Pursuing God

Making the Choice to Declare His Worth in a “What’s In It For Me” Culture

Declaring His worth in a “what’s in it for me?” culture is extremely counter-culture.

The “what’s in it for me?” mindset runs deep.

“We live in a culture that revolves around consuming. Every TV commercial, every store, every credit card company, every bank, every TV show or movie, every piece of clothing, car or product, every website, every restaurant…everything is tailored to fit our desires, needs or personal preference. We are easily infuriated when things don’t happen exactly as we want them to.” We exist in a place that implicitly says this: “We are here to serve you and meet your every whim and desire.”

Obituary for the American Church  “How Consumerism Infects our Worship”

Our “what’s in it for me” consumer-driven culture is often brought right into our worship experience. A primary thought for many people as they come before the Lord in worship is, “how will this benefit me? Are my personal preferences satisfied? What am I getting out of it?”

Of course, we would never say it quite like this but, nonetheless, these thoughts present themselves regularly.

If we come before the Lord with the sole intent to get “more” from God, we are then using worship to meet our own needs. It’s me-focused.

If we are not careful our worship can become a subtle form of manipulation using it to get what we want.

Worship is to ascribe worth, to minister to God. Declaring His worth is not about me, it’s about Him. It’s God-focused.  This is difficult in light of the consumer-driven culture that lies within those who live in the west (America in particular).

The “Awe of God” Must Proceed “More of God”

In worship, we have to be careful that we don’t replace the “awe” of God (respect mixed with fear or wonder of God) for “more” of God. Asking for “more” is not worship, its a prayer. Can there be a mixture of both worship and prayer in our worship experience? Sure!

For the record, I agree in asking for “more” but not at the expense of  “awe.” When our “more” extends beyond our awe, our personal wants become greater then expressing His worth.

Ecclesiastes 5:7 “Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.”

Heb. 12:28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,”

Two things we discover about declaring His worth:

  1. Declaring His worth is not the cry for “more” but the response to awe. I ascribe worth to Jesus, regardless. It’s selfless and God-centered.
  2. Declaring His worth demands giving honor to the Lord without the thought of getting anything in return. It responds to God  in spite of how we feel or think, what we want or desire. It’s worship based on who He is.

Again, it’s counter-culture.

Worship From the Place of Worth and Wonder

In Revelation 4-5, the living creatures and the twenty-four elders are too busy being in awe to be asking for more. The awe of God is sufficient to bring the more of God. Can it be that when we are in awe we will get more, exceedingly more than we can possibly think or imagine? I think so.

Rev. 5:11-13 “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

We have to continually change the way we think in order to step into the fullness of our worship experience. Worth and wonder fill the Prayer Room in heaven and it’s what will keep our hearts alive and in revival on earth.

I would love to get your thoughts on this. Agree? Disagree? Do you find this to be true? Challenging? Add your comment below.

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

Related Articles

14 thoughts on “Making the Choice to Declare His Worth in a “What’s In It For Me” Culture”

  1. excellent, right on… needed reminder… many of us who regularly attend church, & even those acutely aware of doctrine, scripture, theology, etc., are often oblivious to culture

  2. Yes! Desiring to get this revelation deep in my spirit! I believe that’s what this season is about for me and many in the body of Christ.

    1. Yes indeed, Karen. It’s been working in me for close to a year now. I finally felt released to share this because I want to make sure my life (not perfectly by any means) matches the message. I’m still working it out. 😉

  3. Well said! Consumerism and materialism invade EVERY aspect of our lives. We are like sharks seeking more and more but never satisfied always on the move , when the quest can only be satisfied by a personal relationship with the LORD JESUS CHRIST. The devil is so smart and crafty keeping us occupied with worldly pursuits. The devil roams the earth seeking to devour and I believe materialism is one of his tools. So lets all aspire to Mat 6:33, But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    1. Mike, I agree with your comment. Yet, I have discovered that all of us who know Jesus still struggle with this. I believe the power of sin is broken in every believer yet we still carry the residue of the world system in and around us as we are becoming more and more like the Lord. My prayer is that the culture of the Kingdom continues to expand in me so these “pulls” on my heart will decrease. I believe that as I deliberately declare His worth, Jesus conquers my heart with his affection and glory. The enemy has little influence to a surrendered heart. Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you!

