Summary: A heavenly view of worship
There is an old story which was passed down to me by one of my mentors, Dog
James. If you like this story give him credit. If you don’t like it blame me for telling it. It
was about this time of year when a mother was beginning to make her plans for Christmas
gifts so she called in her son and asked him for some suggestions. Being about 11 or 12
years old he said, I would like a BB gun. Oh, said the mother, if you get a BB gun you
won’t be happy until you shoot your eye out. So she got him a football.
Well, the boy grew up to become a great football player, playing in the NFL and
becoming the greatest quarterback the game had ever known. But on the day he was
inducted into the Hall of Fame, after receiving just about every award a player can receive,
and being paid more than any player in history, he said, I’m depressed.
And he was, he was so depressed he decided he would visit the team psychiatrist.
When he met the psychiatrist he laid down on the couch and said, “doc, I am so
depressed. I have accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the game of football
but I am just not happy. At this doctor immediately asked, “Did you ever shoot your eye
out with a BB gun?”
Friends, everyone last one of us has a hole in his/her heart. Actually they are not
holes, they are craters. I call them that because of their size. These craters are so big that
only God can fill them. Trying to plug them with anything else is just an exersize in
futulity and frustration. Are you feeling frustrated with your life today? Are you
depressed? Are you unhappy? Are you unfulfilled and unsatisfied? If you answered any
of those questions with yes then you need to check your worship. For when we attempt
to fill those holes in our hearts with anything but God, we are always, always, always
frustratied and unfulfilled. Hear that again. You have a worship problem when you are
unhappy, joyless, not at peace, worried even depressed because you are trying to fill the
void in your heart with the wrong thing.
The devil knows this. Think about the very first time man sinned in the garden. It
was all about worship. Adam and Eve filled their lives with God and let him worry about
their personal fulfillment and all was well. But Satan came a long and convinced Eve to to
things her own way, to become a God herself and Adam took the same bait and suddenly
they knew fear and worry and hardhip and later murder and sickness and finally death. All
because they had a worship problem.
Would you like to have more joy today? Would you like to leave here with more
peace in your heart? Would you like to leave the worship services each Sunday with a
greater sense of having worshipped? Then listen to these words today. Look with me as
we take a peek, along with John, at a heavenly worship scene. I believe we can learn what
God expects should be taking place when we worship, especially in a service on Sunday or
whenever we get together. But more than that, we can begin to discover real joy and
peace and less stress and worry and unhappiness in our own lives. Does that appeal to
you? Come along with me as we leave this earth and see how worship takes place in
As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a
friend: "It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a
quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a
thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and
persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the
world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them."
As John and the rest of us are given a glimpse of this heavenly worship service we
notice that it is anything but passive. There is a great deal of activity taking place. If there
is one attitude I could change over all the other mistaken attitudes of worship that has
come to us from the past, and mind you this comes from the Catholic tradition, it is this
view that we come to sit in worship and watch while the professionals do all the work.
That’s not the way it is in heaven. Here God is the one seated passively while the
worshippers are doing the work. I wish that more would come with the mindset that they