Summary: One important joy of the disciple’s life is to worship God. True worship happens when we meet God in His presence and lift His name high.
In my previous post, I talked about finding a spiritual mentor, and how a mentor can help you grow in Christ. Now we move to your most important and privileged joy, to worship the Lord in His glory.
I cannot stress enough worshiping the Lord in His fullness and presence. Until you stand in God’s presence, kneel before Him, raise your hands to receive from Him, and sit in His still, reassuring silence, you will not understand the meaning of worship and why you need it.
As much as we get out of worship, we must put the Lord first. Worship is not about us. It is about God receiving from us our gratitude, love, and put in Him at the center of our lives. Let’s dive deeper into the subject of worship.
What Is Worship?
It’s harder for Christians to define worship than almost any other activity we do. And yet, we must understand what worship is before we can do it well. We can’t worship God with excellence if we can’t define it.
I define worship as the moments we meet with God and experience His presence in life-changing ways. These are times when heaven meets earth and we find ourselves in the thick glory cloud of God. God meets us and we fellowship with Him.
God receives our praise, thanksgiving, and the love for He does in and for us. We receive God’s guidance, compassion, grace, and love. Worship is the mutual relationship we share with God. We glorify Him and place Him in the highest regard.
Revelations about True Worship
Jesus gives one of the clearest understandings of worship and John 4 when he meets with the Samaritan woman. When she perceives Jesus is a prophet, she addresses the issue of worship that separates Samaritans from Jews. Jews worship on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and Samaritans worship on Mount Gerizim (John 4:20).
Jesus tells her true worshipers will not worship in a certain place, but will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Worship won’t be about where we are or where we can worship. We will be able to worship the Lord anywhere.
We must start with the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. He helps us connect with Jesus. Jesus speaks to us through the Spirit. And the Spirit helps us communicate our heartfelt desire for Jesus.
We worship the Lord in spirit. To worship the Lord in spirit is to connect with Him. David calls it “deep calling out to deep” (Psalm 42:7). There’s nothing like this connection in all the earth. We experience God’s presence in ways we will never forget.
This can happen every time we meet with the Lord. It is never God’s mistake if we don’t make this kind of connection. We are always the ones who fall short to enter into His presence. We delight in the Lord and to dwell on Him (Psalm 37:4).
We worship Him in truth because we understand who He is. This is a time of confession, forgiveness, and blessing. We see the hard truth about ourselves and the glorious truth of God’s identity and work in our lives. We humble ourselves before the Lord.
Individual and Corporate Worship
Worship is something you do privately and publicly. As an individual, you should worship God every day. Regular prayer and Bible reading glorifies God and puts you in the mindset to thank Him for every blessing you receive.
Observing the beauty of nature and praising God for it is worship. Pressing on toward Christ and growing in wisdom, holiness, and your relationship with Jesus is worship. Singing to the Lord and praying in your prayer language is worship.
Spending time in God’s presence is the greatest form of worship. Doing many of the spiritual disciplines, which we’ll talk about in a couple of posts, is worship. Just about everything you can think of to glorify God is worship.
When you gather with other saints, worship goes to a whole new level. Corporate worship empowers the individual to worship God with the host of the saints. Corporate worship includes singing, giving to the Lord, listening to His Word in the sermon, and using your spiritual gifts.
You celebrate with the saints with the joy of the Lord for His goodness. Adoring the Lord through corporate worship and extolling His virtues is part of corporate worship. You edify others and are edified by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
These are all reasons the Scriptures tell us to not forsake the meeting together of one another (Hebrews 10:26). When we grow in unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, we worship the Lord.
The Holy Spirit leads our worship. He empowers us to worship God more deeply. We encourage one another in our worship. By watching what others are doing, you join in and gain appreciation for forms of worship you are not used to. It is good for us to gather and worship together.
More Than One Day
Sunday and Wednesday are not the only days for worship. You must respond to God every day. Worship should become a regular practice in your personal life. Although we think of those days as days of worship, God calls us to worship Him every day.
You can worship the Lord in different ways individually and you do corporately. You can’t fit in your worship into a one-or-two-hour service. Guy deserves to be worshiped and glorified much more than that.
As you personally worship the Lord every day, you grow your worship muscles in preparation to meet corporately with other believers to worship Him. Many churches follow a standard worship structure. Worship songs lead the congregation.
If you don’t worship the Lord every day, these will be the extent of your ability to worship God. But if you worship the Lord alone at home during the week, these become worship starters for you. You start with music or Bible reading and fill your worship, and corporate worship, with your own expressions of worship for the Lord.
More Than a Song
When I say the word “worship,” it’s sad to say that most Christians think of singing songs to the Lord. Music is certainly worship. But there are so many other ways to worship the Lord. We can worship the Lord through our giving.
I’m not just talking about money. You can worship the Lord through giving your time, talents, and resources to ministries and ministry events. The more generous you are giving, the more you worship the Lord. But you must listen to the Spirit to discover how much He wants you to give.
When you listen to God’s Word, whether it is read, or to a sermon, or to any other form of taking in God’s Word, you are worshiping the Lord. Praying, raising your hands, and other worship postures we will talk about worship the Lord.
Worship needs to become spontaneous. It’s okay to have worship starters. But they should spur us on to personalize our worship to God. The gifts of the Spirit should be in operation in our worship. Allow the Holy Spirit to prompt you to use your gifts and follow through in obedience.
While we are talking about worship music, it must be Godward. What I mean is that the songs we sing must have God as their focus and be sung to Him. Recent trends in worship music have way too many “I’s and me’s.”
It’s not that you can’t talk about yourself in relation to God’s blessings upon you or what he is showing you. But when we are the subject and focus of the song, that is not worship. It could be a great song. But it’s not worship to the Lord.
Worship music should be about God, glorifying Him for who He is and what He does, and our relationship with Him. The hymns did this so well. And many of our modern songs do this well, too.
A Lifelong Practice
Most of all, we must understand worship as a lifelong practice. We do it every day. We do it throughout the day. We do it when we are blessed by the Lord. We do it when we go through trials. We do it all the time.
Prayer and confession, listening to sermons, Scripture reading, and every other spiritual practice are our humble offering of worship to the Lord. Virtually everything you do can become worship to the Lord.
One of are my favorite books, “The Practice of the Presence” by Brother Lawrence, talks about feeling God’s presence even while doing menial tasks. We need to line that powerful lesson as we worship the Lord throughout our day.
When we share in communion and water baptism with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we celebrate what Jesus has done and is doing among us. We share our faith as we witness to unbelievers, highlighting Jesus and what He has done for us.
These are worship practices we do for the rest of our lives. We become more efficient and proficient at each of these practices. We learn new worship practices. And we never stop worshiping God until the day we are with Him in heaven forever.
Make it a point to worship the Lord throughout each of your days. Find new ways to worship the Lord. Think of the Lord often throughout your day. Prepare yourself to worship the Lord when you gather with the saints. Become more spontaneous in your worship.
We have discussed how to worship God and the different aspects of worship. Next, we will expound the meaning of becoming Jesus’ disciple.