Thursday, January 5, 2012
Today a lot of what we do passes for christian worship but is it? Some folks 'worship' on Sunday mornings, some Saturday evenings, and others go to a 'home church'. Some sing with a full band while others don't use any musical instruments at all. Some churches follow a set liturgy (order of worship) while others do "as the Spirit leads." So what is real worship and who's to judge?
The good news is that God has not left us in the dark on this. He has told us in scripture what is and isn't worship, and what his expectations are of those who worship him.
"What is worship?" Worship is Adoration in Action! Jesus said the greatest commandment (in scripture) is to "Love the LORD you God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind" (Mt 22:37). If I understand this right it means to respond to the holy character of God with everything you've got! To do less than this is to withhold from God what is rightly his.
"Who is to be worshipped? The only one worthy to receive our adoration is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." In Revelation 5 gives us a wind into heaven and in heaven its not the angels, the 24 Elders, or even Mary the mother of God but it is only God himself is worthy to receive adoration.
"How are we to Worship?" Again in Matthew 22 Jesus tells us that we are to worship with everything we've got. We should worship God sincerely and honestly (with all our heart) which is to say we must confess our sins before him. We should worship God deeply (with all your soul) which is to say that we must not be flippant or trite. Worship should happen at the 'soul' level. We should worship him contemplatively (with all your mind), which is to say that we must consider his majesty and holiness. And thus respond accordingly.
"Where, When, Who should worship?" Everywhere, always, and everyone should worship Him. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us that there isn't a created being in heaven or on earth that will not eventually recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ.
There is so much more to be said about worship than has been said here. I've found Dr. John Frame's book "Worship in Spirit and truth", Dr. D.A. Carson's "Worship by the book", and Rognlien's "Experiential Worship" all very helpful. Maybe you will too.
Worship is not just one element such as music. Worship simply recognizing and responding to the Trinitarian Creator God with everything you've got, 24-7-365.