I can remember several times as a kid when my mom gave us gifts on her birthday. Three hundred and sixty-five days out of the year this wonderful woman spent just about every waking minute serving her three rambunctious and oftentimes thankless sons. And on the one day of the year she had every right to receive and not give, she still chose to give. Why on earth did she do this? Because that’s who she is. She is a giver by nature.
God is a giver. He’s the giver. Several passages in Scripture describe Him as a fountain. (See Jeremiah 2:13). Have you ever tried to shove a pebble into one of those wall jets in a pool? What happens? It shoots right back out every time. Similarly, no matter how much we attempt to give God we somehow end up with even more. It’s the way He is. He can’t be any different from how He is and He likes it that way. God has given and continues to give us so much.
In the previous article, “Why Worship is a Personal Matter (But Not a Private One),” we looked at how God uses the corporate worship gathering to build up His people. Certainly, when we come together to worship Him it should be all about Him and only Him. But there’s this problem: He’s a giver.
Like my mom, but to an infinite degree, when we draw near to make a big deal out of Him, He finds a way to turn it around and bless us. To put it another way, when we draw near to the infinite fountain of life and love, with our “spoonfuls” of worship in hand, we shouldn’t be surprised if we end up getting a little wet.
This is just one of the reasons why I believe it’s so important to God that His people, the individual and the collective, are built up in corporate worship. As we set our hearts on lifting Him up, He sets His on building us up.
We draw near to Him in worship to give, not to get. And yet, the throne we draw near to is not just a place of giving, but of receiving. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Love is a fountain, not a vacuum. Similar to the loving mother who’s personal joy is tied into the joy of her children, God takes great delight in our joy. This blows me away every time I think of it.