The way we worship
Worship is for God. It is a response to God, birthed by the revelation of who He is (and who we are), and the redemption He has worked for us out of His great love. Worship is due Him and entirely for Him. Therefore our practice in worship ought never to be tempered by a quest for the praise of men or gauged by our own personal preference, but modeled after His instructions.
God’s counsel in this regard under the Old Covenant was exact. Although those elaborate rituals are no longer required, they do demonstrate that God makes the rules regarding proper worship. Furthermore, the designs He draws are ones that call us back to childlikeness – to sing feelingly, to rejoice openly, to reach worshipfully, to cry humbly, to shout triumphantly, to praise unreservedly, to applaud appropriately, to dance freely – to come before His throne with a full sense of His worthiness as well as our wonderful privilege to be invited.
In the New Testament, proskuneo (worship) carries the idea of “to prostrate oneself before God.” So humility again is at the heart of true worship. The focus here is not so much on physical prostration as on the prostration of our pride before Him. We must allow childlike brokenness and obedience, as well as thanksgiving and joy, to be demonstrated in our worship. Any human insistence on “my dignity” is unworthy; it is wispy stuff before the chabod (weight/glory) of God! Likewise, fearful reserve in the name of my cultural/personal taste must be challenged. At the same time, fleshly displays that neither flow from “spirit and truth” nor edify the corporate body have no place. May the Holy Spirit deliver us from such temptations to rationalized vanity!
Instead, Scripture reveals worship as more than an intellectual exercise just as it is more than an emotional binge. In God’s order, worship brings a person’s total being aglow with the life that the Holy Spirit imparts, enabling us to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable (pleasing, alluring) to God. Let us therefore worship God:
- With Revived Emotions – (Heart, Colossians 3:23; Romans 12:11-15)
- Shouting and clapping hands unto the Lord (Psalm 47:1)
- Praising Him aloud with the congregation (Psalm 47:1)
- Rejoicing and expressing thanksgiving (Psalm 100:1 & 4, Philippians 4:4)
- Being silent before the Lord (Psalm 46:10, Habakkuk 2:20)
- With a Regenerated Spirit – (Soul, Romans 1:9)
- Worshiping in the spirit (John 4:23-24)
- Singing spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19)
- Giving thanks “well” by the Spirit (I Corinthians 14:15-17)
- With a Renewed Mind – (Mind, Philippians 2:3-5)
- Worshiping with obedient intelligence (Romans 12:1, 2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Praying with the understanding (I Corinthians 14:15)
- Praising with the understanding (Psalm 47:6-7)
- With a Rededicated Body – (Strength, I Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Kneeling in worship (Philippians 2:9-10)
- Bowing or Raising heads (Micah 6:6-8; Psalm 3:3-4; Hebrews 4:16)
- Lifting hands (Lamentations 3:40-41; Psalm 28:2, 63:3-4, 134:2)
- Dancing with joy before the Lord (Psalm 30:11, 149:3, 150:4)
- With One Another – (Psalm 107:32, 149:1; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42; I Corinthians 14; Ephesians 3:18-4:16)