When an actor takes on a role, he looks for the character’s motivation. In a play or a movie, just as in the real world, a person goes through life with objectives. There are things that he needs, things that he wants. That person’s desire to accomplish or attain those things make up his motivation. An actor looks at the character he is playing and tries to determine his motivation – what drives him to do the things he does, to behave in the way he behaves. Motivation is important to the actor if he wants to portray his character effectively.
As believers, motivation is important to our worship. What is our reason for worshipping God? Why do we worship Him? Are we worshipping Him because of what we get from it or are we worshipping Him because He is worthy of our praise? Do we worship only when we like the music or even when we don’t? Do we worship Him only when we feel like it, or do we worship Him at all times? Do we worship Him only in church on Sundays or are we ready and willing to worship Him wherever we are?
Our motivation in worship should be to give God the glory that He deserves. We should worship Him because He is worthy. Worship should not be about what we want from it. Worship is not about the music. When we enter into worship based on whether or not we like the songs the worship team happens to be singing, we are making the music an idol. Worship is not about us. It’s about God. We are to worship Him with all that we have, no matter how we feel or what we are going through.
Worship is not about a place or a time (John 4:21-24). We should worship Him in church on Sundays, but that should not be the only place and time we worship. We can and should worship Him at home, in our cars, in anyplace we may be and at all times. A look through the Bible will show that true worshipers worshipped God everywhere – in the temple, in the wilderness, in caves, and even in prison (Acts 16:25).
Our motivation in worship should be to praise the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Creator and Sustainer of life simply because He is worthy of our praise. Psalm 95:1-7 provides a great illustration of what our heart’s intent should be when we worship God, what our motivation should be. We should worship Him with joy in our hearts because He is a great God and the great King above all gods (Psalm 95: 1-3). All that we see was created by Him and belongs to Him. We should praise Him because He is our God, and we are His people, the flock that He cares for (Psalm 95:7).