“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”
Psalm 95:6 ESV
Worship can be defined as the feeling or action of reverence or adoration for a deity, according to the dictionary. Worship can be a physical activity, but it is spiritual at its heart.
I think that this is an important topic because it's always been a struggle for people at one point or another in their life.
A person's ideas of worship may look great from the outside, but a lot of people choose to worship only when they receive praise for it. In Matthew, the Pharisees show an example of their cultivated idea of worship.
“And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.””
-Mark 7:6-8 ESV
Jesus shows us here that we can worship God or anything else with our lips as much as we want, but if our heart isn't in it, then it's in vain.
The Pharisees we're known to walk around sporting their "worship" to God, made sure they wore their best clothing and sounded perfect, and showed off in front of people.
Basically, they just wanted to be praised and adored themselves. Jesus pointed out that their worship wasn't right because of this.
True worship only requires you and Jesus
Worship needs to be a heart posture, not an image put out for an audience to see. Jesus accepts a worshipper that sits alone in their room and draws near to Jesus sincerely more than a person who is showing their faith off to others in order to appear like a great person to others instead of truly worshipping the Lord.
Jesus never wants us to prove our worship to the world- he wants us to be a light of the world. These two things hold a big difference.
Proving our worship to the world and trying to receive adoration is selfish and rude to God, but being a light of the world is serving God and following his will of helping others, whether that's seen or not by people around you.
Worship can be physically performed, but it is a heart condition
Worship is done from the heart- what we sincerely believe in the deepest part of our spirit. Jesus knows what we believe, he knows how we feel, and he knows the difference between a vain worshipper and a true worshipper.
One form of worship is singing, but it is so much more than singing. When you sing, what are you thinking about?
It can be easy to focus on sounding good enough around others, what you're wearing, who else is singing, what's for lunch, and the list could go on. There are times where I've realized my mind is in a completely different place while singing a worship song word for word, and my heart isn't currently drawing close to the Lord.
In order to worship God, we need to try to draw near to him. A lot of people have a hard time focusing, and Jesus knows that, but if we're just getting by with the words and not taking the words to heart and pondering on it, we need to address the deeper spiritual issue.
I've played worship music a lot in my life while not truly focusing on God. During those times, Jesus isn't scolding me, but gently seeking me out in those moments where I'm far away.
If you feel far away from Jesus during any kind of worship, ask him to help you focus on him and seek him. Ask him to show you what he needs to show you in the moment and to block out distractions, and to give you the eyes and ears to feel his gentle presence in the moment.
This goes not only for singing, as Jesus doesn't just require singing alone from everyone. A lot of people may not like to sing but love to pray and journal worship to Jesus, and this is great!
A lot of people may serve Jesus and praise him during their service to him. Some people practice thankfulness all throughout their day come good or bad, and these are all forms of worship as long as they are sincere in spirit and truth.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.””
-John 4:24 ESV
Jesus doesn't care about his followers showing off in expensive clothing and pretty words. He wants your heart, your closeness, and your sincere adoration and love towards him, even if no one else today sees that!
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
-Psalm 100:4 ESV
Worship doesn't have to be a chore or a disliked obligation. It's not, "I have to sing five songs every day and pray three times today in order to be actually worshipping God". If you like to plan out your worship, and you're sincerely worshipping God, that's great! If you find that you're just checking off the boxes and barely acknowledging God, then it's perfectly ok to change the way you worship the Lord.
Jesus wants you to be sincere in spirit and truth, thankful, glad, and full of praise, but doesn't require specific schedules in order to do so.
Before Jesus was crucified for our sins and broke the veil on the temple of Jerusalem, people had to travel to the temple of Jerusalem in order to be close to God and to pray to him for forgiveness and requests. After Jesus died for our sins, the veil was torn from the top to the bottom, and since he resurrected and gave the Holy Spirit to his followers, we don't need to have a certain time or place in order to worship Jesus.
We can worship Jesus in our kitchen, in our cars, at work, in our rooms, at the gym, or anywhere else we go. We have God's presence with us through Jesus' sacrifice and the Holy Spirit's dwelling in us no matter where we go on earth, and we have access to drawing near to his heart if we truly want to.
We can draw near to the word of God to worship Jesus
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
-Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the verbs of this verse sink in for a moment. This is how we can worship Jesus and also draw near to him. If we come near to him sincerely, we can dwell with him and his word. This is true worship and affection.
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