A couple of weeks ago I was posed with an interesting question. How can wanting to worship God be bad?This question was in the context of a discussion primarily about corporate worship, but I believe the response Im about to give can apply to other types of worship.
First of all, I have to say that I do believe desiring corporate worship can be a negative thing, but please read to the end before you make any judgements on that statement! I hope that the vast majority of the time wanting to be involved in corporate worship is God honouring and good, but sadly this is not always the case.
So how can desiring to worship be bad? Well lets be clear first that it is not evil to want to worship God. The problem lies in the magnitude of our desire. As Calvin says, The evil in our desire typically does not lie in what we want, but that we want it too much.
This seems like a rather odd thing to suggest when applied specifically to worshipping God, so perhaps some context will help. Imagine you turn up for Church late and as you arrive the sermon is just beginning, you have missed all of the music. Then after the service is over youre chatting with some friends and one of them mentions how great the worship time was, how powerfully God was speaking to the congregation.
There are a few ways you could react to this. You could be overwhelmed with joy for them, praising God because he his goodness. You could be thankful for the blessing God has poured over your friend and the rest of the Church. Alternatively, you could be bitter and angry because you werent there. You could be resentful that this conversation is happening, and jealous of your friend for having such a great morning.
The desire to worship is no bad thing, but if you want it so much that it twists your heart then it has become an idol. In my experience, I can turn pretty much anything into an idol somehow, no matter how good it is to begin with. There is very little that is safe from the corruption of my heart.