The idea of this study came from a quote I recently read…
“I am of the opinion that we should not be concerned about working for God until we have learned the meaning and the delight of worshiping Him. A worshiper can work with eternal quality in his work. But a worker who does not worship is only piling up wood, hay and stubble for the time when God sets the world on fire. I fear that there are many professing Christians who do not want to hear such statements about their “busy schedules,” but it is the truth. God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us – to worship Him and to enjoy Him forever! It is then, out of our deep worship, that we do His work.” || A.W. Tozer
This got me thinking….Why is worshiping God such a big deal? How do we even go about doing it? Is there a right or wrong way? I looked to the Bible for answers and this is what I found…..
DEFINITIONS OF WORSHIP
Hebrew for worship (shachah) means “to bow oneself down, to sink down, to be depressed, to prostrate oneself before anyone out of honor.
Greek for worship (proskuneo) means “to prostrate oneself before a person and kissing his feet, hem of garment, ground, etc.
Our English word worship is derived from the Saxon/Old English word “weorthscipe” which means worthship or worthiness.
WE MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH!!!
John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”
*”As we can clearly see here, Jesus Himself said that we MUST worship God in spirit and truth. Now many professing Christians will have you believe that we can worship God any way we like. Does Jesus say that here? Does He say that the time has come when the true worshipers can worship God anyway they like? No. He says we MUST worship in spirit and truth. This means that any other way is unacceptable. So if Jesus said that we must worship this particular way, then why do so many professing Christians claim that we can worship God anyway we like, even in a worldly way?”
WORSHIPING IN SPIRIT
Worshiping God in spirit means we worship Him from the heart. Do you remember the first and greatest Bible Commandment that Jesus gave?
Mark 12:30 …”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
*”God knows exactly what is going on in your heart. Singing in church isn’t the sole definition of true worship. Singing to God in church is a small part of our worship, but true worship in spirit goes much deeper. God searches your heart to see what you are really thinking and feeling. Do you give your heart in complete devotion to Christ each and every day? Is He on your mind constantly? He should be! True worship in spirit is to keep Christ in your heart and mind each day; to devote every thought to Him; to praise and glorify Him with all your heart and soul each day; to humbly devote all your time, possessions and self to Him as a living sacrifice each and every day.”
Romans 12:1 …”I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
There is only one way to worship, and God revealed from the beginning that He demands worship in a certain way when He accepted Abel’s worship, but rejected Cain’s. God rejected the offering of Cain because it was the wrong offering. Cain brought the wrong offering because he rejected the revealed word of God. He rejected the word of God because his heart was wicked. His heart was wicked because he refused to have faith in God. Without faith in God that comes from the heart, our worship (offerings) are insincere and worthless before our Holy God.
WORSHIPING IN TRUTH
Worshiping God in truth means to worship Him according to His Word in the Bible.
John 17:17 …”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.“
One of the very first clues that you may not be worshiping God in truth is sitting through a sermon where there are no open Bibles and no verses being read. If there is no message directly from God then where is the truth?
Jeremiah 10:23 …”O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”
*”We are not to direct our own steps. We are not to decide ourselves how we want to worship God, but must worship Him in spirit and truth, and the truth being according to His Word in the Holy Bible. Let God direct your steps and your worship, according to the truth of His Word. What is the truth found in God’s word?
” God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” Psalms 89:7
“….let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29
We must come to worship our Heavenly Father with Godly fear and reverence, which as we can see from Hebrews above, is the acceptable way to worship God. We should be in the right frame of mind to worship our Lord in spirit and truth. How many Christians are eager for the service to be over, so they can get home for dinner, or rush off to see the football match, or watch a television program? This isn’t acceptable to our God. This isn’t worshiping in spirit and truth. Insincere worship that is not from the heart in full reverent devotion to God is vain, useless and unacceptable.
A big factor with Christians these days seem to be, “what can I get out of the service?” This must be music to Satan’s ears! He has managed to turn Christians from focusing on God and what they can GIVE to God, to focusing on themselves and what they can GET out of it. Self, self, self! What do I get! This sadly the age and world we live in.
Mark 7:6 …”This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”
We need to fully surrender our hearts in worship to God and Christ Jesus our Savior, and start thinking what we can do for God and His kingdom, rather than only thinking what we can get out of it.”
WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR!!
A healthy fear of the Lord is essential and yet so many are lacking it in today’s world (much like so many lack a healthy fear of their parents). Why? Well, not all, but many churches are more concerned with telling people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Telling people that God should be feared just wouldn’t fill the church pews! *”If we are more concerned with people when we come together to worship God, then we deceive ourselves. God MUST be the main and only focus of our worship. But unfortunately, as we come nearer to the end times, more and more churches will wander from the truth of God’s Word and decide themselves how they should worship to draw more worldly people in. They are more focused on pleasing people than God.” People want to hear that God loves them no matter what they choose to do in this life (even if it is wrong), they want to hear that they are all going to heaven, that there are no consequences for their actions, that they are forgiven, etc, etc. While some of this may or may not be true it is NOT in these messages that “the fear of God” is instilled in us.
