ADMIRATION AND REFLECTION
Praise is admiration and reflection. Just wanting an experience is religious existentialism. Worship must be rooted in reality. God loves us and the experience that His Spirit pours out is a greater reality of what we know. Our worship is a realization of that experience and is flooded with reality. We have a greater consciousness of being with the Lord. There is an appetite for God within us. David expresses this when he declared, "As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Ps. 42:1-2). An increasing appetite for God will move us on.
WORSHIP ENTAILS ENCOUNTER
We highly value being in God’s presence. When we worship, God touches us and dwells with us right where we are. The Message Bible describes Jesus’ coming to the earth as God “moving into the neighborhood” (John 1:14). God remains present among us today and worship manifests Him. In worship, there is intensity, God coming upon us with power.
In worship we express that we desire to encounter God. One song expresses this longing with the simple phrase, "I long for you, oh Lord…" We always want to know God and encounter Him in our worship!
We need to long to encounter God and find our highest joy in Him. As John Piper explains in his book Desiring God,
"The enemy of worship is not that our desire for pleasure is too strong but too weak! We have settled for a home, a family, a few friends, a job, a television, a microwave oven, an occasional night out, a yearly vacation, and perhaps a new personal computer. We have accustomed ourselves to such meager, short-lived pleasures that our capacity for joy has shriveled. And so our worship has shriveled."We must re-awaken ourselves to knowing and encountering the reality of the living God. He is our greatest delight.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
(Psalm 63:1-3 ESV)