What is Worship?

January 15, 2021 at 12:26 PM 2 comments

It seems a lot of folks talk about worshiping God. It also seems that they seem to think we will all know what they mean when they push us to “worship the Lord!” but in reality, unless it’s defined precisely, worship is simply a “feelz” concept. In other words, when we talk generically about worshiping the Lord, people think they know what it means and they certainly might. But because we might think we know what it means, we then transfer our meaning onto what another person is saying about worship, so that we take their implied meaning as what we already know about worship. Does that make sense?

I’ve heard a number of preachers tell congregations that we must endeavor to “worship God with all our heart and soul,” but they leave it at that. They don’t break it down into rubber meeting the road or practical application for us. True expositional preaching/teaching breaks things down and provides truth that is fully applicable to people’s lives in concrete ways so that truth can make a difference for people. Anything else is just pablum.

What exactly, in plain simple terms, does it mean to worship God?

I’d like to try to define it. The truth of the matter is that there are many things in this life that can bring distraction and that distraction can keep me from worshiping God in all things. Those distractions can affect us all.

Clearly, there can be false worship, can’t there? False worship involves not only worshiping false deities (idols), but also worshiping the one, true God falsely. This can happen when people have false idols or believe that God is there to do their bidding, like a Genie.

Jesus tells the Samaritan woman the following, which is a good place to start for all of us:

