Worship means different things to different people. The reality is that we all worship someone or something, whether God, scientific knowledge, material things, another person, success, and much more. Truth be told, if we aren’t worshipping God we are probably ultimately worshipping ourselves.
There are several words and contexts for worship in the Bible. One New Testament word for worship equates worship with bowing deeply—even prostrating oneself in adoration and submission—before God. Another translation of this word defines worship as service to God. I believe we serve who or what we love and worship most deeply, so these two definitions are inextricably linked.
Bob Dylan once wrote:
“You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
In the words of Dr. Phil I would ask you to look at what or whom it is you worship and ask this important question:
“How’s that working for you?”
As a Christ follower, I know worship to be centered in the person of Jesus Christ towards God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. God not only is the One I worship, but He is the One who invites and empowers me to worship Him.
How’s that working for me?
I can honestly say that my life is extraordinarily richer because of the abiding awareness of and focus on God’s unequalled worth and presence in and through my life. It’s not always easy but ultimately it is deeply satisfying.
Authentic worship transcends merely going through religious activities or rituals. Worship comes alive when God becomes the very breath of our being, the true desire of our heart, the object of our thoughts, and the movement of our life. Worship is about acknowledging God for who He is, and about responding to Him.
In worship we acknowledge our Mighty God with hearts of Wonder and Gratefulness, and we respond in a life of love, obedience, and service.
William Temple once described worship as “the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose―and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin” (William Temple’s (1881-1944) Readings in St. John’s Gospel).
Worship at the deepest level:
- Acknowledges God at the very core of our being. It connects us with God in heart, mind, soul, and body.
- Fixes our minds and hearts on Jesus Christ as we increasingly become God-conscious rather than self-conscious.
- Unleashes the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.
- Reflects God’s Word.
- Expresses authenticity and truth.
- Happens on a personal level. It’s real and personal.
- Is shared and experienced with other Christ-followers.
- Engages us with God, and draws us closer to Him.
- Is life-yielding: we give ourselves to God.
- Is life-changing: we come away different, moving from glory to glory.
This may be the year for you to enter into a life-changing worship encounter with the one True God. It’s all about approaching, surrendering, experiencing, and activating our worship of God not just for a moment, but also throughout life and into eternity.