Worship refers to giving honour to a superior being. In the case of Christianity, worship is giving honour and thanksgiving to God. The key word in this statement is ‘giving.’ Often, we think that worship is first about us receiving something (e.g. a feeling), and if that box is ticked, then we can give to God. On the contrary worship is first about God and giving honour and thanks to His name, in response to our relationship with him. As W. Robert Godfrey states
“Worship is not only an approach to God, but it is also a sanctifying and shaping experience for us as Christians. That’s why it is so crucial for us to get worship right.”
Worship is not relegated to a 15-minute timeslot once a week on Sunday, worship is a permanent heart attitude.
Jesus lays it out clearly for us in his discussion with the woman at the well in John 4:23-24.
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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
As Christian’s our worship in ‘spirit’ is shaped by our gratitude for what Christ has done for us (Eph 5:20). By ‘Truth’, Jesus is referring to worship of God that is consistent with the Scripture and centred on the “Word made flesh”.
In the end, a true heart of worship will ask “what pleases God”, before asking, “what pleases me.”
For more food (or ‘fruit’) for thought on this subject, check out Spirit and Truth.
Joel Bulow – Living Church Creek Road