What is Worship
Psalm 66:4 says, “the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Nature sings praises to the Creator, Yahweh. Creation worships God. And similarly, so do we as people. Humans and creation both praise the Creator. It reminds me of a professor I had that would consistently describe worshiping as “experiencing God.” To put it another way, worship is our response to experiencing God. This is powerful. This is meaningful.
So what are we talking about when we talk about worship? Realizing that worship is our response to God should change how we talk about worship. It means worship is not confined to our humanness. Worship is rooted in scripture. In the Old Testament, the writers often speak of singing to and exalting the name of God (1 Chronicles 16:23-31 and Psalm 99). Worship is something we do because it is a part of us. And because it is part of us, worship is intertwined with our lives. Worship is not confined to certain moments, it is found in our dark and light days. This means worship can be found in lament and praise.
Worship is about aligning our hearts with the Creator of all things. This requires less of us and more of God. In the song, Heart of Worship, Matt Redman articulates this perfectly. He writes,
“I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart”
God is continually searching and looking deeper than the surface (1 Samuel 16:7). God is not only looking for songs. God is looking for hearts that are fully abandoned and ready to be used to further the kingdom of heaven. God wants a life that is striving to be aligned with God’s will. God wants lives of worship. Worship is thoroughly entangled in our spirit. Worship that permeates the aperture of our mundanity. That is what worship is. Doesn’t that make you excited? It should, and I hope it does. The best part is that this is only the beginning, the surface, level 1, of what worship is.