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What is Worship?

The following is a devotion led by Ria during our February 2010 meeting.

When I was younger I really had no idea. I remember being at children’s church, or at a Sunday service with lola and being told that we’re about to worship. Which meant I had to try to pay attention or to be quiet. The idea of worship bored me because I didn’t understand. All I knew was that I had to sit still for what seemed like hours listening to some guy talk. When I got a little older…9-11 years old, I got the impression that worship was the first 30 minutes of church…when music was sung and played…I usually fell asleep in the pews right after the music. But in my mind, I participated in the worship part..that’s good right? A little bit older still and I’m now part of the worship team. I was told we usher people into the throne of God. One of the worship leaders who would train and guide me told me there were levels/thrones I had to enter, til I reached the ultimate worship place. I never understood that…and I still don’t. During that time, worship was also synonymous to slow songs. Back to my first sentence, I still had no idea of what worship was…

Fast forward a decade or so…

I’ve slowly learned that worship is actually much simpler. Stripped to its simplest definition, it basically means to bring God pleasure…by glorifying Him in our daily lives, exciting stuff and the mundane. When we do things that please God, we are worshipping Him. The role of a pastor, usher, the one who sings and children’s church teacher, bathroom/church cleaner are all acts of worship when done with a heart for God.

Worship is an expression of our love for God

You don’t have to sing well, or play well to worship God. When we do things to please God, we are worshipping Him. It’s our way of honoring God. The death of Christ brought to us the gift of grace, the undeserved gift that extended God’s forgiveness…and though we cannot do anything to earn this gift, we can honor God by worshipping him in our daily lives, through simple acts with authentic intentions to show who God is to us. We love God, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
1 Peter 1: 8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Worship is for God’s benefit, not ours:
Psalm 147:11 CEV The LORD is pleased with those who worship Him and trust his love.

For this, I thought specifically of our ministry. I thought about how each weekend we come to church, to prep on Saturday and minister on Sunday…that none of this is for us. It’s not some emotional high to achieve, or show off our skills…but really to honor and glorify God. What a blessing to be called to honor him through music. The bible mentions singing, praising God a few dozen times and it goes to show the importance of giving glory to God. The goal is to magnify His name, to make Him bigger, the biggest part of the service. (Which is why I think prepping (musically + spiritually) is so important so that the flow of worship is smoother and the focus isn’t taken away from God. God deserves the best that we can offer…not what’s convenient for us to give)
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Worship comes from the heart

In the old testament, God made a covenant to Abraham…that if he obeyed God’s instructions to circumcise the men in his household, God would hold up his end of the deal by giving Him heirs. This practice became the physical difference between those who were part of his covenant. This was essential to separate those who worshipped God and those who didn’t…however, over time, only the physical aspect of their circumcision were obvious…it no longer affected the heart, which is what mattered most.
Ephesians 2:11 NLT Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts.

This applies in our ministry…that the song of our hearts, must be louder than the song of our fingers and voices.

The birth of Christ brought us grace…and the grace extended to us has come to represent that idea of circumcision…it allows God to been seen us. Our actions, our worship is a direct representation of who it is that live in our hearts…
John 4:23-24 (New Living Translation) 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Worship is a lifestyle…which means it’s a lifelong journey

When we worship God wholly, completely, it means there’s no room to worship anything else. At any given time, our heart + mind is occupied by so many things. It’s easy to divide our attention…but when we keep our eyes focused on one thing, it’s easier to not be distracted. The goal of our walk is to keep our eyes on pleasesing God, essentially worshipping Him. I don’t think God expects us to fully comprehend the meaning of worship overnight. It’s a process that reveals itself as we delve deeper into the Word to learn more about God…and through conscious effort.
Psalm 105 1 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. 2 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. 3 Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. 4 Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.


Philippians 3:12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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