The Bible tells us that God hates pride. God loves our humility and dependence. My exhortation to you this morning as you come into worship is to avoid having a proud heart. This means we have to be careful about a number of things.
We have to avoid the kind of mindset that sees neediness and brokenness as weakness. We need to realize that we come to worship to receive grace and goodness and forgiveness from the Lord. We never outgrow it, and we glorify God by receiving from the God who stoops to serve us.
We have to avoid harboring bitterness, animosity, haughtiness, or unforgiveness toward our brothers and sisters in Christ when we come to the Lord’s Table. We can very easily act as if we know best how to handle our own feelings.
We have to be careful not to serve the Lord with eyeservice only. Very practically speaking, we should sing robustly whatever our singing abilities are, regardless of the fact that there are people are around me who will hear. Our focus is on the Lord’s ear, not the possibility of our embarrassment (which by the way is not going to happen among people whose focus is on the glory of the Lord).
We have to avoid putting the focus on ourselves – what we are wearing and how much attention we are receiving and how well we think the pastors are doing. We have to avoid making ourselves and our feelings the reference point of whether worship really happened or not.
Finally, let me say that if you find that you have a proud heart, you can thank your Heavenly Father for revealing it to you so that you can be cleansed of it. This, too, is great grace. If you realize that you have a proud heart (and who among us doesn’t have pride in him?), come and confess it and repent of it and forsake it.
Come, let us enter into the presence of the Lord and receive grace upon grace from Him through Christ Jesus His Son.