Worship without wonder is lifeless and boring. Many have lost their sense of awe and amazement when it comes to God. Having begun with the arrogant presumption of knowing about God all that one can, they reduce Him to manageable terms and confine Him to a tidy theological box, the dimensions of which conform to their predilections of what a god ought to be and do.
When it comes to satisfying our spiritual appetites, there is no such thing as excess. There are no restraints placed on us by God. There are no rules of temperance or laws requiring moderation or boundaries beyond which we cannot go in seeking to enjoy Him. We need never pause to inquire whether we've crossed a line or become overindulgent. You need never fear feeling too good about God.
The ultimate goal of theology isn't knowledge, but worship. If our learning and knowledge of God do not lead to the joyful praise of God, we have failed. We learn only that we might laud, which is to say that theology without doxology is idolatry. The only theology worth studying is a theology that can be sung!
The Christian is not free to do what the Bible forbids. Christian freedom does not entail the right to fornicate or to steal or to lie or to persist in an unforgiving attitude or to do anything else the Scriptures explicitly prohibit. And a person who lovingly points this out to you is not a legalist for having done so!
What elevates the human soul and empowers it to live in the fullness of its created purpose is not religious intimidation or new rules or an anxiety induced by spiritual scoldings. It is faith in the promise that the enjoyment sin brings is fleeting and futile, but at God's right hand, and in the presence of His radiant glory, are pleasures evermore (Ps. 16:11).
This is the glory and miracle of grace, that God, through the Holy Spirit, is able to transform a stubborn, rebellious, and unbelieving will into a passionate, obedient, believing will without violating the integrity of the individual or diminishing the voluntary nature of one's decision to trust Christ for salvation.
There are no term limits on His reign. He has always been King and He always will be King. There is no death that threatens the perpetuity of His sovereign authority. There is no usurping of power by a lesser rival to His throne. There are no coups, no revolutions (at least, none that succeed). There is no threat of impeachment. He is a King who rules eternally.
God created us so that the joy He has in Himself might be ours. God doesn't simply think about Himself or talk to Himself. He enjoys Himself! He celebrates with infinite and eternal intensity the beauty of who He is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we've been created to join the party!
I simply define glory as the beauty of God unveiled. Glory is the resplendent radiance of His power and His personality. Glory is all of God that makes God God, and shows Him to be worthy of our praise and our boasting and our trust and our hope and our confidence and our joy.
Just as a husband cannot be indulgent of adultery in his wife, so also God cannot and will not endure infidelity in us. What would we think of a man or woman who does not experience jealous feelings when another person approaches his or her spouse and threatens to win his or her affection? We would regard such a person as deficient in moral character and lacking in true love.
The single most important principle I ever discovered is this: the goal or purpose of the Christian is precisely the pursuit of happiness - in God. The reason for this is that there is no greater way to glorify God than to find in Him the happiness that my soul so desperately craves.
Many Christians are either woefully deficient in their knowledge of Scripture or noticeably devoid of any experience of God's power. The Lord never intended this for His people. We have all seen firsthand the joyless intellectual arrogance the absence of spiritual power can produce, as well as the fanatical emotional excess that comes from the lack of theological integrity.
Grace does not demonize our desires nor destroy them nor lead us to deny them. Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming our desires so that knowing Jesus becomes sweeter than illicit sex, sweeter than money and what it can buy, sweeter than every fruitless joy. Grace is God satisfying our souls with His Son so that we're ruined for anything else!
God has sovereignly pulled back the curtain on His glory. He has disclosed Himself on the platform of both creation and redemption that we might stand awestruck in His presence, beholding the sweet symmetry of His attributes, pondering the unfathomable depths of His greatness, baffled by the wisdom of His deeds and the limitless extent of His goodness. This is His beauty.
The ordinances do not impart eternal life to the believer, but they do confirm, strengthen, and heighten our awareness and enjoyment of that life. The bread and wine are means or instruments by which God quickens us to apprehend, understand, visualize, and experience the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit and his unique ministry of shining the light of illumination and glory on Jesus.
Worship is not about my enjoyment. It is about my enjoyment of God. It is not about my pleasure or my delight or my satisfaction. It is about my pleasure, delight, and satisfaction in God. Worship is not simply about glorifying God. It is about glorifying God by enjoying Him forever.