Why God Wants Us To Worship Him –by Micah J.Murphy
God the All-Powerful desires worship because the core of God’s essence is love. Love is the foundation of all true worship. I say “true worship” because there are forms which are not true, such as pagan worship.
The pagans worshipped their gods and idols out of fear. It was an “I scratch your back, you keep from destroying me” type of worship. The pagans wanted to be kept from something negative. They prayed out of fear that unless they prayed, they would be hurt. This is evident in ancient myths, fables, and poetry. Some harm is about to befall a person or group of persons and those people pray for relief to appease the gods. There are only a handful of exceptions to this rule.
Christian prayer, on the other hand, imitates Trinitarian Love. Our God, the Holy Trinity, is three divine Persons, each one pouring Himself out infinitely and for all eternity into the other two Persons. This is not self-love, as it would be if each divine Person sat in His own being and held it to Himself. It is, rather, an all giving love. Each Person loves each other Person to such a great extent that it is perfect and harmonious. They pour out Their entire Being to one another.
God created the world. The world had to be created in being and, as St. Augustine writes, God must be omnipresent (i.e. He must exist everywhere) for things outside Himself to exist. Our existence is based on God. In a way, as St. Augustine notes also, we are the recipients of His Being, His Essence, His Love. This is based of the model of the ancient philosopher Plotinus who believed that the most perfect, that which is supreme and complete, spills over it’s existence (not it’s personhood, mind you, but it’s existence) in creating lower levels of existence. God, of course, cannot pour His entire existence into creation, because His entire existence is infinite and creation is not.
This leads us to reason one for our own need to worship Him: it is our place to worship Him. We were created based on His existence (without His existence, we could certainly not exist). St. Augustine says, “Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they will not rest until they rest in You.” God, being all loving, wants us to rest in His peace. He wants us to feel His love. This is why He desires us to worship Him.
We sinned. We needed then even more to worship God, because His peace was harder to reach. In the Old Testament, we even sometimes see the Jews taking on the ways of the Pagans and worshipping God out of fear and not out of love. Jesus came to mend our hearts. He loved us so much that He gave up His life for us, even to the point of draining the blood from His body and being hanged upon a cross. Blood is a symbol of life and of love. He poured it out for our sake to God the Father. Jesus not only claimed our salvation, but he also provided for us an example of how to love God. Jesus, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity Incarnate, gave Himself, His Live, His Love, His Blood, His entire essence as greatly and as purely as any man could. He continued, in His death, to pour out His being to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. Even in His death, He cooperated in Trinitarian Love and opened for us the door to follow Him and to pour ourselves out completely (though we are only to die for God as Jesus did, if forced to die) in our lives. This is what it means to open oneself to God. To pour forth your every effort, your every strength, your every love for the greater glory of God. This is the purest worship men can give.
This is the purest worship men can give, and do you think it adds much to the infinite majesty of God? Of course not. God does not need this worship. But He knows that in giving it, we will be content because we will be acting in the life of God. God knows that “it is in giving that we receive”. God asks our worship because God wants us to be happy. God wants our worship because He knows that in giving all that we are and all that we have to Him, we will find ourselves most content.
Any notion that God requires worship or that God is anything less than selfless is from satan.
©copyright 2004 Micah J. Murphy all rights reserved. This story reprinted from the forums at http://www.phatmass.com Used with kind permission from the author
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