Years ago as a young worship leader I read this quote and I have never been able to escape it’s reality, “If you will not worship God seven days a week you do not worship Him on one day a week.” (AW Tozer). I spent quite a few years trying to lead other people into ‘worship’ through music. Many of these men and women (and sometimes myself) had not made much of an effort at ‘worship’ since the previous week, yet somehow we acted as though we could flip a switch and all of a sudden encounter God.
I love the series we are in at Cornerstone right now. Last week Pastor Linn described worship as being anytime I put God in His rightful place. This means that every single moment of my life is an opportunity to worship, because every aspect of creation is under His authority, including the minuscule details of my existence. So then worship is not about being in tune through a song but being in touch with God. Worship is not praying so that I can be heard but praying to hear. Worship is not about living to get ahead but rather to give away myself for God’s glory.
If you have a minute read Psalm 95. One of the most interesting verses in this passage to me is this one:
6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
The ancient Hebrew word used here for worship literally means to bow down, as before a superior, and to give homage. So in it’s context it almost seems like this verse says Come, let us bow down and in bowing down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Do you think the writer is trying to say something here? QUESTION: When is the last time anywhere in our society you have seen someone bow down? This may be a rare event for some, in a day and age where every person is urged to look out for their own interests. Even in ‘worship’ services and in the midst of spiritual activity our position of kneeling doesn’t always adequately indicate the condition of our inward posture toward God. We can be performing ‘worship’ while at the same time have our hearts focused elsewhere on competing agendas, upcoming responsibilities, etc…
Attempts at worship that are not motivated by a heart longing for God are just that, attempts. Jesus himself called out this religious posing by quoting the prophet Isaiah in Matthew 15:8” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Singing is just from the lips, serving is just the hands in motion, and studying is just engaging your mind but worship is from the heart. However, a heart of worship will unite every moment of your life into a symphony of praise to God. This heart is established by recognizing God as the Psalmist wrote in chapter 95: He is the LORD, the Rock of our Salvation, the great God, the great King above all gods, the LORD our Maker. When you see God as this, you will bow down, you will surrender, and you will put him in his rightful place OR else you don’t really see him.
So… how are you worshiping today? Come, let us bow down in worship of our great God!