Worship is not the slow song that the choir sings on Sunday morning. Worship is not the amount you place in the offering basket at the end of service. It is not volunteering in children’s church. Although, these may be acts or expressions of worship, they do not define what true worship really is. There are numerous definitions of the word worship. Webster’s defines worship as to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.
We worship that which is worthy (Rev. 4:11: 5:12). Only God is worthy of our worship. He is majestic. ”Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary (Ps. 96:6)
What we worship is a good indication of what we value. Below are a few meanings of worship in the Hebrew and Greek.
- Hebrew: shachah meaning “to bow down, to do homage.” (Gen.. 18:2)
- Greek: proskuneo, “to kiss toward.” It conveys the idea of showing reverence or doing obeisance to God (Jn. 4:21-24), man (Matt. 18:26)
- Greek: latreuo, “to serve, minister”
Worship involves attitudes (awe, reverence, respect), actions (bowing, praising, serving). Worship is not an empty formality, nor unexpressed feeling. True worship is balanced and involves the mind, the emotions, the will. It reaches deep within and is motivated by love. It leads to obedient action that glorify God. Worship is personal and passionate adoration and unashamed response to of the living God.
Worship is having an extravagant or exaggerated love for God. If you see me with my hands raised in praise, my head bowed in prayer or kneeling and weeping at the altar it’s because I adore Him not because of what He has done, but because of who He is to me.
Jesus when speaking with the woman at the well, made it clear that there is true worship and false worship (Jn. 4:19-24). What passes for worship, even in some of our churches, may not be acceptable to God. The Pharisees thought they were practicing exemplary worship, but Jesus thought otherwise (Matt. 15:8, 9).
We do not worship God for what we get out of it, but because He is worthy of worship. A. W. Tozer wrote “Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God.” “God will not be used.” Contrary to popular preaching and teaching turning your life over to God does not promise health, wealth, and a problem-Free life. Those of us with children would be broken-hearted if our children only loved us for what they could get out of us.
True worship is not cheap entertainment. Our souls should thirst for the living God. Seeking a time we can go and meet with Him and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Ps. 42:2; 96:9).
True worship has the power to transform our lives. Evaluate your expressions of worship so that you will “give to the LORD the glory he deserves … ” (Ps. 96:8). The promise is that when we worship God in this way, he will come and commune with us.
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Note: All Scripture is taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.