As many of us prepare to go to the house of the Lord, may we learn a valuable lesson about worship. Worship is not about the perfect setting or unblemished music or the sermon preached without an “um” or stutter. According to Solomon, worship is about God. It is about listening to His voice and singing praises to His name whether on tune or off. Worship puts God in His proper place in our lives and helps us prepare for what’s ahead in the coming week. This is all an act of God whereby our faith is strengthened as we get to know Him better. When worship becomes about people or even events, we miss the beautiful work that God is doing in us individually and corporately. Solomon also reminds us that when we come to worship with our own words and ideas, we come with the “sacrifice of fools.” We want God to be impressed with our wants and wishes and so we spend more time talking than listening. Solomon’s point is that we need to shut up and listen. We need to stop thinking our point has to be made and start hearing God’s voice through those around us or directly from His Word. In our pride, we make vows that we will never keep trying to impress God and the people around us. We think that if we say the right words, the Almighty will be our “genie in a bottle” and will give us everything we think we want in life. Would you go to worship today with a completely different attitude? Would you be willing to keep your mouth shut without being rude and just listen to God’s voice through His people and through the preaching and teaching of His Word. For many, this is an incredible challenge, but each person who takes it will leave worship with a far better sense of God and His work on this earth.

Help me, Lord, to worship through listening today. Help me to keep You at the center of all worship and to sing praises to Your Name as I listen to Your Word and grow from it.