A Focus on Worship

There is nothing good we can do that God couldn’t do better. Despite the fact that we understand this simple fact, we still act like we’re the only ones who can get things done. This is nonsense. But it allows us to focus on ourselves and take our focus off of Him. That’s a big mistake and it’s one that is easy to fall into to. So the question is, if God can do it better, why does He ask us to do the various things He calls us to do?

If you’ve ever had children or worked with children you have a sense of at least a couple of reasons why God does so. One reason is because we like to be involved. We like to be included. My wife can make scrambled eggs just fine. She certainly doesn’t need any help breaking the eggs and whipping them up. However, my daughter loves to help. Can my daughter break eggs and scramble them as well as my wife? No, she can’t. Can she do it faster? Actually, she takes two to three times longer. But any time my daughter wants to help, my wife graciously allows her to do so. Why? If you ever saw the radiant joy that shines on my daughter’s face when she’s allowed to help, you’d see the answer. She wants to be involved. She wants to help. When she gets to, when she’s trusted by mom to help with the cooking, she’s filled with happiness. Sometimes God asks us to get involved because He knows we need to be involved. He knows we need to feel included. He made us. He understands that is how we are built.

Another reason is because He wants us to grow in our ability to take on things. I’ll use another cooking analogy, this time with my older boys. It’s extremely important to season food properly. A little salt and pepper go a long way. Sometimes when I’m cooking, especially when it’s something simple like breakfast steaks, I’ll have them season the meat. My oldest, 13, can cook breakfast pretty much by himself and have everything ready at about the same time, including planning for time for the meat to rest. How did he get to this point? We’ve slowly but surely gave him more and more tasks to attempt and try. Do they have a long way to go? Absolutely, but they are making steady progress at a reasonable pace and that’s what counts. By the time they are finishing up high school, my wife and I will be confident that they will be able to shop for groceries and cook their meals on their own. God works the same way towards us. He wants us to grow. He wants us to improve. He wants us to be capable of taking on more difficult and challenging things.

There are certainly other reasons why God wants us to be involved. Maybe we are the most skilled person at that place at that time and He wants to use us. It would be wrong of us to focus on what we’re capable of doing and take our focus off of Him. Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way. He was certainly a skilled leader and military strategist. He was able to dominate the nations around him. But when he started thinking about all “he” did, God had a lesson for him:

 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.  – Daniel 4:29-33, ESV

Only when Nebuchadnezzar had learned his lesson and was able to wholeheartedly give glory and praise to the Lord, to truly worship God, was he restored:

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
– Daniel 3:34-37, ESV

Whatever we’re called to do, regardless of how good we can do it, our focus should be on worshipping and glorifying God. As Nebuchadnezzar learned, we cannot say to Him, “What have you done?” What He has done is beyond anything we’re capable. Therefore, it’s not about how “good” we are. It’s about how unbelievably awesome He is. If we don’t understand that, we will very well understand Nebuchadnezzar’s closing words on the subject, “Those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” It is better to already be humble, grateful and desiring to worship Him than to be brought low like Nebuchadnezzar was. We are nothing. He is everything.

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