In my last article I mentioned that worship is not about me. It’s about what I have to give, and not about what I can get in return. I want to explain why I think worship is important to Christians.
First, I feel the need to explain what I believe worship is and a little about what it is not. I read somewhere that worship is “to prostrate ourselves, to bow down and to kiss the Lord.” To me it’s showing Him the greatest amount of love and adoration I possibly can, using the gifts He has given to me to turn them back to Him as a love offering.
There are times when I worship with my voice or with my drums or by dancing or showing kindness to someone. Other times I might get very quiet and look like I’m sleeping (just listening for God’s voice). Sometimes all I can do is cry. Part of the goal of worship is to become more like God by allowing Him to cleanse our hearts and truly change us into His Image.
What it is not… is asking God for stuff or asking Him to bless something I want or Going to God with an agenda, of any kind or singing songs with other things on my mind, or out of love for the song rather than loving on God. Worship is not standing up in church during the part when music is played because that is what is expected, or because everyone else is.
Worship is not going to church because that is where we go on Sunday morning or coming to church looking to have the “spiritual batteries” recharged. Using God as a holy slot machine, putting in the prayer “coins” hoping for the big payoff is not worship. These acts are all selfish—worship in the flesh. It’s going through the motions. It’s not honoring to God. I believe this grieves God. If we become what we worship, are we becoming more like God by doing any of these things?
Here’s a portion of an article by Nancy Missler, “Private Worship: The Key to Joy”:
If we think that Sunday morning is the only time we worship, we ‘be further from the truth. Now, I am not saying that we don’t worship in our hearts at that particular point in time. But merely that Sunday mornings are not truly representative of what it means to worship. Do we meet together because it’s Sunday and it’s the one day of the week where God is asking for a kiss so we must give it? Worse yet, do we give it halfheartedly because we feel, I have to be at church today because I haven’t been for weeks.
Sunday morning should be the physical expression of what is happening in our hearts the entire rest of the week. It’s a time when we can all get together corporately and reflect the true state of our hearts. I’ll use my daughter as an example of the kind of worship that, I believe, God desires.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to receive a kiss from her without asking for one. I love it when she takes me by the hand and wants me to be involved in whatever she is doing. This is how we should view our relationship with our Father in heaven. We should adore Him. We should always be mindful of Him. We should constantly want to interact with Him. Ask Him things. Tell Him our thoughts. Cry our hearts out to Him and set Him above everything else in our lives...
Worship is simply the act of expressing to the Lord the gift of our love. It'’ our time not only to initiate, but also to maintain an open communion with Him. So, when and how are we to do this?
Well, the priests in Solomon’s Temple set aside two times a day, every day, to worship the Lord. Since God calls us a priesthood of believers, shouldn't we try to do the same? Can’t we spare a half an hour each day worshiping our Lord.
“Ye are...a royal priesthood...that should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9)
“Ye also, ...a holy priesthood, [should] offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
And finally, “Jesus Christ hath made us kings and priests unto God...” (Revelation 1:6).
The Lord has given us a model or an example of not only how we are to worship, but also when we are to worship. Please bear in mind, since we are not under the Law, we can, in fact, worship the Lord as little or as much as we like. It doesn't change our salvation.
What is affected by our lack of daily encounters with the living God, is our personal relationship with Him - the intimacy we might enjoy, the joy we might experience as a result of His touch, the insights and revelations He might extend, the godly strength we might receive enabling us to get through our trials quicker and finally, the ability we might have in order to reflect His image, His love, and not our own for the rest of the day. It allows us to fly a flag of God’s Joy from our hearts. The joy of the Lord is my strength, His joy is my strength…
I truly believe that when we worship the Lord, He is moved more than any other time in our lives. When we are standing before the Creator of the universe, dressed in His glory and splendor, we cannot help but fall on our face in worship. But here, in the darkness of this world, when we truly worship Him, I believe it is more meaningful to Him than anything else we can do. I believe it’s more special than the “forever” worship that will happen in heaven.
How could it not be? I imagine He might even cry a little when we touch His heart with our love of Him. Truly, worship is the most important thing a Christian can learn to do!