Worship has been a very important topic to me. I have been involved with the worship team at my church for at least 5 years and that has changed how I see worship on a daily basis. I always thought that worship was something that you do at church on Sundays. It involved singing and usually several instruments. As I have matured in my faith this view has changed. Worship has become a lifestyle rather than something I did once a week.
Worship has several definitions. The first refers to the worship of God. This kind of worship, in Greek and Hebrew, typically means kneeling before a God. This definition is important to Christians. God is a King. He has a throne that He sits on. We typically don’t think of this image as much in modern Christianity. At least in my life when I think of Jesus I think of a friend. Maybe even a Father. While there is nothing wrong with this view, it is incomplete. The more that I think of God as a king the more I question my posture in worship and in prayer. This year I have wrestled with what worship should look like in my life and here is what I have learned:
Worship is Inevitable
What I have found both in the Bible and in my life is that worship is inevitable.
As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:37-39
We see in Luke that even if we were to cease our worship the Earth would cry out in worship to the one true God. This reminds me of the song So Will I by Hillsong that illustrated this concept well.
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times
As we move into the fall season it is easy to see God’s splendor displayed in nature. The more time that I spend outside the more my soul wants to praise God. This worship is inevitable. Even on a bad day, it seems I can find something to praise God for. His beauty is displayed in our everyday lives. I live in the city and it seems that I find little gems every day. The way that the sun rises, shedding light on the city. I have seen rainbows on a rainy day. All of these just make me want to praise God with all that I am.
Worship is Not Just Music
As much as I love music worship is greater than just music. Worship is living your life in a way that reflects God’s love for us. Worship is showing kindness to everyone. Worship does not have a time or place. In the Old Testament worship was something that happened in the temple. That’s where God’s presence was and so that was where you went to worship. When Jesus gave himself up on the cross the curtain at the temple was torn in two. God gave each and every one of us the Holy Spirit so that our lives may be an act of worship to our creator.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Romans 12:1
Keep Your Heart in Check
While it is vitally important that we are worshiping God in every moment of our lives, it is even more essential that we do so with the correct heart.
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” Matthew 15:8-9
This means that if our hearts are not right with God, if we are not worshiping in awe of God’s splendor, then our worship amounts to nothing. While this seems harsh, it is consistent with Jesus’s teachings. He called his disciples to follow him leaving everything behind. This kind of all or nothing mentality is seen all over the New Testament. This thought can be kind of scary. I know it is for me, but there is good news. When Jesus ascended into heaven he left us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us in the every day. The Holy Spirit not only allows us to interpret the Bible well, but it perfects our worship as well. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can worship with our whole hearts. God gave us a gift that will allow us to truly worship Him with our whole beings.
Writing this has been very convicting to me, but has also been exciting. I love worship and I think that it is essential to a healthy Christian Faith. I know that worship is much greater than music, but I still love music. Let me know in the comments your favorite Christian song!