Tag Archives: respect

How Can It Be Consistent with God’s Character to Demand Our Worship?

The Bible makes it clear that God commands that we worship Him:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:1-5)

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

However there is a difference between a “command” and a “demand.” When a military officer gives an order it is a command, not a demand. A legitimate command can be given only by someone in authority, while a demand can be made by anyone.

To use the word “demand” in relation to God’s expectations of us is to imply that there could be something arbitrary, petulant, selfish, or egotistical about them. We experience many “demands” in life that are just that way.

God’s command that we worship Him” needs to be taken in the context of the cross. God doesn’t “demand worship” out of egotism or a sense of insecurity, like a Pagan god or Roman emperor. The authority of His command is based on His self-sacrificial love and its purpose is to save and protect His beloved creatures. He commands it because He knows that we are lost outside of a proper relationship to Him. There are no other options. He is the only source of life, and to require anything else would be unloving.

If we have a proper relationship to our Creator, we will automatically be drawn towards worship. Worshiping because we “must” or because we are being coerced, or out of fear, will be the farthest thing from our minds.

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