Worship Is…

Taken from another one of my blog sites….

Over the last two weeks we have been talking about worship. We began our discussion by taking a look at the importance of worship to the ancient Jews and how worship changed through the Centuries. From Abraham’s altars to when the Romans destroyed all the temple buildings in 70AD, worshiping God changed. It changed in physical location and through unfortunate circumstances.

We talked about how worship for the ancient Jew was not only for the Individual, but for the Home and Nation as well. We discussed the Mezuzah that the Jews would mount on the gates and door frames of their homes that contained a scroll with scripture inside. We discussed the importance of passing down the worship rituals to the next generation and the different festivals that were held throughout the year. All of these were ways for the people to worship God.

The main point of week one was that despite all the changes that worship has gone through throughout history, the very foundation of worship remains the same. Much like how the foundation and the Western Wall still remain after the Romans had all the Temple buildings destroyed in 70AD.

In week two we took a look at 4 different aspects of worship.

The first aspect is that worship is both vertical AND horizontal. We discussed the fact that it is fairly easy for people to understand the vertical aspect of worship. After all it,  revolves around our adoration of God and praising Him for His love, mercy, hope, saving grace, and so on. And in doing this we strengthen our faith. The horizontal aspect of worship is when we worship together or participate in corporate worship. When we worship together two things happen: 1) the church is fortified and 2) it is edified. In other words, when we join together in holy worship of our Lord, the Holy Spirit is stirred within us and our faith is strengthened. In Ps 40:9-10 David tells us that he hasn’t “concealed” God’s love and faithfulness from the assembly or congregation. When we share our testimonies with each other, the entire body is edified.

The second aspect of worship is that it isn’t always pretty. We get a great example of this when King David brings the Ark of God back into Jerusalem. This is where David is so overwhelmed with joy that he literally worships God with his entire body, and his wife, Michal, was embarrassed by his behavior and David responds to her in an epic way. He says, “21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this,…” (2 Sam. 6:21-22a NIV). Let’s not allow ourselves to be concerned with what the person next to us is doing or what we are doing when we are worshiping. The only one that we should be concerned with is God and how we present ourselves to Him. The behavior of people who have a real, sincere relationship with God doesn’t always make much sense to others, and guess what? That’s OK.

The third aspect that we discussed is that worship is constant. We see this in the incredible picture that John paints of God’s throne room in Revelations 4:5-1. In this passage John points out these heavenly creatures that are praising God constantly singing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8b NIV). No matter what time of day it is, they are bowing before the throne worshiping Him. And these Heavenly beings praise God without any persuasion from God. They’ve experienced God face-to-face, and they can’t stop choosing to worship him. Know this to be true: when we worship God we are taking part in a daily, heavenly reality.

Finally, we talked about how worship requires both humility and obedience. In Romans 12 Paul writes: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Rom. 12:1 NIV). Unfortunately, we have done worship a great disservice by limiting it to what we do for a few hours on Sunday morning. True worship requires a humble heart. There is little room for the arrogant heart in true worship. And along with this we must be obedient. Every sacrifice we make to glorify and edify God is a true act of worship that truly pleases him. When we are truly following Him we are worshiping Him. One of the calls that God has for his people is to, well, reach out to people. Serve them. Love them. Be the guiding light for that lost soul, and you will find true worship.

Peace and blessings until next time,

PG

Published by Pastor Garry D. McGlinchy

I am the lead pastor of Culpeper Hope Community Church of the Nazarene in Northern Virginia. I write about my understanding of Scripture and the way that it intersects culture today. As a pastor, I fight for the underdog, those who are often on the margins of society.

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