Worship in Theory
Over the last two Sundays we have considered the topic of worship. The heart behind this was to make space to focus on worship, especially in light of the changes we’ve made in this Covid world. When we initially discerned the need to focus on worship, it was during the time we could meet – but without singing! Seeing things changes so rapids only underlines the need to be clear on what worship is, why it matters, and how we express it.
Worship in Theory
In the first message we made the following points:
Everybody is a Worshipper
While it looks different for different people, we all worship something. The root meaning of our word “worship” is worth. That which we consider worthwhile, that to which we attach value. To say “I worship God” really means “I consider Him to be valuable, significant and worthwhile to me.
Every person attaches value and significance to things. Whether it’s their family or job, or perhaps a sports team, everybody has things important to them.
This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. This is true because this is how God made us. He created us with a capacity to be amazed, and then created an amazing universe for us to inhabit. His purpose in this was that, in our appreciation and wonder of it, we would recognise and acknowledge the Creator God as the most worshipful God He is.
Your Worship is Reflected in what you Care About
How do I know what I’m worshipping? It’s quite simple: where does your time go? Where does your money go? Where does your physical and emotional energy go? What are you passionate about? What do you think about when you have a few spare moments?
This is a deeply personal area that we all should reflect on. If there are things in life that cause me to fear, that speaks to what’s important to me. If there are passions that I pursue, that speaks to what’s important to me. Our emotions are a window into our souls, and asking God to help us discern them, and what’s behind them, is extremely valuable. The Lord’s desire is that, above all else, He is our highest good, most valuable asset, our most significant concern and deepest fear.
True Worship should Reflect our Redemption
The Bible frequently speaks of all creation worshipping God. For instance:
Psalm 65:13 (ESV)
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Everything that is created has ample reason to praise and worship God. This includes us, of course! If we have our health, we can praise God for that. If we have food and shelter, we can praise God for that. And, conversely, those who refuse to acknowledge and worship God are without excuse. We saw this in Romans 1.
But, so much more than this, we have the gospel. We have the good news of redemption in Jesus Christ. We have the incredible reality that, while we were sinfully worshipping other, lesser things, God took the initiative and provides salvation by grace, through faith. Reflecting on this should cause our hearts to want to burst in worship. If it doesn’t, do we really understand the depth of the gospel?
True Worship is Deeply Fulfilling
It should be no surprise, since God created us with the capacity and the hard-wired desire to worship, that when worship is properly aligned and focused on God, it is supremely fulfilling and profitable. To render to God the things that are God’s — namely, our very selves — is right and proper. As such, it is also satisfying, because God created us to be satisfied in Him.
Not only this, but God has a purpose for our good in it, too. In Colossians 3:16 we read about how the worship of God by the gathered church has didactic value — it’s instructing for us. Seeing one another declare praise-filled words is encouraging and instructive for us. Then in Acts 16, we read of how the faith-fuelled praise of God from the prison cell spoke to the other prisoners and was a step on the journey to faith for the Philippian jailer.