What is worship? We are all worshipers. We were created to worship, thus we cannot help but do so. Worship is directing our attention, our adoration, and our energy toward something. Some of us worship our bodies, some of us worship our partners, some of us worship sports, food, music, ourselves, the list could go on and on.
The truth is, I could tell what you worship by simply having a short conversation with you. Or looking at your Facebook wall. Or following you on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. Because you will naturally weave what you worship into conversations and relationships. We tend to knit our lives together with what we worship.
When worship is mentioned, people often think of church or maybe singing. Reality is, you do not have to step into a “place of worship” to engage in worship. It truly doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Wiccan, or a Mormon – If you live in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, or Germany. You are a worshiper.
I am a worshiper.
Worship is what you live. Worship is where you direct your energy.
We will naturally worship because we were created to worship The Maker. Worship is designed to be an intimate exchange between us and God; a simple expression of adoration. It is exalting Him as King, recognizing His authority, celebrating His victory, appreciating His goodness, crying out in thanksgiving, admitting our sincere interest in experiencing the very depths of His heart. The beauty of it? He responds.
If you do not want to worship God it is likely because you do not know the nature of God. He is just, He is kind, He is love, He forgives, redeems, crowns you, and satisfies you. If you do not want to worship this Maker, it might be because someone represented Him falsely. He is Love. He is Power. He is gracious and merciful.
We worship on earth, at His footstool (Psalm 99:5) and He invites us to worship Him in powerful intimacy at His “holy mountain” (Psalm 99:9)
Every day is an opportunity to walk in a lifestyle of worship – of adoration – in awe of His holiness. As we engage with Love Himself, we are able to release those around us to do the same. His Spirit of peace will follow us as you walk in worship, and powerful things will happen because He lives in our very breath of praise (Psalm 22:3). We could simply sit and breathe, with a heart of thanksgiving and openness to Him, and He will show up. Because worship is a position of the heart.
What is more worthy of our one life of glory than our Creator, the one who won us? The one who took our punishment and bought eternal life for us. The one who Loves us despite our downfalls. It should be our aim to live our life in His direction. To live heavenward. To wake up to our eternal calling. When we begin to truly engage in a lifestyle of worship, we find that we feel more alive than ever. Because we are finally stepping into our eternal calling.
Worship is an overflow of the heart.
In The Word we see people worship in a variety of ways. A King stripped down to his underwear and started dancing (2 Samuel 6), in Psalms we read about people singing and making music with instruments. David wrote poetry. There is an endless display of creativity. Then there are people who went to war. Who laid down their lives for Him. And that, too, is worship.
And now, we read in Romans 6 that we have become the very instruments. That we are now living sacrifices. Our very lives are a manifestation of worship. In worship His glory is revealed. In worship He shows up. In worship we are awakened to real life. So what if you waking up to walk the dog is worship? What if your very breath was a sign of worship? It’s all about the position of your heart. What you you living for?
I have experienced fantastic worship encounters with God at church while singing songs. I also experience amazing worship in my living room while vacuuming. Or when I get home and pick my husband’s socks up off the ground. Or when I cook dinner and do the laundry. And when I choose to sit on the couch and do nothing at all. Because I know my identity. I am a child of God and I am a worshiper by giving my life to Him. I worship Him as I act like Him and take on His character. I take on His character by beholding Him.
It might get boring and impersonal if your only conscious expression of worship toward your Maker is in a room full of people singing songs about God. In fact, to the unchurched, that might just seem weird.
Everything I do, I do to honor my God. This means as I go to work, as I drive my car, as I write my blogs, as I exercise, and as I love my husband, I position myself as a worshiper. As a thankful child of Him who recognizes her ability to release His peace and acknowledge His presence at all moments. This alone will change the world.
It is refreshing to carve out time to sit with our Creator and worship in a variety of ways. Spice things up. You know? Here are a few ideas:
1) Music – There are so many great songs out there that talk about His goodness. There are also so many love songs out there that I’ve sung to Him that have no connection to the Christian faith tradition at all. You could make up a song for all He cares. In fact, He commands us to do that! (Psalm 96:1, Psalm 98:1, Psalm 149:1, Isaiah 42:10…) He simply loves to hear you sing.
2) Soaking – This one might be a bit unconventional for some of you. But soaking is simply resting in His presence. Kind of like marinating meat. It really can be a holy nap. He loves to give us rest (Hebrews 4). Think of an old, married couple. Sometimes they may run out of words, but simply sitting together is intimate. Soaking is an opportunity to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). It is an opportunity to appreciate the simplicity of His heart. It is an opportunity to be cleansed, refreshed, restored, and breathed on by Him (Ezekiel 47:8-12).
3) Painting/Writing/Photography – God is creator and we are created in His image. We honor Him by acting in His character and letting Him speak to us through His language: creativity. You can simply paint/write/take pictures of what you feel like he is speaking (Read blog entry “You Hear Him”). Or you could just make him something (like you would make your parent something as a child back in the day).
4) Play – You are a child of Him. I don’t care how you identify yourself right now. What age. What religion. What sexual orientation. What gender. What race. At the core of your being, you are a child (Romans 6:16, Eph 4:17, Eph 5:1, Eph 5:8….) And I cannot help but think that our Daddy wants to play with us. My husband and I will schedule times to go to the park and play on the playground together as an act of worship. I will play with play dough and blow bubbles. All while enjoying the simplicity of loving God and thanking him for joy and freedom to be childlike. Perhaps for you it’s hiking, biking, or going to a water park. Sometimes being silly just breaks the ice and softens our hardened, adult hearts. Being childlike is a high calling, and play is a spiritual discipline.
5) Dancing – Have you noticed that at most spiritual services (other than some of our rigid Christian services) there is an element of dance? In 2 Samuel 6:14-22 David is so excited about the presence of God that he dances in the street in his underwear. Yeah, he offended people. But when even his family tried to stop him from doing this he said, “I will become even more undignified than this…” He was in Love. He knew his Maker’s character. David knew Him. We also see scripture reference dancing as an expression of praise in Psalm 105:4.
You are physically manifesting spiritual realities. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. Life will not stop here. Worshipping God is an adventure we were designed to step into from the very beginning.
Everything in its original form is created to praise God and bring glory to His name – that’s why he created it. Satan cannot create – He can only pervert and twist things God created. He created all things to Love and to be Loved (Colossians 1:16).
Worship can be a creative way of redeeming what the world has tried to steal: dancing, painting, writing, photography, playing, etc. One way to recognize His holy intent with His creation is by taking an everyday activity and bringing it into an intentional space so you can further discover its original intent (to bring praise to The Maker) and to practice practical ways to live a life of worship when you exit the conventional, sacred place.
Worship is NOT an attempt to earn the approval or love of God, nor it is a striving to get closer and deeper – He already earned everything for us and invited us into the deepest riches of His heart…we are just acknowledging that it is done! To view this as an attempt of earning God’s Love would be religion, which actually suppresses His glory.
Worship is simply a position of the heart. Followers of Christ should long for hearts that remain in the position of continual expression of Love and adoration of Jesus…continually making much of His name here on earth.
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” Psalm 95:6
“Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness, tremble before him, all the earth” Psalm 96:9
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs” Psalm 100:2
“Let all that I am praise the Lord, with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name” Psalm 103