You probably don’t have little wooden figurines that you bow down to in your house. And you probably don’t visit a temple everyday to light incense and worship some deity. Yet, worship is a big part of everyone’s life. And this is a problem because most people worship the wrong thing.
In ancient Rome, Christians were tempted to worship the false gods of Rome and, most of all, the emperor. Today, we tend to worship our feelings, desires, and pleasures, or some aspect of our culture. All of this falls short of God’s desire for our lives. God created us to worship him. Worship is treasuring God above everything else and surrendering to his leadership in your life. As Revelation 4 teaches us, this is the kind of worship we find in heaven and it’s the kind of worship God desires from us.
Worship Celebrates the Greatness of God
If you’ve ever visited a royal palace or the capitol building of a government, then you know that those buildings exist to communicate the grandeur and power of those in charge. Similarly, when John visits God’s throne room in heaven, he encounters the greatness of God.
Revelation 4:3-6 The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow…From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.
The point of this throne room vision is to communicate the glory and power of God. His greatness is demonstrated in the remarkable character of his angels (Revelation 4:4, 6-8). This whole section is meant to show us why God is worthy of our praise.
We Were Created to Worship God
Our lives are meant to be lived in worship to God. To do this, we must understand that worship isn’t limited to singing about God (although it certainly includes that). It’s a lifestyle of enjoying, honoring, and obeying God. This is what the angels in heaven are actively engaged in doing:
Revelation 4:8 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
This image of heaven teaches us that the most important thing we can do with our lives is to worship God. The worship of God is meant to dominate our lives (Psalm 104:33). And worship is a combination of awe and action. It involves worshipping God through song, joyful obedience, and making disciples. In fact, one of the highest forms of worship is to make disciples and fulfill the Great Commission.
Worship Is a Response to What God Has Done for Us
Ultimately, however, worship is rooted in the marvelous character of God and his mighty works. In Revelation 4, God is also celebrated because of what he has done:
Revelation 4:11 You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.
As we turn to Revelation 5, we see this scene in the throne room expands. God is joined at his throne by the lamb, Jesus Christ. Both God the Father and Jesus are worshipped as God. This is a powerful demonstration of the deity of Jesus. And Jesus too is worshipped for his work of salvation:
Revelation 5:9 For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
All of creation joins together to worship God. This is our ultimate purpose. This is the high calling that God gives us: a life of worship to him.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What are some objects of false worship in our culture?
- “Worship is treasuring God above everything else and surrendering to his leadership in your life.” How does this definition change the way you think about worshipping God?
- How do you know if you are treasuring God in your life?
- Read Revelation 4:3-6. What impresses you about this vision of God’s throne room?
- What are some characteristics of God that you most appreciate that you can praise him for?
- Read Revelation 4:8. Why do you think the living beings participate in this ongoing worship of God? What do their words of praise to God teach us about him?
- Read Romans 12:1. How can our lives be an act of worship to God? Give some examples.
- Read Revelation 4:11 and 5:13. What is God praised for in these verses?
- What are some things that God has done in your life that you can praise him for?
- End your group time worshipping God for his character and what he’s done for you.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.