When someone introduces me to someone else and states that I’m a worship leader, what is that person saying about me? When someone comes up to me after a service and tells me, “The worship was good today,” what does that mean? Is worship 20 – 30 minutes of singing contemporary praise and worship songs in a service? Is it singing some songs and taking up an offering? Is it singing some songs, taking up an offering, and listening to preaching? Is that all of it? Is there more? Can I show up at church once or twice a week and check off the worship box?
I found this explanation of “worship” in the Word of God:
“Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!””1 Chronicles 16:23-31 ESV
Let’s break this down some:
Tell of His salvation from day to day” alright, telling people, every day, about how God has saved you; sharing your testimony is also part of worship.
“My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.”Psalms 71:15-16, NKJV
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
Write about Him, post on your social media about Him. Talk to your classmates or co-workers about Him. Tell your family about Him. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to his name;
That word, ascribe means: to refer to a supposed cause, source, or author: to say or think that (something) is caused by, comes from, or is associated with a particular person or thing
bring an offering and come before him!
Don Moen, a well-established worship leader, sums up worship with Psalm 100:
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”Psalms 100:1-5, ESV
Worship isn’t simply a ceremony. It’s not reciting prayers from a book or singing songs reading the lyrics off a screen. It’s not sit, stand, kneel, pray, or any other ritual. Throughout history, mankind has had many religious traditions. God spoke to the prophet Isaiah regarding religion just for the sake of religion:
“And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,”Isaiah 29:13, ESV
Now let us read from John, chapter 4:21-24:
“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, andJohn 4:21-24
those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.””
The overall lesson about worshipping the Lord in spirit and truth is that worship of God is not confined to a single geographical location or necessarily regulated by the temporary provisions of Old Testament law. With the coming of Christ, the separation between Jew and Gentile was no longer relevant, nor was the centrality of the temple in worship. With the arrival of Christ, all of God’s children gained equal access to God through Him. Worship became a matter of the heart, not external actions, directed by truth rather than ceremony.
In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses sets down for the Israelites how they are to love their God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Because the idea of “might” in Hebrew indicates totality, Jesus expanded this expression to “mind” and “strength” (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). Worshiping God in spirit and truth necessarily involves loving Him with heart, soul, mind, and strength. Our love for Him directs our worship of God; as we love, so we worship.
True worship must be “in spirit,” that is, engaging the whole heart. Unless there’s a real passion for God, there is no worship in spirit. At the same time, worship must be “in truth,” that is, adequately informed. Unless we know the God we worship, there is no worship in truth. Both are necessary for God-honoring worship. Spirit without truth leads to a shallow, overly emotional experience compared to a high. As soon as the emotion is over, when the enthusiasm cools, the worship ends. Truth without spirit can result in a dry, passionless encounter that can easily lead to a form of joyless legalism. The best combination of both aspects of worship results in a joyous appreciation of God informed by Scripture. The more we know about God, the more we appreciate Him. The more we understand, the deeper our worship. The deeper our worship, the more God is glorified.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:1-2, ESV
Grace ‘n Peace