It’s often used as an adjective, as in worship service, worship music, or worship center. It’s also sometimes used as a noun: My boss gives excessive worship to his business.
I like it best as a verb. It seems to me that in its truest form, worship is action. It’s our humble engagement with and grateful connection to the God of the universe through our spirits, with our mouths, and in our minds.
Because He created us and desires a relationship with us through the blood sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, He alone is worthy of our praise, adoration, love and lives. That fact alone should move us—move us to sing, to share the gospel, to minister to and encourage others.
Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”
The term worship wars has been used in the past few years to describe the debate over worship styles. It just seems wrong that those two words should ever be put together in a sentence. Whether you like traditional hymns or contemporary-style music, whether you think you can sing or not—if you have been saved by the blood of Christ, you have a song to sing and worship should not only be on your lips, but moving in and through you as you become the hands and feet of Jesus to others.
I recently went on one of our church’s trips to Haiti and was so incredibly moved. Their worship was palpable, visible, tangible. For an hour, they sang. Sometimes they stood. Sometimes they sat. Sometimes they raised their hands. Sometimes they swayed to the music.
I wept at the privilege of worshiping with them, of seeing their genuine joy! I couldn’t help but be convicted by their expression of sincere gratitude. These people have so little in areas most of us would describe as absolute necessities.
Yet, despite the fact that they have virtually nothing, they have everything. They have Jesus, and He’s enough. He’s ALL they need. And they reflect that—in their mouths, in their countenance, in their expression of adoration to the One who gave it all.
During Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before Passover, the Pharisees asked Him to rebuke His crowd of followers to be quiet.
Jesus answered, “I tell you, if they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” (Luke 19:40)
Forbid it that we be so neglectful or unmoved in our worship that an inanimate object would be commanded to do it in our place.
So, I ask you, what does your worship look like? Do you stand there with your lips closed, hands crossed, mind elsewhere? Or do you focus on Him and allow His Spirit to speak to you and connect you with the Creator of the universe who loves you beyond comprehension? It doesn’t matter whether you raise your hands, or if you can carry a tune in a bucket. What matters is that you engage with Him and WORSHIP!
He’s the only object, the only focus–just Him. He’s an audience of One.