“The older I get, the more I want to sing my faith and get others singing it with me. Theology, as I constantly tell my students, is for doxology: the first thing to do with it is to turn it into praise and thus honor the God who is its subject, the God in whose presence and by whose help it was worked out. Paul’s summons to sing and make music in one’s heart to the Lord is a word for theologians no less than for other people (Ephesians 5:19). Theologies that cannot be sung (or prayed for that matter) are certainly wrong at a deep level, and such theologies leave me, in both senses, cold: cold-hearted and uninterested.” -J. I. Packer in God Has Spoken
This quote by Packer has inspired me over the years. It was the motivating theme for this blog, back when I used to blog anyway. And just now as I had some time to think about writing new post, this quote came back to mind. I find it very motivational in my preaching, praying, singing, and in my writing. And why shouldn’t I?
Why shouldn’t this quote motivate me as I begin to think through Scripture, through Theology, and through great hymns of the faith, and cause me to sing out with Charles Wesley ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing the glories of my God and King”? It should motivate me to be reminded again that the purpose of humanity, the purpose for which God created me, is the worship of the God who created me.
This quote isn’t motivational because Packer is motivational, or because he can turn a cool phrase, but rather, because it reflects a great truth that we must bear constantly in mind, that Theology is for Doxology. There is no end to the reading or writing of books, of learning or teaching of truth, or of hearing or preaching of Scripture…BUT…all is vain unless we have turned our knowledge of God’s truth back towards God as worship.
Our knowledge of God is demonstrated by our worship of God. Then, in turn, our worship of God is demonstrated in how we serve God. And in keeping with the purpose for which God created humanity, our greatest service to God is the recruiting of more ‘tongues to sing the glories of my God and King!’ That is the ultimate goal of history, isn’t it? That at the end of time all the redeemed from every tribe, language, people, and nation would lift up their voices and sing Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.
But listen closely to this now…You don’t have to wait till the end of time to lift your voice in worship of God. We have God’s Word given to us, in which God has revealed Himself and His redeeming works through Christ. Read it, meditate on it, tell God about it, then go tell someone else about it.
Then, this weekend, go find the place in your community where believers gather together and join them as they hear God’s Word, pray God’s Word, and sing God’s Word. Because when you think about it, God is worthy of the worship of myriads of hosts of His creatures, isn’t He?