What is worship?

When I was 14-years-old I walked into a church for this thing called “Youth Group.” At this point in my life I may have gone to church on Christmas once or twice but never on a Wednesday night. I didn’t really consider myself a believer or follower of Jesus, I really didn’t really know much about him. As I walked into this youth group the first thing I saw, and heard, was a band playing. As someone learning countless Metallica songs on his guitar, the music got my attention, until I realized they weren’t going to bust out playing “Enter Sandman”. I thought to myself; why in the world are we singing songs right now? What is the point? I glanced at the lyrics, they seemed to be all about Jesus and the hope found in him. Then my glance shifted to looking around the room. I saw a couple of people raising their hands in worship and thought to myself, “do they have a question?” Unfortunately, I didn’t leave with a lot of answers and didn’t step back into a church until about a year and a half later where I eventually gave my life to Christ.

This experience has stuck with me for years because to be honest, I’m still asking myself that question; “what is the point of worship?” Now that I have 20+ years of being in ministry, mainly worship ministry, I feel like I have a better answer than when I was 14. Worship is a heart posture. In the simplest of terms, worship is ascribing unspeakable value and displaying substantial love to something. It’s the glorification, admiration, love, and honor toward something or someone and when done correctly, it’s given to God.

We all worship something, the question for you is; is it Jesus?

I ask myself this question, the quick reply is always a resounding yes but as I look deeper I feel convicted in knowing I can do better. I would highly suggest this heart check to you as well. We can do this by asking ourselves a few simple questions:

  • “What am I thinking about most?”
  • “What is getting most of my attention?”
  • “What fills me with pride, or anxiety?”
  • “Where am I seeking affirmation?”

The responses to these questions sometimes indicate that Jesus doesn’t have our undivided worship. The things that could have this worship is the last season of a good show, an upcoming vacation, a project, a worry, or a good burger. Ha, have you ever seen someone worship a burger? The point is this:

Most of us worship the creation more than the creator.

To truly believe what worship is we need to know why we worship in the first place. I really think it comes down to two things:

1. We were created to worship. Psalm 150:6 says “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” The Lord himself says to Isaiah in Isaiah 43:21 “The people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” Finally Jesus tells the Samaritan woman in John 4:23 “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.” As I said, we all worship something, everything was made to declare His praise and Jesus is looking for those of us who are worshiping the creator, as we were designed to do, more than the creation.

2. Because he is worthy of it:God created the heavens and the earth, the sea and the sky, animals and the stars, God created a beautiful world for us, for you! He created you! Before you first opened your eyes, before your Mom and Dad God knew you, God knew you (Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5). Then, he made a plan to give you an abdount life here on earth (John 10:10) and eternal life in heaven with Him (John 3:16). He did this by sending his one and only son to die for your sins. If you breathe in your lungs, you have a reason to praise, if you have clothes on your back, a roof over your head, a healthy family, you have a reason to worship. If you have food on the table and water coming out of a faucet, you have a reason to believe that he is worthy of your praise.

The outward expression of worship comes from the inward love, admiration, honor, and thankfulness that we have for what he’s done, what he’s doing, and what he has left to do. I pray for you worship wouldn’t be just a music genre, a song, a part of a church service, or some kind of performance/mood enhancement, but it would be a heart posture of praise toward an amazing and awesome God.