What Is Worship?
Open Your Bible
Deuteronomy 6:13-14, Isaiah 40:18-31, Matthew 14:22-33, Joshua 24:14-15, John 4:21-24
I was five years old, standing with my mom and brother in a pew near the front of the sanctuary. We were singing a hymn and I had my eyes closed, my hands held in front of me with my palms facing up as if carrying an invisible tray. This is my earliest memory of worship.
I didn’t know to call it that. I was just responding to the reality of who God showed Himself to be. Somehow—maybe through the Scripture read from the pulpit or a truth proclaimed in that hymn, or maybe through whispers from the Holy Spirit to my heart—I caught a glimpse of God, big and strong and holy, but also good and loving. I felt connected to Him, like I knew Him and He knew me. It didn’t matter that I was small; I knew right then that I was His, and my heart responded in kind.
That moment in my memory marks the beginning of a lifelong journey of worship, of learning to respond to God with all of myself. There are times this resembles that day in the church pew, my heart swelling in worship as the pipe organ plays and the congregation sings. More often it takes a subtler form, a different shape of surrender for each circumstance and season. Sometimes my worship is misplaced; like a train without tracks, I give my awe and reverence to something other than my Creator.
Scripture makes it clear that we are to worship nothing and no one other than the one true God. He is the only one worthy of our worship.
“To whom will you compare me,
or who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
Look up and see!
Who created these?
He brings out the stars by number;
he calls all of them by name.
Because of his great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.”
But if worship is indeed more than singing on Sunday morning, what is it? Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that true worshipers worship “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). How do we worship with a heart tuned to the Spirit of the Lord and tethered to the truth of His Word?
These are the questions we will explore in this study of what it means to worship God. Each day we will read about an aspect of worship from Scripture, spending time reflecting on what it looks like in our lives. While these two weeks will not give us an exhaustive look at the topic of worship in the Bible, our prayer is that we’ll walk away with a fuller understanding of what “worship in spirit and in truth” means for us and the God who made us.
Like that little girl with hands stretched out, I am still learning how to worship. Join me as we learn together, and may our lives reflect more of God’s goodness and glory as a result.