The Heart of Worship
Published on 27 October 2020
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Worship is often defined as a feeling or expression of reverence for an ‘idol’. However, when you have a personal relationship with God—you begin to understand that there is a much deeper expression of worship than this. While we express and build our faith through prayer, singing and reading God’s Word—worship creates a spiritual connection as we step into His Presence.
It’s what we’re created for
We were made to worship God and to release the Kingdom of Heaven. We were created with wind instruments (the air in our lungs), stringed instruments (our vocal cords) and percussive instruments (our clapping hands and dancing feet). These instruments have the power to activate a spiritual dynamic that can change atmospheres. Worship has the ability to change the things that we see as it shifts our focus from our problems back towards God, in the very same way that our praise does.
These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.
The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
In the verses above, Jesus tells us that God—His Father—desires the kind of authentic worship that comes from our heart and spirit, and not just our mouth. He is looking for genuine worship which only flows from personal, intimate relationship with Him, and not just our knowledge of Him.
In the Book of Psalms, David spoke and sang about the struggles he was facing, sometimes crying out to God in agony. But regardless of how dire the situation, even in the darkest moments of his life, David always exalted God:
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
David’s authentic worship towards God came from his heart and lifestyle of worship. He was honest about his emotions and the struggles he was facing, rather than trying to be careful with God and not offend Him. David brought raw, heartfelt and honest worship that caused God to recognise him as a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Although David openly lamented, complained and cried out to God, God saw this as a desire to know His heart. Why? Because David valued and treasured God above all things. Despite his moments of immense suffering, David understood that God’s greatness, holiness, character and love towards him would never change.
David encountered God for himself and knew God personally. He had seen God bring breakthroughs in his life, time and time again, and had unwavering confidence in His goodness.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
“True Christian worship addresses God, not merely as Creator and Preserver, or as the great Lord of the Universe, but as one who is very near of kin to us, our Father, beloved of our souls.”
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord..
To Glorify God
We should worship God all the time, magnifying Him in all that we do. In fact, the word worship comes from the root words worth and ship, which, when combined, describe the act of displaying God’s WORTH. The way that our heart responds to God’s glory and beauty in worship, reflects His supreme worth in our lives. When we open up our hearts and allow Him to move, we encounter Him and are changed and transformed into His image.
But the moment one turns to the Lord with an open heart, the veil is lifted and they see. Now, the “Lord” I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit, and wherever he is Lord, there is freedom.
When we surrender and yield our hearts to God, we find freedom in His Presence—a freedom like no other. With this freedom, we find perfect peace that is not of this world but can only be found in Him.
- God is looking for genuine worship, which comes from the heart and flows from relationship with Him.
- Our worship is a reflection of WHO God is to us personally.
- Our act of worship displays God’s worth to us and is our heart’s response to His eternal greatness and glory.
- As we worship and enter His presence, we are able to find perfect peace and true freedom.
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