If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. (Psalm 50:12)
What does it mean to say to God, “We are here for you”?
Whether we’re talking about why we’ve gathered for corporate worship, or why we were created and are here on this earth, there is a right and biblical thing to mean when we say we are “here for you,” and there is something profoundly wrong and dangerous.
Beware Serving God
Let’s start with what we don’t mean. When we say, “We are here for you,” we do not mean that we are here to fill some need in God. We are not here, whether in corporate worship or on this planet, to fill up something that is lacking in God. He has no needs. All things are from him and through him and to him (Romans 11:36). He says in Psalm 50:10–12,
Every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Everything that exists is God’s. He made us. And all the universe, and everything in it. There is no need in him that we can fill with our relatively petty efforts and resources. As Paul says in Acts 17:25, God is not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Even the Son of God, when he took on humanity and came among us, he himself says that he “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
We are not here to serve God or provide for any need he has. What then does it mean when say, “We are here for you”?
Here to Get More of God
The answer is clear in Mark 10:45, but let’s go back to Psalm 50 to see it there first. Just two verses later than the section we looked at above, God says,
Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
In other words, here’s what you bring to God: your need. In the day of trouble, when you need help, call out to God, he will deliver you, and you will glorify him. Don’t come to meet God’s need; he has none. Come to have your needs met. Don’t come to fill God’s lack; he has no lack. Rather bring your lack, and let him fill it.
So when we say, “We are here for you,” what we mean is that we are here to get more of God. We are here to have him. We come hungering for him. We are thirsty for more of him. We are the ones with the lack and need, and in worship we come to feast on God.
Not to Serve, But Be Served
Our hearts are empty, and we’re asking him to fill them. He is our one desire, and none can satisfy our souls like he can. We’re the ones who are desperate. We need his word to move in power. We need what’s dead in us to come to life because of him.
And so as we ask him to shed his favor on our gathering, and manifest his presence among us, we do indeed welcome him with praise — not praise rendered dutifully to an insecure God needing our sad affirmation, but praise given joyfully to a God who is utterly worthy and who satisfies our hearts with his happy fullness.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve, and so we come now in worship not to serve him, but to be served by him who in his fullness can fill our empty souls forever.