(I lost the first iteration of this thought, so I can only hope that it comes out the way God intended it to the second time around. Maybe this is a sign…?)
I often think about why I worship God less diligently when times are going well in my life. I would expect my worship to God to be better when I’m not going through, because I’m so HAPPY that I’m not going through anything, thereby doling out public displays of affection to my God because I’m not going through tough times. However, I’ve discovered that when times are not hard, my worship to God is not as authentic and bold as it is when I’m going through something.
In pondering this, God asked me a question: “Why do you worship me? What is your motivation to worshiping me?” And I realized that most of the time, when I’m worshiping God, my motivation for worshiping Him, though it ought not be, is linked to my current situation. And I’m worshiping God so that I can escape the jaws of my enemy, deliverance from myself, or assistance with a project. Once I’ve come out of that situation, my motivation for worshiping God no longer exists, and thereby my worship to God lessens. If my worship is linked to achieving one task, and not from pure love and devotion to God, once it is complete, the motivation is lost, and my worship to God either wanes, dwindles, or just outright disappears.
I’ve seen this far too often in the Scriptures, when the Israelites would worship idol gods when times were good, or how Samson fell for Delilah’s snares when times were good, or when Solomon married all those women and eventually worshiped other gods AFTER building the temple for God. It seems that I’m worshiping God hard, like my life depends on it (which it does), when I’m going through something. But after I’m delivered, or the task is complete, my worship to God dissipates, as if worshiping God is over. I get now why Paul’s thorns were not taken away, because God realizes that without the thorns, I might just stop worshiping God altogether. My motivation, then, for worship should not be dicated by situations, which change like the weather. My motivation should be the fact that I love a God who, despite my flaws and shortcomings, loved me enough to send His Son to die in my place so that I could be called a Child of God.
My motivation should be like Joseph’s, who despite being placed in the pit, sold into slavery, wrongfully accused and placed in prison, and altogether forgotten about, consistenly worshiped and praised God. It should be like Job’s, who despite losing just about everything, consistenly worshiped God, knowing that God “gives and takes away.” My motivation should be like Christ’s, who despite the trials and tribulations of being chosen, used His love for God and His Will to place Himself on the Cross. I should love God and worship Him, whether it’s sunny and 73°, or pouring rain and flooding the streets. I should worship God “through the good and the bad…whether happy or sad…in all that I go through, because praise is what I do, because I owe it all to [Him].”