Photo by Arthur Miranda
Part of my quiet time the past several weeks has been to read a section or two from the book Worship: The Ultimate Priority by John MacArthur (Click here for free book preview). Yesterday morning’s reading took me to a place I feel the church has steered away from for far too long. MacArthur points out the importance repentance plays in our worship. As you read this excerpt, be thinking about where you are in relation to the role repentance plays in your own daily act of worship.
We don’t often think of the confession of sin as worship, but it is. When we confess our sins, we are humbling ourselves before God, acknowledging His holiness, experiencing His faithfulness and righteousness in forgiving us, accepting any chastisement He may give, and thereby glorifying Him.
In fact, confession serves the dual purpose of being an act of worship itself and of preparing the repentant sinner to worship.
The Old Testament account of Achan is an example of how God is glorified in confession of sin. Achan disobeyed God by stealing treasure from the city of Jericho. He thought if he buried it in his tent, no one would ever know. But God saw right through the dirt, and He was so displeased with Achan that the entire nation of Israel suffered because of it. They were defeated in battle at Ai, and many Israelites died in a graphic illustration that God cannot bless our sin.
When Joshua realized what had happened and Achan’s sin was about to be revealed, He said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me” (Joshua 7:19). Joshua made the logical connection between the confession of sin and glorifying God (178-179).
Wow. Joshua made the logical connection between the confession of sin and glorifying God. Have we, the church? Or have we gotten caught up in the emotional feelings stirred during the “worship” portion of the service on Sunday mornings to truly experience the fullness of glorifying God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Have we been satisfied too long to sing and ask for His presence to come to us and reveal His goodness to us, that we have forgotten it is He who sits on the throne and invites us into His presence where the angels are crying out Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty?
May we take some time today to pray through the following verses and humbly worship God our Savior through a heart of repentance in order that the joy which comes in the morning will be ever so much sweeter and everlasting!!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting!
Photo by Olivia Snow