But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
If a young lady went up to Johnny Cash and said, “I worship you!” what would she mean by that? Would it mean that she had every one of his albums or that her walls were plastered with his posters? Would it mean that she followed him around to all his shows?
Worship is such a difficult act to define, but it is that – a verb. It requires us to be active. Worship is directed toward God, for God and about God. It must honor HIM!
What’s the definition of worship? Since worship is a spiritual act, let us look at a spiritual source – the Word of God. Scripture helps define it for us. There is a very distinct difference from what Scripture says and what we often see in church.
Too many people take their cues about what is acceptable in worship from their experiences in church as children instead of from what the Bible says. We often substitute our traditions – “this is the way we’ve always done it” for the clear mandates of the Word of God. So what does the Bible say about HOW we should worship?
Here are scriptures that describe how we should worship. This is not a complete list.
Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God…
Psalm 47:1 – Clap your hands, all you peoples, shout to God with a voice of triumph!
Psalm 66:12 – Shout for joy to God
Psalm 95:1-2 – Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious!
Psalm 95:6 – O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Psalm 96:1 – Oh sing to the Lord a new song…
Psalm 134:2 – Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
Psalm 149:3 – Lift them praise His name with dancing
Psalm 150:3-5 Praise Him with the trumpet sound…the lute and harp…tambourine…strings and pipe…cymbals.
Our worship requires action and is solely for God, not ourselves. It is to Him alone we give glory. He desires and deserves that glory as we gather for corporate worship in His house, but our entire life from moment to moment should be spent glorifying Him. Sometimes that means we need to evaluate what we are doing and how we do it. Other times, we need an attitude adjustment. When we submit to Him in our daily lives, our actions, our thoughts and our attitudes will more and more reflect Him and bring Him glory! Have you noticed in a lot of the prayers that your Pastor prays, he asks that our thoughts, our words and our actions always be to glorify Him?
Seven reasons we should praise the Lord:
- We are commanded in God’s Word to praise Him
Psalm 150:1 – Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament.
- God is enthroned in our praise
Psalm 22:3 – But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Psalm 34:3 – Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 99:9 – Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.
Psalm 107:1-2 – Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Psalm 21:13 – Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.
Psalm 92:1 – It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
Psalm 135:3 – Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.
- God is worthy of our praise
Psalm 48:1 – Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.
Revelation 4:11 – You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
- We were created to praise Him
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
- He inhabits the praises of His people
Psalm 92:1-5 – It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your loving kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night, on an instrument of ten strings, on the lute, and on the harp, with harmonious sound. For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep.
Psalm 96:1-4 – Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.
What is worship?
- Praise and Worship is conversation between God and man, a dialogue that should go on constantly in the life of a Christian.
- Praise and Worship is giving to God and involves a lifetime of giving to Him.
- Praise and Worship is our positive response when we realize who God really is. Each act of our daily life should be an act of worship.
- Praise and Worship is an outcome of the fellowship of love between God and man.
- Praise and Worship is our heart’s expression of love, adoration and praise to God recognizing His Lordship.
- Praise and Worship is an act by a redeemed person toward His Creator involving his will, mind, emotions showing reverence, honor and devotion to Jesus Christ.
- Praise and Worship means “to feel in the heart.” It is expressing in some appropriate manner what we feel.
- Praise and Worship is “awesome wonder and overpowering love” in the presence of God.
- It is the ability to magnify God with our whole being – body, soul and spirit.
- It is the unashamed pouring out of our inner self upon Jesus in affectionate devotion.
- It is the response of God’s Spirit in us bearing witness to His Spirit whereby we cry out “Father.”
- It is the ideally normal attitude of a rational creature properly related to His Creator.
- It is extravagant love and extreme obedience.
Real worship defies definition; it can only be experienced.
Habakkuk – 3:17-18 – Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Psalm 57:9 – I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.
Psalm 66:8 – Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard.
Psalm 66:2 – Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious.
Worship our way:
- God is the conductor
- Pastor/Worship Leader is the performer
- Congregation is the audience
Worship God’s way:
- Pastor/Worship Leader is the conductor
- Congregation is the performer
- God is the audience