What is True Worship?
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. (John 4:23 ESV)
I found the Lord, rather the Lord found me, while I was in a very desolate state. In that, early in my walk with Him, my cry to the Lord usually sounded like: fix me, give me, and thank you for what you have done. Basically, I had my personal cosmic Santa Clause at my disposal. But as I began to fellowship at some conservative, biblically sound churches I started on my way to becoming God’s Man.
I learned from the Word of God, had a sense of strong obedience, and I thought my heart was close to the Lord. Until…! One Friday night, and a young woman (who is now my wife) invited me to a revival service. I went prepared, notebook in hand, King James Bible, and dressed like a court appointed attorney. The service started and people were speaking and crying out to God and praising Him for simply who he is. No begging, no list of healing requests. Just stating facts like God you are Wise, Sovereign, Holy, Omniscient, Faithful, Honorable, Loving etc.
After pushing through my starchy convictions (or if I’m being honest just my preferences). I realized at that very moment these individuals were closer to God than I was, and they had a true attitude of worship.
And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets. (1 Chronicles 13:8 ESV) All throughout the Psalms, David provides an example of man after God’s heart. He worships God in times of trouble, when things are well, when people disagree with him. How does he do this?
One of David’s secrets to true worship was his personal understanding who God is. “The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!” (2 Samuel 22:47) As a result of diligently seeking to know Him, the more easily and readily we are open to worshipping him.
The second advantage David had was that His heart was turned toward and sensitive to the things of God. So worship was an extension of the state of his heart. “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
In short, it is not about how good we sing, or our own preferences of how we think worship should look. It’s not even about what we do when we gather on Sunday mornings. These all parts of worship, but we must challenge are ourselves to a deeper meaning of worship and like David, it starts with the heart. Chaplain Juan Mendez is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and serves full-time at America’s Keswick. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: You are infinitely dear to the Father, unspeakably precious to Him. You are never, not for one second, alone. Norman F. Dowty
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25