The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is our highest duty. Millions of Christians have absorbed a popular ethic that comes more from Immanuel Kant than from the Bible. Their assumption is that it is morally defective to seek happiness—to pursue joy, to crave satisfaction, and to devote ourselves to seeking it. This is absolutely deadly for authentic worship. The degree to which this Kantian ethic flourishes is the degree to which worship dies, for the essence of worship is satisfaction in God. To be indifferent to or even fearful of the pursuit of what is essential to worship is to oppose worship—and the authenticity of worship services (in any culture or any form).

Not a few pastors foster this very thing by saying things such as, “The problem is that our people don’t come on Sunday morning to give; they only come to get. If they came to give, we would have life.” That is probably not a good diagnosis. People ought to come to get. They ought to come starved for God. They ought to come saying, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Ps. 42:1). God is mightily honored when a people know that they will die of hunger and thirst unless they have God. It is the job of pastors to spread a banquet for them. Recovering the rightness and indispensability of pursuing our satisfaction in God will go a long way toward restoring the authenticity and power of worship—whether in solitude, in a group of six elders in Uzbekistan, in a rented garage in Liberia, in a megachurch in America, or on the scaffold in the last moment just before “gain.”

Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions. Piper