How Am I to Worship God?
Man asks, “How am I to worship God?” and he has answered it also in his own way. In the gorgeous temple, in the pillared cathedral, with incense, and vestments, and forms, and ceremonies, and processions, and postures, he says.
But these performances are the ‘will worship’ of self righteousness, not the obedient service of men worshiping God in ways of His own choosing.
Man cannot teach man how to worship God. When he tries it he utterly fails. He distorts worship; he misrepresents God, and he indulges his own sensuous or self righteous tastes. His “dim religious light” is but a reflection of his own gloomy spirit, and an ignorant misrepresentation of Him “who is light.”
God’s answer to man’s question is given in the Lord’s words, “those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
The vestments may or may not be lovely; that matters not. The music may or may not be beautiful. The knees may or may not be bent. The hands may or may not be clasped. The place of worship may or may not be a cathedral, or a consecrated building.
These are immaterial things; mere adjuncts of religion, not its essence. The true worship is that of the inner man; and all these other exterior things are of little importance.
As it is with love, so it is with worship. The heart is everything! God can do without the bended knee, but not without the broken heart!
– Horatius Bonar