Readiness For Worship

2 Chronicles 29:4-15

The task for the consecration of the Temple must be performed by the priests and Levites. However, the priests and Levites must be fit for the task at any given time. The main function of the priests was to carry out the worship of God through the offering of sacrifices. There were essentially two different kinds of sacrifices: sin offerings, which were offered for moral offenses, and thank offerings, which were offered to express gratitude for God's goodness and blessing. Sadly, the enthusiasm of the people were not followed by the priests. The number of consecrated priests were too few at that time (2 Chronicles 29:34). The priests might have grown spiritually lax during the days of Ahaz and many were slow to respond to the revival under Hezekiah. In comparison to the Levites, the Chronicler attributed this issue to the matter of the heart hence the Levites are more upright in heart in consecrating themselves than the priests (verse 34).

Qohelet says, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1) He reminds us not to be careless and spiritually lax when we come to worship God. How do we prepare our heart to be ready for worship? It is an everyday practice on how to live a life that is pleasing God. Peter says that we are a holy priesthood "to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God." (1 Pet. 2:5) and the gift that is worthy to be offered to God for his mercy and grace in Jesus Christ is nothing less than offering ourselves as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). That is our spiritual worship. The only way to be a living sacrifice pleasing to God is by not conforming to this world, namely the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:16). In the last devotion, we explored practical ways we can cultivate to grow in holiness that will lead to worship.

Another practice we can cultivate is from the tradition of Puritans. The Puritans were people concerned with being prepared for worship. For the Puritans, preparing for worship started the night before. Beginning on Saturday evening, spend much time with God. Seeking His face, crying out for the power of God on the preacher, and begging for His grace and for the display of His glorious majesty as we humbly and reverently come into His presence to bow before His throne in worship, praise, prayer and preaching. When we gather, prepare your heart for this special occasion. Be ready to stand trembling, yet joyfully praising on the One who has raised us from the dead and given us life. So take your worship seriously and be prepared for it. Every moment of worship is a moment of encountering God in a special way.