I found myself standing some time ago in a church service in a foreign land listening to worship songs being sung in a language I did not know and in a style that was not my favourite. As I tried desperately to dig deep into my reserves of cross-cultural adaptability and respect, in an effort to make good use of the time, my thoughts turned to two questions: what is worship and why do we do it?
As I understand it, worship in its purest form is the most natural response of creation (people, animals, vegetation, all living things!) to even a very small revelation of the awesome glory and unparalleled worth of God.
So why do we worship God?
We worship God as a voluntary expression of our honour and respect for Him. The only logical expression of such honour is selfless service. [Â“Worship the Lord your God and serve Him onlyÂ” Matthew 4:10] The expression, style and nuance of worship is as much infinite as the expressions, styles and nuances of GodÂ’s character are infinite. How we worship will be governed chiefly by how we have seen Him. Glimpses of GodÂ’s awesome glory are found everywhere across the universe. Whether itÂ’s in the birth of a child, the dawn of a new day, the love of a friend, the beauty of a flower, the gift of His Son; we see rays of GodÂ’s light breaking into every moment of our lives. HereÂ’s a good exercise: look for glimpses of GodÂ’s glory in normal life. Just stop and take a look around. Look for Him. Then worship.
We worship to call the rest of creation to this action, which is among the highest of actions we can engage in. It is a humble contemplation of our Maker and His works. This is why we should not simply worship when alone or in solitude. In corporate acts of worship we spur others on to see and encounter the object of our adoration. Next time you are among a group of Christians or walking in nature or listening to HandelÂ’s Messiah respond to the invitation in these to behold GOD afresh!
Worship reinforces, affirms and encourages us in our commitments to the God we worship. Proper worship will always include a declaration of faith and love and hope in God that goes beyond emotions. Where we are low it lifts us, where we are high it gives us reason to be so. Worship tells the truth because it speaks of God. Let your heart be washed afresh by the truth of worship.
Much more could be said on this, but let us consider these things for now. And whatever you do... WORSHIP THE KING!!!
Copyright Â© 2006 Andrew Bowers