Christian Living

What Does It Mean to Worship God?

Discover How We Can Best Show the Almighty How Much We Love Him

The word worship occurs hundreds of times in the Bible. We know we’re supposed to worship God, but what does this mean? How can we best worship our Almighty Lord?

Here are some considerations:

Worship Service

Many churches call their Sunday morning gathering a worship service. I’ve always struggled with this label. In part, this is because most church services don’t seem very worshipful to me.

My bigger concern, however, is that by going to church for one hour on Sunday morning for a worship service, implies that the other 167 hours in a week are non-worship time. But this conclusion is wrong—even if that’s how many people act.

Worship Music

In most churches, about half of the worship service is devoted to music. We spend this time singing songs to God, for God, and about our relationship with him. Many churches call this worship music.

In fact, the music leader often says, “Let’s stand to worship God.”

Yet the style of music in most church services doesn’t connect with me. As a result, I find it most challenging to connect with God through their music.

Worship With Our Tithes and Offerings

Another phrase I hear from time to time is “Let’s worship God with our tithes and offerings.” This strikes me as little more than a spiritual sounding way to say, “Give us your money.”

Yes, churches need money to operate and most struggle to have enough. But the command to tithe, however, is an Old Testament one. In the New Testament we see the tithe replaced with a concept of generosity.

Yet this isn’t generosity to our local church. Its generosity to all who are in need.

Under this New Testament perspective, we don’t owe 10 percent of our income to God. It all belongs to him, and we’re responsible for how we spend 100 percent of it. This is how we can best worship God with our finances.

Bow in Worship

Most of the times we see the word worship in the Bible, it’s in bowing down in reverence.

When confronted with an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present Deity, we fall on our faces in awe. We bow low. We prostrate ourselves before our sovereign Lord. We give him our gifts (Revelation 4:9-11).

If ever we were in his physical presence, this is exactly what we would do. The same should occur when we’re in his spiritual presence too. But does it? This can happen at a church service, as well as apart from it.

In Spirit and Truth

Jesus says that true worshippers must worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

Though this may take us a lifetime to fully unpack, as a starting point I blogged that, “Real worship is about connecting with God. Doing so honestly (“in truth”) means to follow his leading (“in spirit”).

Living Sacrifices

Paul says that true and proper worship is to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). A parallel thought is when Peter says that we’re built into his spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:4-5).

Worship God in All That We Do

As we consider worshipping God with our generosity, by bowing before him, in spirit and in truth, and as a living sacrifice, the idea of worship as a holistic activity emerges. This gets at the truth of how we can best worship the Almighty.

We don’t just worship him during a Sunday church service. We worship God in all that we do in every minute of our lives. Or at least we should.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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