart of worship. How can we be on guard against the temptation of going through the motions of religion? The sixth chapter of Isaiah contains an account of a worship experience the prophet had. Yahweh’s presence transformed the man. I believe real worship will do something similar to us. Consider four results of real worship.
Real worship will fill our hearts with reverence for the Lord. When Isaiah entered into the throne room of heaven he exclaimed, “Woe is me for I am ruined!” (Isaiah 6:4a). I am afraid that much of modern worship seems to be man-centered. It appears to draw more attention to man than God. Listen to the lyrics. There is a lot of use of the personal pronouns — “I,” “Me,” “My,” and “We.” Oftentimes, there isn’t an appropriate focus on the character of God. Mark it down — real worship will make much of the Lord, His glory and His grandeur!
Real worship will result in repentance. When one gets in the presence of God, he or she will see self for what it really is. This will lead to an awareness of one’s shortcomings and sins, ungodly habits and hangups, selfish attitudes and actions. When Isaiah encountered the living God, he cried, “I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:4b). When one holds his or her life up to the bright light of God’s holiness, flaws and errors are exposed. If one isn’t being transformed gradually into the likeness of Christ, it is unlikely that one is engaged in true worship. Paul said, “We all…are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
When Isaiah’s worship exposed his imperfection, he made confession to the Lord. Immediately, an angel told him, “Your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). Our personal times of worship provide an opportunity for personal renewal. Though we enter the presence of God polluted by sinful speech, sensual desires, and selfish attitudes, we can leave as white as snow. Our consciences can be cleansed, our shame can be satiated, and our guilt can be gone. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
After experiencing the purifying presence of the Lord, Isaiah had a desire to tell someone about what he had experienced. He shouted, “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). He wanted his neighbors, friends, and family members to know about the greatness of God! If we really worship, we will have a desire to witness. We will hardly be able to contain ourselves (Acts 4:20). We will want to tell others about Jesus.