What is worship?
Is it going to church and singing songs?
Do we have to be in church to truly worship?
Our concept of worship affects every aspect of our lives, so let us consider some thoughts on worship:
Worship is the response of our heart, soul and spirit to the very character of God.
It is an inner response to who God is, which often will be exhibited in an outward response.
From our worship, flows our walk of fellowship with God, our walk of faith,
and our walk with other believers.
So then our worship is offered up to God (“an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 2:5 ), and then our ministry comes down from God.
Here are some thoughts on Worship:
What worship is NOT:
It is not hearing a sermon.
It is not coming to the Lord to make a request, or get something.
It is not coming together to meet with other fellow believers.
It is not coming to be “refreshed”.
When we worship, we do not come before the Lord to be blessed; we come in worship because we have already been blessed.
It is coming to the Lord with our best: (Mary anointing Jesus – John 12:1-11)
….our gift must be costly
….brought in humility
….all in the room were benefitted by her worship and the gift of her worship
It involves a separation to God. (“ I and the lad will go yonder and worship” – Gen.22:5)
It involves obedience to God. (Clean hands and a pure heart – Psalm 24:3,4)
It involves a grateful heart (Deut. 26:10)
It involves giving not asking (Deut. 26:10)
It is done joyfully (Deut. 26:11)
Worship is a work of God in our hearts based on the word of God. (James 1:22)
It is not haphazard, and is seen as being obedient. (1 Cor. 14:33,40)
One day we will see Him face to face and will then begin worshiping Him in His presence for all eternity.
But we need to be a true worshiper now.
Requirements of worship:
Redemption and righteousness are required before we can worship God “in Spirit and in truth” ( John 4:24). It includes a heart directed to Him in Love (“We love Him because He first loved us” ….1 John 4:19), a reverence, a sacrifice, and a purity of heart.
To truly worship in sacrifice for the Lord it should cost us something. It will at least cost us our time and energy. It may cost us our substance, our talent, and our comfort zone.
Worship requires our best for the Lord.
G. Campbell Morgan’s definition of sacrilege is: “Taking something that belongs to God and using it profanely; but even worse, giving something to God that means nothing to me”.
David would not sacrifice to God if it did not cost him something ( 11 Samuel 24:24).
A requirement for worship is humility ( Isa. 57:15; James 4:6 ).
Is there always an outward visible (to someone else) response?
Absolutely not…I can worship God in my heart, mind and spirit no matter where I am,
and it may not be evident to anyone else.
Can it be that I am so overwhelmed with the very character of an awesome God that
I cannot possibly contain it….YES!!!!
Do I have to be in church to worship God? No.
I can be anyplace when the magnificent grace of God so grips my soul that I cannot help but
praise him or offer up to him a heartfelt praise in the form of word or song.
It could be an emotional response of my spirit to the Lord, interpreted to God
by His Spirit ( Rom. 8:26 & 27 ).
So where do we get the idea that we worship only in Church?
Because God says … “Do not forsake the assembling of our selves together” ( Hebr. 10:24 & 25 ).
We do come together collectively to worship, but if we think that we can only worship then,
or limit ourselves to only trying to worship then, we miss the greatest power in worship.
The collective worship should be the sharing in outward expressions of “Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” ( Ephes. 5:19) with others.
But this worship comes from and is the “overflow”
of the worship that has already taken place in our own lives privately with our Lord.
Our worship is to be directed to God and for Him alone.
God says that …”They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” ( John 4:24 )
So what does that mean?
We must worship Him in the Spirit, through the Holy Spirit; and in truth.
What is truth? The word of God.
And Who is Truth? The Living Word of God…Jesus Christ ( John 14:6; and John 1:1,14 )
Our worship must be according to the word of God.
We cannot worship pleasing God if we are doing it in an unbiblical way or contrary to
what it is that God says is acceptable for true worship.
Hebr. 10:22 says…”Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Ask the Lord to teach you how to worship Him in your private life,
in your own private time alone with God.
Ask the Lord to teach you who He is according to His very Character,
and learn to respond to Him from your soul and spirit.
A very good way to do this is to read God’s word every day and look for the character of God
in the scriptures.
As you see His character ….His Goodness, His care for His people, His provision,
His protection, or His mercy and Grace, stop then and thank Him for who He is (worship Him for that),
and maybe even the evidence of His working in your own life in some way.
Offer up a heartfelt, Holy Spirit driven response to the AWESOME GOD
that loves you and desires your worship.
Then pray scripture back to Him. For example…..
I Chron. 16:29 says… “Give unto the Lord the Glory due unto His name; bring an offering,
and come before Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”.
We might pray…..Lord, help me to be holy before you. Help me to worship you with the glory due to you.
Lord, I have nothing to give to you, but I give you myself.
Ask the Lord…
….. to show you Himself now through His word
…..to teach you what it means to really know Him
…..to have the “power of the resurrection” (Phil. 3:10) in your life for your walk with Him
…..to show you what it means to walk by faith like those in Hebrews 11.
…..to truly know what yieldedness to His Spirit is in your life
…..to teach you what true worship is for you
He so desires our worship, and it pleases the very heart of God when we respond to Him in this way.