What is worship? The Greek and Hebrew words that are translated to worship meant to prostrate. They give the indication that we are to lower ourselves in the presence of God.
I was thinking about worship during church the other day. It was one of those days when I would have preferred to be home still in bed but made the choice to attend as an example to my children (and to my heart).
We sang two fast songs, then a slow song, then a call to worship God and to praise God and to thank God, then another slow song, and then we ended with a fast song. We do the same thing every week. Across town in another church, theirs is just a different order. It is no worse and it is not any better. There is nothing wrong with order, but order is not worship. It is designed to evoke certain responses and feelings. This is emotion with a little tradition thrown in.
Before anyone hunts me down, let me try to explain. There are times when I am out walking and the beauty of what I see, or smell, or feel will overwhelm me to the point that I have to stop and praise God right then. Sometimes I sing, say a prayer, or even do a twirl or two. This is praise. God loves the praises of His children. But He desires the worship of His children even more.
According to Webster worship is “reverence or respect paid to God.” True reverence is when you hold the other person in a higher regard than yourself. Reverence requires that you listen to the person you revere without question, hesitation, or argument because you know that person is beyond mistakes. Reverence REQUIRES obedience.
In past days, when royalty walked by, the peasants would lower themselves to the ground to show their respect. Worship is the essence of that act. It is when we lower ourselves before God and allow Him to direct our lives. We push down our own desire and emotions, and we choose to listen to the words of God and follow His way. We come to the place where we know that no matter how it may look right now, what God has for us is beyond anything that we can think or imagine.
Worship is not about the music, the service, or even the emotions. Worship is not about whether you choose to kneel when you pray, to close your eyes when you pray, or to lift your hands when you pray. True worship is about God. True worship is when you see with the eyes of Jesus, you hear with the ears of Jesus, you feel with the heart of Jesus, and you speak with the words of Jesus.
The choice that I made to be obedient to the call to come together in fellowship was worship. During this time of Lent, how are you willing to lay down before God so that you can experience true worship in your life?