Worship is an integral part of our church service.
Many church services begin with songs of celebration and thankfulness to the Lord.
Worship music takes on many forms with various instruments, styles, and talented voices.
But is worship really necessary? How different would a church service be without worship?
What if we just had announcements, an offering, and a message? How different would that be?
The purpose of worship is to acknowledge the majesty and greatness of God. The purpose of worship is to humble ourselves before the Creator, Savior, and Lord of everything.
The Psalms tell us to give Him the Glory due His name. Jesus alone is worthy of our adoration.
“When we are truly humble before Him, our hearts soften, and we’re open to receive whatever exhortation or command the Master is speaking.”
-Pastor Kevin Click
Additionally, worship helps us prepare our hearts for the message.
The lyrics, music, and voices soften our hearts and prepare our minds to be brought into the presence of God. And once we are “there”, then the Holy Spirit ministers.
What is Real Worship?
Think about the things that can consume our minds if we let them.
We love to see photos of celebrities, and to read about their lives.
Remember that old TV show, “The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?”
Idol worship is big business.
Ask the producers of American Idol, The Voice etc. Sponsors pay millions of dollars to support programming that millions of people watch.
We make idols of movie stars, pop singers, sports stars, and political leaders. We build them up, and then pathetically love to tear them down.
But, as Christians, we’re called to worship God in Spirit and truth. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
It’s not so much about the worship leader’s voice or whether we like the beat of the song.
It’s about what our time and attitude in worship causes in our hearts.
Real Worship Will Cause You To Do This
Real worship draws us into the presence of Christ to adore Him. He’s worthy to receive our adoration and praise.
Real worship will always lead you to serve your creator.
We read in Matthew 4:9,10, when Satan tempted Jesus, that Satan said, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
It’s not necessary to coax people to worship and to serve. We in the Church urge too much, “Give…sing…do something.”
Real worship leads to service.
It leads us to adoration in the presence of God.
Worship is adoration. This is only possible through Jesus Christ.
3 Examples of Worship Leading to Service
1. Choose For Yourself
Worship and service go hand in hand. Both are a choice. We choose to worship. We choose to serve.
Joshua 24:15 says,
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
2. The People Had a Mind to Work
When Nehemiah needed help to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, he prayed and the people responded. Nehemiah 4:4-6 says,
“Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity!
“Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
“So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.”
3. Jesus Served All of Mankind
Jesus came to save us from our sins. He shed his blood for us. He died so that we might live.
2 Corinthians 5:14,15 reads,
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
What should be our response to Christ’s great sacrifice?
Heb 9:13-14 says,
“For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
4 Different Types of Worship
There are 4 basic types of worship; compulsive, ritualistic, emotional, and inspired.
1. Compulsive Worship
Popular culture breeds idol worship.
Have you ever been forced to worship something? Your first response might be, “No way!”
But think back to your Jr. High or High School days, when popularity meant so much.
Somewhere along the way we realize, popular culture breeds idol worship.
It happens with celebrities, fashion, cars, and technology. In our materialistic society, the motto is, “Whoever finishes with the most toys wins.”
Conversely, Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego found themselves in a counter-culture situation when they were forced to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold image.
Daniel 3:4-6 reads;
“Then a herald cried aloud: ‘To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
“And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.’”
But they took a stand.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused to bow to this idol. They were thrown into the fire and walked with Jesus!
2. Ritualistic Worship
Have you ever been caught up in the ritual of religion?
In a legalistic, ritualistic religion, you can easily find yourself worshiping God even though you don’t really know much about Him.
You end up going through the motions; sitting down, standing up, or bending down on your knees.
A lot of physical maneuvering and pain are performed in the name of worshiping God.
This type of religion is what Jesus objected to in His criticism of the Pharisees.
Matthew 23:26-28 reads,
“Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
“For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
What is the fruit of our worship? It should bring us closer to God, to glorify Him.
3. Emotional Worship
Do we raise our hands to God, or to be noticed?
Before we think about it, we can find ourselves trying to impress others on how spiritual we are by the way we worship.
Or, we may criticize the worship music because it doesn’t make us feel good emotionally.
The key to worship is that the Church be edified and led to glorify God.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:26, “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”
Here’s a tip: it’s not the yearning to feel good, it’s the learning of how good God is.
4. Inspired Worship
How about worship that inspires you to be more thankful, more loving, more prepared to serve God, and help others?
This is inspired worship.
You don’t have to work it up. The Holy Spirit brings it. You can, however, prepare your heart and mind through prayer, and enter into worship with an attitude of gratitude.
Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”
The Road to Adoration
Can we say that we truly adore Jesus?
The road to this response can have many twists and turns. But, if we stay on course and keep our eyes fixed on Him, we can be led into His throne room of grace, and find peace and joy.
May you be led into this place of peace in this new year.