  4. Great article Greg. From where we’re at, observing and entering into worship in underground churches who have had to struggle through government persecution and harassment is sometimes quite different. The views and value they place on their relationship with our Lord and their daily walk is awesome to observe. Worshipping with them, whenever we get the opportunity (and it doesn’t present a problem for them) is amazing. Love your articles….

    1. Maria, today I was recalling the pictures I’ve seen of the underground church and their all-out worship in the midst of persecution. And today I was jotting down a few of my thoughts about them leading up to a second post on this topic. Though I have not personally experienced what you have first-hand, I can only imagine how amazing it is. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Blessings on you guys as you serve the Lord on the foreign mission field. I pray that Wendi and I will have the same drive in ministry when we reach our later years like you guys.

      1. Don’t know if you know it or not but we’re working with Why Not Now Ministries, Mark Nietz. Mark worked for many years with Bob Johnson in S.F. Street Ministries. They’re having their big fundraising dinner at Bethel with Bill and Bob next week. Mark and his family will be moving here to join us on this property. We’ve been here preparing things for them.
        Being out on the field, its always good to find some good teachings, posts or podcasts to keep us continually fed, in the word. Love following you when our internet is up. Of course personal study, praise and worship are irreplaceable. Thanks for your encouraging words and your stand for the Kingdom.

        1. I heard you guys were with Mork. We have known them for years. Love those guys. Hope the dinner is a fundraising success!

          I appreciate the kind words about the posts. I really want to equip others in a One Pursuit Life in all it’s fullness. I do have plans on expanding M1P, adding some audio teaching portions etc. Again, so glad you guys are out there doing the stuff! Favor and Blessings to you.

  5. So Good. Thought provoking on the “more God”. Sometimes I have felt during corporate settings, I needed to change my heart posture and “gaze” cause I catch myself praying more than declaring His worth. The quiet time daily for me is when I find my heart postured to just love Him and stand in awe of Him.

    I was recently just talking to someone about the worship style at our church. I was saying how I use to think that people standing and lifting their hands meant they were “worshiping” and the “sitting” folks were not engaging. But now, as we have developed a little more of a House of Prayer reality, it is common to see people in all sorts of postures, and a “sitting” posture reflects worshiping God with the heart even more so to me now, whereas it use to seem like it meant someone was “checking out”.

    great post.

    1. For me, gazing and declaring the worth of the Lord requires focus. It’s so easy for me to turn to prayer, which is not bad at all, instead of simply at Him.

      Worship is all about the heart regardless of whether we are sitting or standing. For sure. If I sit, I usually get more contemplative and prayerful, standing helps me with presenting myself before Royalty and declare His worth. This works for me. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Greg,
    Thanks for sharing!
    In worship and prayer I like to keep the ‘Our Father’ in the front of my thoughts. The outline of this prayer is how I try to mimic my prayers and worship. I find that the two, prayer and worship, become one and usually tend towards more worship than prayer.

    I do agree that we need to be careful of not wanting to ‘get’ out of time with God but to focus on give. When we give we do receive joy and pleasure in return. I notice with myself and also from observing others that when there is giving of anything there is always pleasure received back by the giver. A joy in the sacrifice of giving that comes at the cost of the gift. The more the gift costs us the more joy is received. I am not talking material cost but usually a physical cost of labour or a denying of something for ourself in order to give.

    If we go into worship, prayer and church service with a givers attitude we will come out of it receiving the greatest joy ever; the presence of the Living God!

    Blessings,

    1. Good point, I fully agree. Applying generosity in our worship is an interesting thought. Giving the Lord the “sacrifice of praise” is something we GET to do while on earth. As I give from a pure heart, I reap the benefits of His presence and blessings in return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close