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)
Spirit and truth. What does that mean? Clearly, under Jesus, worshiping God moved away from the sacrificial system (that found ultimate fulfillment in Jesus since it all pointed to Him) to inner spirit and truth.
Outwardly, if the person brought the correct sacrifice, they had done the “right” thing and ostensibly, their offering would be accepted by God for their sin (as covering). Still, their hearts could literally be far from God, simply going through the motions in order to be “absolved.” It is reminiscent of the difference between Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. There, we read the story of two different sons of Adam who brought two different offerings to God. Only Abel’s was accepted.
It is clear that Cain simply brought the wrong sacrifice, which meant his heart was not right before God. No blood was spilled in Cain’s sacrifice because he brought fruit of the field. Abel, on the other hand, understood the requirements and because his heart was right with God, brought the correct sacrifice to God; an animal.
Obviously, we do not bring physical sacrifices to God when we approach Him because Jesus is the “once for all” sacrifice that brings us into fellowship with God the Father as adopted children (Hebrews 10:1-14). Jesus’ sacrifice was more than sufficient and because of that, we do not need to bring any form of a physical sacrifice. Moreover, because Jesus perfectly paid it all as our sacrifice, any sacrifice we might think we need to bring in approaching God is not only useless, but would not be accepted by God as any form of payment for our sins. This was reconciled by Jesus Himself as the Perfect Lamb. Nothing further is needed.
However, the “sacrifice” must be there when we approach God. There must be a willingness to submit our plans and will for His and to be willing to follow wherever He leads us.
Real, true worship of God always begins within us, in our heart of hearts, our will. We must want to humble ourselves before God so that we are willing to “take up our cross daily” and follow Him where He leads us (Luke 9:23). We cannot go to God in worship and continue to demand to live our lives the way we want to live them. In other words, true worship is not ask God to bless the things on our want list. True worship is to go before God and ask Him to reshape us into vessels that please Him, that glorify Him, that become usable for Him to work in and through us for His glory.
The true worship of God is essentially internal, a matter of the heart and spirit rooted in the knowledge of and obedience to the revealed Word of God. [1]
For worship to be real worship, the heart must be turned to God in the first place. In the second place, our hearts must overflow with praise to Him even if we fail to comprehend His purposes and plans in all its intricacies and even when circumstances and situations appear overwhelmingly negative. Praising God for all that happens around us proves to Him (and us!), that we see Him as being in control over all things. The Psalms are filled with verse after verse of the reasons why we should praise God. The New Testament as well reminds us of the reasons we should praise God in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Imagine what Joseph went through in the roughly 20 years of his life after his brothers sold him into slavery. He was purchased by Potiphar, a top commander in Pharaoh’s army. He was quickly appointed head over all his household. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of attempted rape. He was thrown in prison where he languished for several years. Eventually, he was brought before Pharaoh as someone who could interpret dreams. Joseph gave God all the glory. Pharaoh appointed Joseph second in command over all of Egypt. Joseph’s brothers eventually arrived due to the tremendous famine that plagued the land, foretold by God through Joseph. There, they came before Joseph, whom they did not recognize as their own brother (likely due to the passing of the years and the fact that they had no expectation of ever seeing their brother again, much less as second in command of Egypt, and possibly Joseph dressing more like an Egyptian).
Ultimately, God used Joseph to create and save the nation of Israel. Read about it in Genesis chapters 37-50. Joseph learned to wait up and worship God throughout all of those trials.
Worship involves confession, repentance and full acceptance. Sometimes that requires a concerted effort on our part. When we approach God, we must be willing to acknowledge any wrongs we may have done, in thought, word or deed. If our sinful actions caused hurt to others, we must also be willing to do what we can to correct that situation (Matthew 5:24).
Worship also involves presenting our petitions to God as well as praying for others (intercessory). We see this many places throughout the Bible, but Job provides insight in the way he as the head of his home, prayed for his children (Job 6:8-9 ; 42:8-9). The truth is that when we go before the Lord in prayer, it should be a form of worship that includes the above items.
Ultimately, to live the Christian life well means that we endeavor to do what Jesus did when He lived on this planet some 2,000 years ago, which certainly includes doing things we may not necessarily want to do. During his physical life, He always sought God the Father’s will. Jesus lived to empty Himself of His own likes, dislikes, and wants, preferring instead to have only what the Father chose to provide.
Obviously, this does not mean that Jesus never asked for anything that might ultimately have been contrary to His Father’s will, but He always came back to “not mine, but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).
Worship is not necessarily sitting in a church pew or even standing while singing a hymn. That can be part of our worship, but true worship is the heart lifted up to God in expectation of Him supplying our needs and helping us to fulfill His will for our lives. It requires dedication to Him, discernment from Him and a willingness to serve Him.
Worship is setting our will aside for God’s. It is being willing to wait for God to bring things about in our life in His way and in His time. Worship is the emptying of ourselves in order that God might have more freedom to do what He would like to do in and through us.
However, this does not mean that we adopt a “que sera, sera, whatever will be will be” mentality. To live the sacrificial life means we not only empty ourselves of our wants and desires, but we also learn to apply wisdom and discernment to the daily problems we may face. We do not become people who do not think critically.
Let’s not under emphasize the word “true” when it comes to worshiping God in “Spirit” and in “truth.” God expects us to be truthful and to seek truth as He is truthful. God expects us to use discernment to uncover the truth in all circumstances and instances. God wants us to not only be truth tellers, but truth believers. This may require us to investigate and search things out to learn the truth of the many different situations we face as we go through life. The more we read and devour God’s Word, the better position we are in to discover truth.
Sadly, I could list numerous Christian leaders (as I’m sure you could), who have fallen because of sin in their lives and have been untruthful in covering it up. I could point out that all of us, if not careful to be truthful, could easily fall and disappoint ourselves and God.
Truth is needed to be able to truly worship God and the Christian leaders who are not truthful are not actually worshiping God, but themselves. I could also point out many leaders who have wandered from the faith from a doctrinal perspective and taken many with them. We live in a day of growing deception and delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). God will protect us if we do our part; seeking Him fully, worshiping Him truthfully and endeavoring to live our life for His glory.
It appears that the days are here that compel us to double check ourselves daily, in order to ensure that we are being truthful to God. If we are not, we cannot expect our worship to be acceptable to Him. We all fall short. We all need to endeavor to get back up and move on in the Lord whenever that happens.
[1] https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/worship/

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Global Elite, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming.

While Satan Builds His Final Kingdom It Is Past Time

2 Comments

  • 1. Maranatha Today  |  January 16, 2021 at 5:26 PM

    HI Modres, another great article which is very encouraging and we pray more people will realize just how much we need to understand: “worship involves confession, repentance and full acceptance.”

    Yes!

    “Truth is needed to be able to truly worship God and the Christian leaders who are not truthful are not actually worshiping God, but themselves.”

    This video also sums up all you’ve been saying, and people need to “return to your first love.” I pray Thursday goes well and no trouble as this is God’s fight. We need to get out of His way…there’s no rest for the wicked…God will not be mocked. We worship Him in Spirit and Truth knowing He’s supreme.

    Like

    • 2. modres  |  January 16, 2021 at 5:33 PM

      Thanks Maranatha. I appreciate your thoughts and links.

      Like


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