What Are We Here For? {Andy Ferguson}

worship

Psalm 150:1-6

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Psalm 100:1 “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth”  We (the whole earth) are encouraged (and in a sense, commanded by God - since the Bible is literally His words to us) to be glad. To focus and think on things that are joyful and positive and uplifting.  To make a joyful noise to the creator that made us, even as nature itself declares of His glory and dominion.

Most Bible versions say to “shout joyfully to the Lord”, or “make a joyful noise to the Lord”, however, There is a duality to this first verse of Psalm 100 that we can gather from the NIV text that I believe is also biblical. “Shout for joy TO the Lord”. In other words, we can shout and pray that the Lord receives joy. This would be the same as saying “Blessed be God, Hallelujah, peace and joy to God”. The Earth itself is prophesied to do exactly this when Jesus returns and sets the world free from the corruption of sin.  

The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)

The point i’m trying to hit home here is that I think it’s appropriate to realize what our purpose initially was when God made us humans, and that He would prefer for us to live the way we were intended to, even though we have been raised in a world full of sin that completely rebels against his original design. In fact, it would be such a benefit for each of us (and everyone around us) if more and more people chose to live the way humanity was literally created for. The Earth, AND the people that inhabit it were originally made to live in communion (deep-intimate connection and relationship) with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  

The next verse, Psalm 100:2 says: “Serve (or worship) the Lord with gladness, come into his presence with joyful singing”. Serving the Lord can take many forms and we are each given gifts that when used for the growth of the kingdom of God make us feel joy, and gives us a true sense of identity and purpose. This particular verse highlights joyful singing, that most often takes on the form of *worship music/worship service*. We find here a reiteration that it is encouraged to come into His presence with joy.  When I read this verse it really hit me that I tend to get frustrated and tired of hearing people complain about things. This next bit may come off a little harsh, but I absolutely have no interest in drama or negativity. I’m only 33 years old and I really only have a dozen people that talk to me daily, but I am so over people being negative and pessimistic that I just don't desire to be in their presence when I am approached by that nonsense. Now I know that God has “infinite patience and grace” but man o man, I would personally be so done with people complaining ALL the time and only coming to me when they want to ask for things. Along with questioning why certain things did or didn't happen and that they feel entitled to receive answers and every request based on selfish-ambition. We may find better success in our prayer lives if we come to God more often with the mindset of thankfulness, praise, and the support of others rather than constant complaining and self-need. The next verse of this Psalm can perhaps help to realign and humble our hearts.

Psalm 100:3 “Know that the Lord himself is God” (we humans are not God, we are not even close to His level of authority or power). “It is He who made us, and we are His. We are His people, and we are the sheep of His pasture”.

Yet we tend to just pursue our own desires and forget all about Him. He owns us. We are His creation and He made us for the purpose of worship; serving and loving others.  “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. - Col 1:16” He made us and put us in a pasture (the earth) to take care of us, for us to take care of each other, and to come to him in gladness together. Yet we generally fail at being good sheep…we kill each other, steal from each other, hate each other, and so on. We make it nearly impossible for Him to be our Shepherd because the VAST majority of people on earth don't even listen to Him or acknowledge Him (even most of the people who claim that they are Christian).  

So what are we supposed to do? The most basic true answer is to die to yourself...give up your selfish pursuits. Repent of your sinful, worldly ways and live instead in the Word and the Spirit.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires - Gal 5:24”...“ whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it - Mark 8:35”....“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me - Gal 2:20”...therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come - 2Cor 5:17”…“ put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness - Eph 4:20.

There are many other verses that further confirm this to be the answer.

As Psalm 100 continues in verse 4 it repeats again to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”  Enter into his presence with a thankful heart for His provision, providence, redemption, mercy, forgiveness and for the gift of having a renewed mind and sanctified character through His power and grace (unmerited, undeserved favor and blessing).

Which brings us to a conclusion with Psalm 100:5 “for the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations”. God is perfect, which means that there are no flaws in His attributes. If the Bible says that the Lord is good, we can have assurance that He is perfectly good without flaw. Which is to say that God has no evil in Him at all. His motivation and intentions are always for good. He is morally right, always true, and everything He created on this earth He said was “good”. If there is anything “not good” in your life, it would be a benefit to your life to return to living the way you were made to live (at least to the best of your ability, and then rely on God to come through in the areas of your shortcomings). We can pray for this and have faith that He will help us because “His steadfast love endures forever” and he is faithful in loving you even in this generation.

I believe that you can test Him in this if your heart and mind are truly dedicated to pursuing God. “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him - Psalm 34:8”.  Do this with prayer, meditation, obedience, love, and discipline.

I would love to hear of your own personal results!

{Written by Andy Ferguson}