Sunday morning is here and it is time once again to visit your local church home for a refreshing word from your faithful pastor. He has always been one to leave you challenged and energized after a detailed walk through the Scriptures. His topics always seem to apply to your daily life and are in every way exactly what you need to hear in order to get through the next week. However, there is one problem that you face: getting through worship. If there is one thing that many introverts and non-singers hate, it’s having to sing with a band of young hipster kids who want to “feel” the presence of the Lord. Or perhaps your worship leader chooses to sing the songs that you just plain don’t get. You roll your eyes and stand annoyed while waiting for the music to be over. Then you ask yourself: Why should we worship?
In order to understand why we can and should worship, the word “worship” should be studied closely according to its true definition and scripture references. Webster’s Dictionary defines “worship” as a verb that is “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” The word “worship” is often referenced to the time in your average church service when you sing, but really the word means so much more than just that. It’s an action that shows appreciation to God. There are many noteworthy forms of worship found in Scripture. In 2 Chronicles 5:13, Solomon worshipped the Lord by thanking Him for the completion of the temple. It was said that he “worshipped God with many voices and instruments.” This was a celebration for all the hard labor they had done. Another example of worship is found in Acts 2:44-45 at the day of Pentecost when all those who had been saved began to sell their possessions to those in need. Their unselfish acts of service and love were done with willing hearts, and the Lord took pleasure in this! Their desire was to help because they felt led to – not out of necessity or a grudging heart.
Another form of worship we are more familiar with is singing and dancing. All throughout the Psalms, David wrote many passages of admiration for the Lord. He challenged people to “make a joyful noise before the Lord” and “come before the Lord with singing on our lips!” Even Jesus Himself, along with the disciples, is referenced to worship God specifically in the upper room, where He and the rest of His followers were taking communion for the first time. Matthew 28:30 references Jesus and the disciples singing a hymn of praise too! The common theme we see between all of these examples is the expression of love, gratitude, and reverence to God. Worship is showing God just how much we love Him through these acts, whether that is through singing, taking communion, helping others, or thanking Him behind closed doors for what He has done in our lives.
These different forms of worship have been observed for years in the Church. The important thing to know is that our worship does not stop after we leave the building on Sunday morning. We have the chance to continue in worship wherever we are.
So, how do we enter the state of worship? A simpler question is: How do I worship? Philippians 2:5 says to “Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ.” When we begin to desire the things that God desires, we are entering a state of worship. There is an interesting thing that happens when we meet someone that we really like. We start to think and act more like those individuals. We admire their attitude, style, or speech, and we start to copy their mannerisms without even realizing it. We are told in this passage that we are to have the same mind as Christ. The more we take on the Lord’s mindset, the more we begin to desire the things He desires. Our worship begins when we transform our minds to be more like Him (Romans 12:2). This might lead to another question: What if I’m not “good” at worship? Be encouraged that worship takes practice. No one is ever good at worshipping without first learning how. We will spend the rest of our lives learning how to truly worship God, but our intent in what we do is where our worship is truly accepted by Him.
So, why should we worship? Now that we know that worship is not just singing but actually comes in many different forms, we better understand why these types of acts are done. Your worship team is expressing their deepest gratitude to the Lord and leading others who also wish to express this gratitude through song as well. Your pastor is expressing his appreciation to the Lord by preparing his sermons and living his life as an example to the congregation. The person sitting next to you in the pew may be showing his or her act of worship by taking part in communion, while you may find joy in giving generously to anyone in need. The Lord takes pleasure in your worship, whatever it may be. We worship not only because we are commanded to according to Scripture but also because we get to! The more we worship God, not only are we honoring Him through our action, but we also are growing spiritually closer to Him. Worship in its truest forms brings us closer to God as He brings about clarity and encouragement for us!