Is This Worship?

August 11, 2017

WE DON'T KNOW

 

If you were to ask five people what they believe worship is, you would most likely get five different answers. We, as the Body of Christ, can’t settle on what worship actually looks like. Some people think it is a slow song. Some people think it is an emotionless type of living.

 

Some people think worship is jumping up and down at a Christian concern. Many would argue that it is prayer. There are so many other ‘ways of worship’ that people are attached to. So, what is worship?

 

 

WHAT WORSHIP ISN’T

 

Worship is not a song. However, when we think about the word ‘worship’ itself, our minds are automatically drawn the word ‘music.’ Music can be an expression of worship, but it is not worship itself. Many people, including me at times, forget this.

 

We wait for the slow songs that have poetic words. We gravitate towards something to sway and lift our hands to. Some like for the room/sanctuary to be really dimmed and for there to be words on a screen. That is worship to some people. I don’t believe the Bible describes worship to be only an outward expression. "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;" Matthew 15:8

 

 

Worship is not simply prayer. There is a right and wrong way of praying. We can pray honest prayers before God with reverence, or we can pray self-centered (all about me) prayers.

 

I am all for the ugly cry. I ugly cry okay…confession! But, people ugly cry at concerts of their favorite artists. It is amazing to me when I see people fainting…literally fainting when they see a beloved music artist! Some of us might faint in church…it’s not necessarily worship!

 

So, if worship isn’t really singing, music, fainting, lifting hands, crying, or even praying…what is it?

 

WHAT WORSHIP IS

 

Worship starts in the heart. It is the fear of the Lord. It is a heart posture of reverence towards God. Worship is magnifying God with a humble heart of love for Him. It is being filled with wonder and being wrapped up in how captivating He is. Worship focuses on an object, not itself! It is being amazed by what is before our eyes (Isaiah 6:5)!

 

Worship can be expressed in an ordinary life, lived to please God and to bring Him praise. Worship is bringing our attention from ourselves to God and all of His brilliance. It is self-forgetfulness!

 

The truth is, that every single person on the planet (even the atheist) worships every single day. It is simply what we are focusing on. When believers worship God, our eyes are on Him and we forget about ourselves, and even our problems.

 

 

We are looking up. Right now, look up....waiting…! Okay, when you looked up, could you also see yourself? No, unless you are super talented! That’s what a locked gaze on God is like, in our hearts.

 

This can be done washing dishes or at a Christian concert, or a prayer meeting. The singing and dancing, and music, and words, are all means to an end, and that end is worship to God.

 

So there has to be a humility in worship, not pride. When we have a heart of worship, we are preoccupied with a direct gaze towards the Lord. He is all we want to see!

 

WHY WE WORSHIP

 

We were created to worship. That is why we can’t help not to worship. We may worship ourselves, our favorite entertainers, our music, our gifts, our knowledge, our food, our family, our friends, our church, and we can even worship a ring (single ladies). We can literally worship anything! And we will if we don’t worship God.

 

We worship Him because He is the only One worthy of worship. How can the created worship the created? There is nothing more beautiful to look at than Jesus. He alone is glorious. "Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high," Psalm 3:5

 

 

He is the ‘I Am.’ God is Creator and is eternal. He is our Maker and our Savior. Somehow, we can get twisted in our thinking that God exists for us! So, worship should bring us pleasure. However, worship is not about us at all! (Exodus 3:14)

 

We are not at the center, He is! God is at the center of it all. We think we have to try to make God the center of our lives when really He is naturally centered on Himself because he IS the center. When we see this, our hearts should be moved. We ultimately worship, what we love. So, for the believer, we worship because we love Him!

 

HOW WE WORSHIP

 

We must remind ourselves that it is not about us. We are not doing this to get goosebumps, or to cry, or to ‘feel’ something. Our hearts’ gaze is to look at Him in faith. Sometimes we will laugh or cry or get goosebumps, but those should be byproducts of worship. They should not be the goal!

 

Whether we are by ourselves or in a congregation, the attention should be on Him. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like the worship leaders and I are communicating back to each other. We all should be communicating to God together. We all have an audience of One...together.

 

 

Also, we must remember to have a preoccupation with Him. This can be through the words of a song, or a sermon, or a book. Those means should result in a fixed gaze on Christ. So, that looks different for everyone.

 

It could be a concert, or just hymns and a piano. It really isn’t about the things, so much as the reason behind it and the heart posture. I am still struggling with this. I think we all will because we are naturally self-centered. However, worship pleases Him and He will help us to please Him.

 

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

Psalm 42:1

 

JOY

 

John Piper said, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” There really is no greater joy than Him! Nothing else can outshine Him. Nothing else can compare to how lovely He is.

 

When we see this, our hearts will be filled and we will enjoy God! Worship will be our lives poured out voluntarily for Him, because of how great He is. Even in the enjoyment of Him, our eyes are not on self, but on Him. He truly satisfies our every desire (Psalm 107:9).

 

I would love to read your thoughts. I love communicating in the comment section. So, leave a comment!

 

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