Here’s a re-vamped post from a couple of years ago. I thought it worth sharing again.
Have you ever considered the source of praise? Have you ever thought about who generates those words, thoughts, songs, and acts of worship to God?
To attempt to answer these questions, let us look at one of the most amazing moments in all of scripture.
Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, ” I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” Ex 33:18-19 NASU
Can you imagine how euphoric, how terrifying, how incredible this moment must have been for Moses? We are so blessed that God chose to include it in scripture. He does so to tell us some very important truths.
God Is Sovereign
Of course you can say, “But it was Moses’ request to which God responded!” Well, yes and no. It was Moses who made the request, but it was God at work in Moses that caused Moses to make such a request. You also must notice all of the “I will” in what God says. It was God Who called Moses to the mountain in the first place. It was God Who took the initiative with Moses—not the other way around.
God Is Sovereign Over Himself
God did not say “I will pass before you”. He does not even say “My goodness will pass before you”. He says “I MYSELF will make all My goodness pass before you”. Have you ever considered the infinite Self-control of God? What if you had perfect self-control? Have you ever met anyone with flawless self-control?
Tiger Woods became a billionaire because he had unparalleled self-control over his golf game…..But he is lost out with advertisers and the public now that it is apparent that he didn’t have that same self-control in his private life. (Whether or not he returns to the elite place where he once was remains to be seen.) Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Ga. 5:23). However, who can claim that they have had absolute self-control other than God?
Worship originates with God! I am amazed at what God chooses to do before Moses. He could have showed Moses an amazing display of fire, smoke, clouds, and thunder. However, God allows Moses to hear the LORD proclaiming His own Name! What a moment that had to be!This gives us a fascinating glimpse into worship. When the church gathers together, it should be about proclaiming the Name of the LORD. It should never be about us. But you know what? Lest we think for a moment that God has to have our worship, lest we think that church song services are about us getting God’s attention, let us see here that the LORD proclaims His own Name! Had we never been created or if all men and angels were suddenly as though they never existed, God WILL be worshiped adequately and rightly all by Himself!
Who is the perfect worshiper? God is! You may respond “Well isn’t that incredibly vain of God?” To answer would take an entire book. But let me simply say that for God to worship anyone else, it would be idolatry on His part and He would violate His own Character. And since God is perfectly holy and cannot sin, He must proclaim His own Name! Idolatry is worshiping something or someone other than God and that definition also applies to God.
God Is Sovereign Over Grace
Immediately after God blows our puny little minds with the fact that all worship of Himself emanates from Himself, He then points us to the most excellent expression of His Nature. It is His Sovereign Grace. God will have mercy and grace upon those He will. In other words, God gives clarity to the basis of worship. We are to worship Him for Who He is—yes. But Who He is, is most gloriously displayed in the gospel. It is most incredibly shown in redemption. It is most powerful seen in unmerited favor.
That is why our song services must center on particular grace. That is why our lyrics must be cross-centered and grace-centered.
Please, please avoid the temptation to think that you are somebody because you worship the Lord. I beg of you to resist the temptation to think highly of yourself because you lead songs that give honor to Christ. None of that came from you. And even though it might magnify the Lord and point to God, God will be praised regardless. Instead, realize that every time you worship the Lord, you are more in debt to grace. Understand that even the substance, the stuff, if you will, of worship (forgive my terms) comes from God.