Worshiping God is both our duty and our privilege, no matter who we are. Jesus responded to Satan’s temptation with the biblical command, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10). If Jesus would quote this command even to Satan, surely there is no one exempt from the force of its demands. This is because, as Psalm 95:6 reminds us, the call to worship our Lord God arises from the reality that he is “our maker.” Every creature owes the one Creator their worship.
Worshiping God is both our duty and our privilege, no matter who we are.
If worship, then, is a universal obligation—as the Bible clearly teaches—how can it also be considered a privilege? Imagine that your employer decides you work too hard. He calls you into his office, hands you a ticket to Hawaii’s nicest resort, and says, “Call me when you are standing on the beach at sunset, and tell me how you’re feeling.”
Duty and privilege!
Likewise, worship is the release, the overflow, the consummation of enjoying God’s glorious provision in Jesus Christ. It is the phone call back to God, telling him how happy and thankful you are, how great both he is and his provision is: God is the provider, Jesus is the sunset beach!
Praise is the privilege of those who feel deeply and love joyfully.
C.S. Lewis expresses this principle of worship-as-privilege well:
“All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise… The world rings with praise – lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game – praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians and scholars …
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses, but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are, the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.” (Reflections on the Psalms, pp. 93-95)
If you were forbidden from ever telling your wife how beautiful she is, or how much you love her. . . would you only hurt for her, or for yourself also? Presumably, it would hurt you also; because praising your wife is a consummation of the love you feel for her.
Praise is the privilege of those who feel deeply and love joyfully. It is therefore out of the goodness and love of God that he commands us to worship him… that we might enjoy the greatest love there is, and the greatest enjoyment of it.