What does the Bible mean to you?
Why do we worship?
So … what is worship? It is where God’s people meet their God. It is not localised, it doesn’t need to be in a specifically ordained location, because God is everywhere.
And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6:3)
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios from the Gospels. Firstly we look at the reaction of Peter and the disciples after witnessing Jesus walking on the water.
Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:33)
Did they whisk out a washboard and a penny whistle from their robes and beat out a rousing chorus? Then there’s the blind man who was healed by Jesus with a lump of mud.
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him. (John 9:38)
Did he belt out a Psalm or two, accompanied by his parents, acapella-style? Probably not.
To get to the very heart of worship we need to understand the very heart of God. What does He want from us? This is simple and familiar:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:34-38)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.(Romans 12:1)
These may seem to be cherry-picked verses, but there are many others that I could have chosen that support the theme that God wants us to love Him and use all that He has given us, in worship back to Him. Instead the institutional Church, in its Greek thought-patterns, has transformed “worship” from a verb (a doing) into a noun (a thing). Or, more specifically, from a function to a form. Worship has become a packaged entity, even existing as a genre of music that exists as downloads or on metal discs.
… Now let’s move into a time of worship …
Eh, aren’t we already worshipping God? Is God just sitting there waiting for that first guitar chord to be struck, so that He can relax in the warm glow of receiving worship from a collection of vibrating tonsils?
There’s no doubt that worship leaders and songwriters have the best of intentions and are using their God-given gifts, but the problem is in the whole concept of considering “worship” as an entity, divorced from He who is to be worshipped. It is form replacing function. The function should always centre on God Himself and consider what He asks of us in our worship to Him.
To love Him and use our mind, body and soul in worshipping Him.
This is not only about singing choruses, though, of course, that is one expression of worship, if done properly with the best of intentions. But it’s not the only expression.
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp