God, as stated repeatedly in Exodus (14:4; 15:11; 16:7), will not share His glory with any other. Yet, much worship prefers the extraordinary sensationalism of man to the ordinary worship of God in His glory.
Worship is all about glory. However, we frequently associate glory with human fame, power, artistry, athleticism, or triumphal prowess. If worship is wrongheadedly hitched to any of those glory-stars, it becomes corrupt, malformed, cultic—even deathly.
One of the climactic episodes that yokes worship and glory is the golden calf incident (Ex. 32), notorious for showing disobedience. What may be less recognized is that the root of this rebellious worship was the simultaneous prioritizing of the people’s expectations with the wrongful apportionment of glory.
If they are not careful, people’s unholy expectations may determine worship and rob God’s glory. Today, we have created addictive expectations that can be satisfied only by sensational performances. Yet, God prefers to be worshiped simply, regularly, in awe, with glory for Himself alone—and according to Scripture.
Rather than commending sensationalistic worship, driven by the supercharged expectations of a culture that demands full-service pampering and unending entertainment, the Lord is disinclined to share His glory. Theatrics often diminish God’s glory.
To protect His awesome worship from such corruptions, God has devised several ordinary methods to enrich His people. Yet, our culture demands extraordinary signs—even employing cheap smoke and mirrors—and much prefers carnivals, skits, or screen visuals over the Word, the sacraments, and prayer. Nevertheless, these ordinary means of grace sustain the church in many ages. Surely, they are as dependable today as they were yesterday—and will be tomorrow.