Updated: Jun 15, 2018
True and genuine worship stems from the heart.
It is not superficial or shallow ... it cannot be ... or it is not worship.
Worship is something that happens in us when our hearts connect to the deep urge to give adoration and admiration, while expressing the worth and wonder of God. As we experience worship, our love of God is expanded in the presence of God.
Worship aligns our heart with the Holy Spirit (the heart of God).
It grants us a heavenly perspective. That perspective draws us upward, inward, and outward. But because it is heavenly, it is an untarnished perspective. In worship we are able to see the true majesty and holiness of God, an accurate display of our decrepit and inadequate disposition, and the required demonstration of our renewed perspective.
To break it down further...in Worship we see the magnitude of God, the insignificance of us, and what we need to do in response. Worship is where God connects his power to our imperfection and empowers us to action.
When we contain God within the confines of our limited comprehension of who He is, we are blind to the power which commissions us, making the action required of us impossible. Our faith crumbles, our obedience halts, and our hope diminishes.
A.W. Tozer, when speaking on the inclination of our hearts to worship, said:
"Worship rises or falls with our concept of GOD ... If there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see GOD as great as He is. We are too familiar with GOD." - AW Tozer
With anything, familiarity is the initiation of taking that which we are familiar for granted. I don't know about you, but I never want to be in a relationship with God where I find Him familiar. First because I cannot fathom who my mind could contain all who He is to feel He is so common. But also because in familiarity, I raise myself to similar terms. In order to be familiar, I must relate to what is familiar. I do not ever want to think so highly of myself. Or so little of God. I want, hope, to always consider the vast gap between the character of God and the inferiority of myself. How do you stand in awe of something familiar? How do you admire or adore that which you feel can be obtained?
God is meant to be beyond our comprehendible reach. This is a requirement for our wonder, as God draws near to us. When we worship, and His presence is evident, we know that the steadfast love of our savior chose to be found in that moment. Psalms 22:3 tells us God is enthrones in our praise.
God longs to be with us, but in order to do so, we have to spiritually and mentally enter into true worship that sees God for who He is. Acknowledges ourselves for who we are. And accepts the responsibility God gives us and act in obedience. He, knowing the heart of a man, will respond to our worship by drawing near (James 4:8).
In Leviticus, we learn that God's presence is so intense that God-fearing mean could not approach without facing death. The Bible Project explains it this way:
God's presence is like the sun. Pure. Power. Goodness. When something mortal and corruptible gets close to such pure power, its destroyed. And so the word holiness is used in the book of Leviticus to describe God's pure and powerful presence, which like the sun is both good and dangerous. SO the point of Leviticus is to show how corrupt Israelites can live near God's goodness without being destroyed.
In Leviticus, the Israelites were given rituals, laws and priests to make it possible to be in God's presence. Now, we have a Savior. If you feel you do not appreciate the gift of Jesus' sacrifice and the free gift of salvation, read Leviticus and all the extremes the Israelites were held accountable to. We are able to experience God's presence simply by believing that Jesus' blood cleansed us! (Hebrews 10:19-22)
Worship Exalts God.
When our purpose in worship is to exalt Him - He meets us there, reveals Himself, and we experience His heavenly presence in our earthly existence.
In the song, Gravity, I am reminded how in order to truly exalt God and not my own experience, my gaze has to be fixed on HIM. We get distracted so easily. By pleasures, struggles, wants, and even people and things. But to truly exalt God you have to see how all those things measure up to Him.
Many people seek what they want to get out of worship, or perform for how others see them engage in worship, and still others are so burdened or distracted they miss the opportunity to worship all together. Worship is our exaltation of God - acknowledging him as our strength and salvation (Exodus 15:2), but as we worship, God responds to us with Intimacy. Freedom. Power.
In true worship, where he is exalted, God breaks down any barrier obstructing our awareness of his presence. He can silence your anxiety, comfort your pain, He can provide a way out.
In worship, God has been known to breaks chains. Paul and Silas, while imprisoned chose to pray and praise during their affliction - the result? Freedom. Not only did the prison doors open, but their chains fell off. (Acts 16:25-26)
When David was called upon to play music for Saul, it is made known that "the Lord was with him." David not only played music in obedience to his calling, but it was worship evident by the Lord's presence. (1 Sam 16:14-23)
Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Refused to worship anything but the one true God - as result, when thrown into a furnace with flames seven times as hot, they were spared in the fire. (Daniel 3:8-30) or Daniel who refused to pray to anyone other than the one true God - spared in the Lions Den. (Daniel 6).
The Bible is full of examples where worship brings freedom.
Worship is natural.
Worship is something we do in our sub-conscience. Not worship of God necessarily. Just worship. We all give value to someone or something. We were designed with this incredible ability in the garden to naturally incline our hearts to worship God. The presence of sin is what corrupted that trait within in us - extending our natural inclination of worship of external and carnal delights. We were created to worship, but we abuse that gift when we exalt the world around us and diminish the very heart of God.
Who or what is contending for your divine capability to worship God?
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We heard a new song today in our church service, timely having written this right before church. This song is simple in that it simply calls attention to who God is. However, so reverently poised to position our hearts in worship. See the Lyrics below:
Captivator of the searching heart This Jesus, how precious Mender of a million shattered parts This Jesus, relentless Oh, oh-ooh This Jesus, this Jesus So wonderful, so beautiful So kind and lovely Isn't He? Isn't He? Beyond compare, treasure rich and rare Marvelous and holy Isn't He? Isn't He? Giver of a grace that none could earn This Jesus, extravagant Keeper of His promise and His word Such goodness, such faithfulness So wonderful, so beautiful So kind and lovely Isn't He? Isn't He? Beyond compare, treasure rich and rare Marvelous and holy Isn't He? Isn't He? Isn't He? Isn't He? And You alone be honored and adored And You alone be glorified and praised And You alone be honored and adored And You alone be glorified and praised And You alone will reign forevermore And You alone are the Name above all names Yes, You alone will reign forevermore And You alone are the Name above all names