What’s the Point?
Growing up in church, I heard all kinds of attempts by well-meaning pastors and Sunday School teachers describing what heaven would be like. I heard about the streets of gold and the pearly gates. I heard about a place where there would be no more pain or tears. And these aren’t wrong by any means. I just found this description of heaven to be, well, lacking. In fact, I found every attempt to describe heaven left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. But there was one description that was worse than all the others. As bad descriptions of heaven go, it was king.
Heaven is like a worship service that never ends.
Can you, in your wildest imagination, come up with anything that would sound worse to a 10-year-old boy than to have to sit in church forever! I mean, I like music as much as the next person, but forever? I pictured a skeleton in my clothes sitting there in the church pew. And then I remembered this was eternal life! Worship… F-O-R-E-V-E-R!
Needless to say, this was a less than inspiring picture of the afterlife in my 10-year-old mind. I found myself asking- “what’s the point?” Not of heaven, I mean. But why would we be worshiping forever? Is God insecure? Is He an ego maniac? As it turns out, the truth is neither of these. Yes, worship of God will be a huge part of heaven, but know this:
God does not need our worship.
He wants it. And He absolutely deserves it. But He does not need it. Worship is actually more for us than it even is for Him. We were literally made to be worshippers. It’s core to how God put us together. We are designed to give praise to our creator, and (when done right), it actually fulfills and satisfies a deep longing within us. Joy is the result of worshipping well. If we have nothing to worship or live for, our lives actually begin to wither away. As a result, when we fail to worship God, we will invariably and inevitably seek pitiful and pathetic replacements. Like it or not, we WILL worship something- whether it be God, who deserves our praise, or an idol that doesn’t.
Now, we are quick to assume we don’t struggle with idol worship. But that’s because we are quick to relegate idols to little statues and assume they are no longer relevant. But listen to this warning from Kyle Idleman’s book “gods at war”:
“What if the gods of here and now are not cosmic deities with strange names? What if they take identities that are so ordinary we don’t recognize them as gods at all? What if we do our ‘kneeling’ and ‘bowing’ with our imaginations, our checkbooks, our search engines, our calendars? What if I told you that every sin you are struggling with, every discouragement you are dealing with, even the lack of purpose you’re living with are because of idolatry?”
This is the reality of most worshippers. We don’t know we’re worshippers, so we don’t worship God, or if we do we don’t get the purpose. All the while, we are longing for something to worship, and all around us, we find things to replace God with. We all need worship. Your soul longs for it. But when you fill your soul with worship of things that are not greater, the end result might be short term happiness, but it can never be joy.
Why worship? Simple: Because you were made to. What’s the point of worship? Joy. Fulfillment. To be who God made you to be. God deserves your worship, but He doesn’t need it.
But you do.