Don’t Worship The Worship: Looking At What Leads Us To The Throne

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Thanks to Kristen Gilles for sharing today’s thoughts. Republished with permission. Originally published at: MySongInTheNight.com

The Psalmist David realized that God’s unfailing love for him was the key that unlocks the door for sinners to enter and worship in God’s house. Psalm 5:7 doesn’t say, “Because of the intercession of the priests” or “Because of the blood of bulls and goats” or “Because of my good works and how much I love You, God, I can enter Your house.” It says:

Because of Your unfailing love I can enter Your house;
I will worship at Your temple with deepest awe.

Although David worshiped the Lord under the rules of the old covenant, he understood that God’s unfailing love for sinners was the means by which he was able to come and worship the Lord. “Because of Your unfailing love I can enter Your house.”

The same is true for us. Our worship is not what leads us “into the throne room.” Worship is our grateful response for having been led to the throne room by God’s unfailing love in giving His Son to die for our sins. It’s true for worship leaders, it’s true for pastors, it’s true for everyone in the assembly.

And what was David’s response to God’s love? Worship. Deepest Awe. He was floored by the unfailing love of God and compelled to worship God with deepest awe. He wasn’t awed by the work of the priests or the blood of the animal sacrifices or by his own good works and love for God. David was awestruck by his merciful, loving God who had made a way for him, a sinful man, to come and worship in God’s house. Why wouldn’t he be? And why would we feel this way, even more so today? STOP. Clear your mind. Now, consider these short passages, as if reading them for the first time:

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” (Eph. 1:4-5)

“But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Eph. 2:4-5)

“God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (I John 4:9-10)

Mind blowing.

But many times the posture of my heart is something other than reverence and awe when I come to worship God. It’s easy for all of us to forget the reasons why (and the means by which) we worship the Lord. We still bring offerings of our own merit to atone for our sins. We promote the good deeds we’ve done, or we condemn ourselves for the wrongs we’ve done and the good deeds we’ve left undone. We discount the unconditional, unfailing and liberating love of God, forgetting the perfect sacrifice of Jesus in our place.

Consider again what worship was like under the old covenant (before Jesus died and rose again):

“Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins.” (Heb. 10:11)

Now consider and marvel again at what Jesus has accomplished for us:

“But our High Priest offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There He waits until His enemies are humbled and made a footstool under His feet. For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” (Heb. 10:12-14)

Oh the great love of God who offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins that we might have access to Him and be made perfect and holy as He is!

Our response to God’s unfailing love should be nothing less than David’s: we should go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts, fully trusting Him and His finished work (not fiddling around with offerings of our own merit); and there we should worship with deepest awe the Savior who cleansed our guilty consciences and bodies with His innocent blood.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a Great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” (Heb. 10:19-23)

“So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” (Eph. 1:6-8)

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As the daughter of a worship pastor, Kristen Gilles became involved in music ministry at a young age. Accomplished as a vocalist, pianist, guitarist and songwriter, she has led worship in various churches and conferences, toured the United States from New York City to Dallas, Texas and many points in between, and recorded an EP in 2009, Embrace The Bigger Picture. Connect with Kristen at Facebook.com/kristensmithgilles.

Kristen currently leads worship in Sojourn Community Church and was featured onSojourn’s 2011 album The Water And The Blood: The Hymns Of Isaac Watts, Volume Two.



is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church, where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community and at HighestPraise.com.

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