I personally would like my children to have a healthy fear of me (maybe you do or do not agree). Consider this….There are certain situations in our daily life where I simply need my children to obey. When I tell them not to talk to strangers, not to play with the oven or electrical outlets, when I tell them not to cross the street without looking, not to do drugs, etc, etc. If they choose not to obey me they may suffer the consequences. Why do I tell my children these things? Obviously because I love them. What makes a healthy fear of parents healthy is that the child knows that the orders/warnings are made out of love and further more the child wants to heed their parents warnings because they trust that the parent is looking out for their best interest. Now, in the same way God wants us to have that healthy fear of Him!! How silly is it to rebel against a God who wants nothing but the best for us?
This revelation from the Lord has two sides to it. It is like looking at a two sided coin. This two sided coin represent the two sides to the personality of God the Father. On the one side of the coin is the loving, merciful, gracious, and tender side to God’s personality. On the other side of the coin is the righteous judgment, wrath, and anger side of the Lord.
A healthy fear of that “other side” of our Lord should keep us humble, repenting of our sins, and most importantly worshiping the King of Kings; our God who can and save us all from His just wrath against sin.
WHAT DO YOU WORSHIP?
God created man and this world and He wants what is best for us, so much so that He sacrificed his own son to save us from an eternity in hell; He is worthy of our worship!!! Yet, still so many of us (Christians and Non-Christians alike) refuse to give God the worship He deserves. God commands us to worship him. Why would He do that? Let’s consider this….
We all worship something!!!! What do you worship? What do you hold dear to you? What is of high “worth”? Is it your job? Your position of authority? Someone or something? Why do you miss church and the opportunity to worship God? Is it because there’s a game on TV? Hunting or fishing to do? What is more important than God in your life. You see, God knows if we do not continually strive to place Him number one in our lives something else (someone else) will slip into His place. This is a very BIG sin!!! The most basic reason why we worship God is that He commands it and forbids the worship of others. Therefore, anyone who does not worship God and Him only is by default worshiping something other and lesser than He is. Such a person will fail to reach the highest and greatest in life because the true God is supreme over all.
Psalm 115: 3-11 addresses this concept…
*”But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of mens hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; noses they have, but they do not smell; they have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them. O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD ; He is their help and shield.”
We worship Him because He commands it. We worship Him because He alone deserves it, knowing what He is and what He does. We worship Him because without so doing we cannot rise to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
I CAN WORSHIP GOD MY OWN WAY
*”Here stands God on the Day of Creation. He looks at Stars and He says “All you Stars move yourself to this Place and Start in this Order and Move in a Circle and Move Exactly as I tell you- until I give you another Word. Planets.. pick yourself up and whirl, make this Formation at My Command, until I give you another Word. He looks at Mountains and says “Be Lifted Up” and they Obey Him. He tells Valley’s “Be Cast Down” and they Obey Him. He looks at the Sea and says “You Will Come This Far”, and the Sea Obeys … Then, He looks at You and says “FOLLOW ME” and you say “NO, I’LL DO IT MY WAY!” Does that Bother anyone?”
What defiant children we can be! People base their beliefs on feelings and totally discard the Truth of God’s Word in the Bible. As it says in…
Proverbs 14:12 …”There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
*”If you are not basing your worship on the truth of the Word, then it will lead to death! God gives us plenty of clear guidance in the Bible of how to worship Him in spirit and truth, and yet many Christians still try to make excuses of why they should do it another way. Remember the day of Pentecost? What did the apostles rely on to draw people to God? Did they rely on worldly music? Did they rely on putting on a show? Did they rely on telling a few jokes? No! They preached the true Word of God and let the Holy Spirit do it’s work in drawing three thousand people to God that day! Many pastors and church leaders turn their backs on the power of the Holy Spirit when they rely on their own efforts to bring people into church. So many churches these days are turning their backs on the truth of God’s Word in the Bible and it’s a tragic thing to see.”
Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
For me, worshiping God is a complete act of self sacrifice and humble reverence. It is understanding that I am not the center of my own universe; that I am merely a chess piece that needs constant guidance and direction to meet the King! I know now that worship can be done wrong when it is not done in faith (from the heart) and truth (by way of the Bible). I worship God not out of fear that He will rebuke me if I don’t, but that the world will lure me away from Him if I do not worship Him; keep Him number one in my heart and in my life at all times. God loves us all and wants the best for us. He knows and sees things that we cannot even imagine. If I am going to put my faith in something; worship something it is going to be an all knowing, all loving, just God who has my best interest at heart.
I leave you with this song….my favorite worship song thus far 🙂
*Excerpts taken from http://www.worshipinspiritandtruth.net