What is Worship?

We are made to worship God

Worship speaks of worth and value

We have been created with an innate capacity and desire to worship something. This is because the purpose of our existence is to glorify God. More often than not, our natural tendency is to worship ourselves or whatever person or interest that presides over our lives and consumes our thoughts, ambitions or aspirations. Whatever is most important in our lives often can turn to worship of it. Worship relates to ‘worth ship’. In other words, the degree to which you value something or someone.

Worship can be found everywhere

We have an innate capacity to praise as well as worship, and it is something seemingly hard wired into us, which we find ourselves doing on auto pilot. Can you remember the last time you commented that it was a lovely day or a beautiful morning? The reality of the situation was that God has created the world we reside in and we are enjoying the benefits of that! God’s name should be praised from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same for who He is, what He has done and what He has made.

Sport and music and caring for the environment have their place and can be enjoyed to the glory of God, hence the following examples serve to illustrate the innate desire to worship someone or something. Adoring fans make their preparations early and plan their day in advance so that they can enjoy the best experience and make the most of it. Football supporters often meet with their friends before the match, study the programme and sing songs of adoration and wave their arms enthusiastically for their beloved teams. Music lovers listen to the support band as a warm up to the main feature. They find the collective gathering and atmosphere electrifying. Some who appreciate the beauty of God’s creation go the extra mile in cleaning up the mess and pollution others have made and are eager to protect ecosystems and admire God’s handiwork, though seldom thank Him for it.

Why did those ‘wise men’ of Biblical times journey several hundred miles across difficult terrain and potential peril, arriving at tiny Bethlehem, five miles south of Jerusalem, with gifts? Surely Jerusalem would provide a more captivating experience…They had seen the sign of the Messiah, the star, and had come to worship Him. The Scriptures foretold the humble birthplace of our Lord and Messiah. Why did they bring gifts? The effort and cost they made to deliver them, demonstrated how they valued the discovery of the Messiah. His name would be called ‘Immanuel’, meaning ‘God with us’.

The gifts spoke for themselves in a prophetic sense. Gold for the King, frankincense for the High Priest and prayer and myrrh for the burial of the Saviour. The application is apparent; do we know God as our King, approach and reverence Him as our High Priest and trust in Him as our Saviour? The shepherds glorified and praised God for the things they had seen and heard. They were watching over their flocks which would provide their livelihood. Yet they made haste and quickly travelled to see the Good Shepherd, Yeshua (Jesus). Clearly, the Chief Shepherd of their souls was more important to them than their means of making a living. Is the same true of us?

When all things are considered, that which you worship the most is beyond price; it is priceless. Do we desire the presence of our Creator or just His presents?

True spiritual worship is not about us

A multitude of angels praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14)!” Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been there? Would we have been onlookers merely ‘assessing’ the ‘quality of the worship’ by the ‘standards’ of contemporary secular performers, or instead be fully given to adoring the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

We are God’s workmanship made by Him and for Him. We are made to know Him, enjoy Him and glorify Him. Worship of our Creator and Lord can be a tremendous collective spiritual experience in meetings where the Bible is read and the good news of salvation is proclaimed, with prayers declaring His attributes, holiness and unchanging character and His mighty works and deeds. It can also involve being alone and down on our knees in prayer and praise, meditating on Him and His Word. Worship is exemplified in a devoted lifestyle. Worship is about how we value the Lord who created us.

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