What is Worship?
We are made to worship. We are made to fixate on something. To this object of our focus we give honor, loyalty and respect. We (and others) can identify the objects of our worship by what we think and talk about the most, where we give our best effort and resources, and what we are willing to make sacrifices for. What we worship defines our identity and our very being. A feeling of love is not even required.
Worship can be directed to anything or anyone. Most often we worship people, like our heroes, our significant others, our spouses, our parents, even our children. Some of us worship ideas, like independence, justice, prestige, comfort or security. Some of us worship activities, like our careers, our educations or our hobbies. Some of us worship things, like our bank accounts, our houses, our cars, or our collections. And if we are honest, we are always worshipping SELF. We are our very favorite objects of our own affection. Even though none of these things are worthy of so much time, thought, effort or allegiance, we worship the wrong things all the time - often without thinking about it or even being aware of it.
We are made to worship. Inevitably we will worship something. In truth, we are made to worship the Lord. Worship of the Lord is appropriate because He is worthy of our worship. Further, we do not destroy ourselves or others when we worship the One who is worthy of worship. The problem is that it is not normal for us to want to worship the Lord. In fact, we cannot worship Him in our sinful state. Worship of the Lord is only possible once we are first saved by grace through faith alone. Once our souls are brought back to life, we then have the ability to engage in true worship. Still, even for a believer true worship is a choice. Unlike worship of the wrong things, which often happens by chance and requires no thought or awareness, worship of the Lord requires us to use our minds and our wills. As we submit our minds and our wills to humility, confession, repentance and discipleship, our love toward the Lord increases. As our love increases, we will worship the Lord spontaneously, filled with the Holy Spirit. But it all begins with a choice.
Because true worship begins with a choice, the easiest way for Satan to keep us from true worship is to influence us to make the wrong choice. The first wrong choice we can make is pride. If we are convinced that we don’t need to humble ourselves, to confess and repent, then this first choice is evidence that we do not love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. The second wrong choice we can make is willful ignorance. If we are unwilling to invest the effort to learn about the Lord or to apply daily what we have learned, then this second choice is further evidence that we do not love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. If we do not love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, then our worship of Him will be stunted, mechanical… empty. Likewise, if we are not loving others as we love ourselves, we will not able to worship the Lord freely, wholly and unabashedly.
We are made to worship. True worship belongs to the Lord. True worship requires a choice. Let’s choose to worship the Lord.