This experience reminded me of Gods rebuke to Israel for their anthropocentric worship. They too had lost their focus in worship and had become centered on themselves. They were doing the right things, but for the wrong reasons. Through the prophet Zechariah, God said, "During those seventy years of exile when you fasted and mourned, was it really for Me? And even now in your holy festivals, you dont think about Me but only of pleasing yourselves" (Zech. 7:5-6, NLT).
To the contrary, we must see all of life as sacred, lived for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. As 1 Cor. 10:31 says, Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Remember how the Father spoke from heaven at the baptism of Jesus and said, This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased (Matt. 3:17)? This was before Jesus had healed a single sick person, cast out a single demon or preached a single sermon. His life had been lived in the carpenter shop, making chairs, tables, plows, etc. Nonetheless, His was a life of worship because everything He did was for the glory and honor of God, and God was well pleased. Question: Are we living all of life for the glory of God--every thought, every word, every deed? That is worship!
God was giving guidelines to protect Israel from the human tendency to become enamored with that which is outward and sensory. The means of worship must never eclipse or obscure the object of worship. This does not mean that God puts any premium on ignorance or crudeness in worship. It does mean that He looks on the heart and is not impressed with our pomp and circumstance.
What impresses God? Isaiah 66:2 says, This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Many churches today would do well to dispense, at least for a time, with their elaborate means of worship and emphasize, instead, the inward condition of the heart in worship.
Simplify the means of worship and focus attention on the Object of Worship. The Fire of God will fall. His Presence and Glory will come. After all, worship is not about us, but about Him—JESUS. It’s time to get back to the heart of worship!