“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
In all of our worship the Lord looks intensively at our heart. God is not impressed by the elegance or eloquence of our worship. What our worship “looks like” aesthetically is not at all important in the way the Lord actually sees or perceives our worship. “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, he will not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17
So, what is the Lord looking for when He looks deeply upon our hearts as we worship? Honest worship is about “being real” and authentic in the way we approach the Lord. The reality is that God already knows what weighs heavily on our hearts, He knows what consumes the countless thoughts of our minds. Honest worship has more to do with our “openness” towards God. Our loving Holy Father doesn’t want to be left on the outside looking in when it comes to our relationship with Him. And this most certainly includes our worship. The reason God does not “despise the sacrifices of a broken and contrite heart” is not because our Lord finds pleasure in our pain or suffering. It simply is that oftentimes these are the only moments in our lives where we are truly honest before the Lord in our worship.
Indeed, His heart breaks right alongside yours, He feels your pain and deeply wants to be close to you in your brokenness. The point is that worship, honest worship, is loving our Savior in the most real moments of our lives. Not as we might imagine or wish things to be, not with some lofty view of ourselves or our lives, other than the reality that we live in, and not in some idealistic scenario which keeps God at arm’s length in the midst of our lives. Honest worship includes Jesus at the very center of our lives with all that entails. Is your worship, honest worship?