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, what we worship is made obvious through our conversations. Through our Facebook walls. Through our Twitters, our Snapchats, through our Instagrams. Because we naturally weave what we worship into conversations and relationships. We tend to knit our lives together with what we worship.
Worship is what we live. Worship is where we direct our 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 we lack the desire to worship God, it is likely because we do not know the nature of God. He is just, He is kind, He is love, He forgives, redeems, crowns us, and satisfies us. If we do not want to worship this Maker, it might be because someone misrepresented Him to us.
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 we 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 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.
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.
We read in Romans 6 that we have become the very instruments or worship. That we are living sacrifices. Our very lives are a manifestation of worship.
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.
Everything I do, I do to honor 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.
Here are a few ways I enjoy worshiping –
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. We could make up songs 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 us sing.
2) Soaking – This one might be a bit unconventional for some. 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. I simply paint/write/take pictures of what I feel like He is speaking (Read “You Hear Him” for more on hearing God’s voice). I also sometimes just make Him something (like I used to draw artwork for my parents as a child).
4) Play – I am a child of God. At the core of our beings, we are all children (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. I will play with play dough, blow bubbles, play on playgrounds, and color. All while enjoying the simplicity of loving God and thanking him for joy and freedom to be childlike. Perhaps for some 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 – 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. In doing so, he offended people. But, even when his family tried to stop him from dancing barely clothed 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.
We are physically manifesting spiritual realities. We are spiritual beings having human experiences. 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 we can further discover its original intent (to bring praise to God) and to practice practical ways to live a life of worship when we 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!
“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