I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.
O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells. Psalm 26:6-8
Is worship an obligation? Do I have to worship God? Well the answer to that question is yes. Our only reasonable response to a powerful, holy God is worship. But the beauty of a gracious God is that His love toward us turns obligatory worship driven by necessity and fear into free worship driven by deep gratitude. When we see that God has blessed us beyond imagining our response becomes more than rote and much more than obligation. It now becomes driven by joy.
So what is driving you to church today? Is it obligation, the “have-to’s”? Or is it best described by the phrase above: “I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells? When you practice thanksgiving on a daily basis keeping in contact with the day to day, moment by moment grace of God, our obligations become our desires, even more, obligations become our loves and passions.
So let’s follow the progression: Grace leads to Gratitude leads to Graciousness.
The first movement of gratitude to graciousness is how we “treat” God. Do we deal with God graciously? If our worship remains simply obligation the answer to that question is no. The way we are gracious to God is by returning love to him freely; worshipping him not out of obligation but willingly. The way we get there is by internalizing His grace to us through thanksgiving.
Keep giving thanks. Keep on worshipping God. When done in concert you can overcome the drudgery of obligatory worship and be transformed into a passionate and gracious worshipper.