“Worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:28 (NIV)
Te Deum is Latin for “You are God”. It’s arguably one of the best definitions of worship. For Te Deum calls attention to some essential principles of worship. It reminds us that:
Worship begins, not with us, but with God. For worship to begin with God, it must be moored to His Story. The center piece of worship must be the Bible. His life words must direct worship. We cannot do or say whatever we want in worship. Worship must be biblically grounded, informed and directed. It’s not about me or my preferences. Worship is about Him; about the surrender of my will to His will, about the alignment of my ways to His ways. Worship is God initiated. God is the musician, we are the instruments. God is the breath, that’s why we sing.
Worship is cultivated by love. Heartless worship is no worship at all. Without love our worship is null and void. Worship must spring from the heart; from a heart in tune with God’s heart. For worship is the harmony of grace; the melody of lives redeemed and souls restored by the three in One and One in three. Worship thrives where love thrives. It thrives where kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness thrive. It thrives when we do not delight in evil but rejoice in the truth (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:6).
Pride is the primary stumbling block to worship. When we crave attention, secretly see ourselves as better than others, or see the failures of others without being overwhelmed by our own spiritual need, we build a wall that separates us from God. The worship that God finds acceptable comes from “a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17). Worship begins when sinners repent. Confession of sin is essential for worship. When we confess our guilt we can move on; grace and gratitude can ensue.