What if worship is more than just singing a song with lifted hands? Could worship happen by bringing a friend a meal, playing a game with your family, volunteering at church, or even in your workplace?
I spent the majority of my life going to church, or a “worship” service, without ever thinking twice about the meaning of worship. Scripture is very clear that we are called to worship, and to worship God alone. In Exodus, God refers to himself as a “jealous” God and commands his people to worship Him alone. The book of Psalms is filled with songs, prayers, and poems specifically emphasizing the importance of worship. Psalm 29, “worship the Lord in splendor of His holiness.” Psalm 95:6, “Let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord.” I find it to be no accident that this is the largest book in the Bible. God loves us deeply and he desires our praise and worship.
So what does worship look like when we leave the four walls of the church? In Romans 12, Paul tells us clearly that the act of true worship is to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” When we find ourselves in worship, we won’t be focused on ourselves. The two greatest commandments are to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. When we start living those out, we are at the heart of worship and worship takes place in all aspects of our lives.
In John 4, Jesus has a very unique interaction with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. In short, one of the things that Jesus discusses with her is worship. He says to her, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth.” This suggests to me that worship is more than just an external action or the giving of our bodies. It is a heart condition as well. God is concerned about our whole being. He desires for us to be transformed from the inside out.
God not only desires our worship, but he is worthy of our worship. For us to truly grasp all that worship is, we need to experience the transforming power of God’s Spirit within us. When we reach that place, worship becomes our natural response.