It is a worthy meditation as we prepare for our corporate worship this Lord’s day.
People ought to come to corporate worship services to get. They ought to come starved for God. They ought to come saying, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). God is profoundly honored when people know that they will die of hunger and thirst unless they have God. And it is my job as a preacher to spread a banquet for them. I must show them from Scripture what they are really starving for – God – and then feed them well until they say, “Ahhh.” That is worship (John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight [Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah, 2001], 56).
If the essence of worship is satisfaction in God, then worship can’t be a means to anything else. You simply can’t say to God, “I want to be satisfied in You so that I can have something else.” Because that would mean that you are not really satisfied in God but in that something else. And that would dishonor God, not worship Him. But in fact, for many people and pastors, the event of “worship” on Sunday morning is conceived of as a means to accomplish something other than worship. We “worship” to raise money; we “worship” to attract crowds; we “worship” to heal human hurts; we “worship” to recruit workers; we “worship” to improve church morale; we “worship” to give talented musicians an opportunity to fulfill their calling; we “worship” to teach our children the way of righteousness; we “worship” to help marriages stay together; we “worship” to evangelize the lost among us; we “worship” to give our churches a family feeling, etc., etc. In all of this we belittle worship and God. Genuine affections for God are an end in themselves (ibid., 57-58).