Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
John 4:23-24 NIV
To worship God is to show reverence or adoration for him. Worship should be the natural response of a person who has encountered the creator of the universe; their own creator. But for some reason, worship seems to come hard for me. I look forward to ‘worship services’ with the church body and enjoy both the older traditional hymns and many of the newer choruses’. But how often do I actually worship God during these ‘worship services’? I am afraid that it is not nearly often enough. And the fault is not with the worship team.
I am afraid that my motive for ‘worship’ is all too often selfish; I do it for my own benefit, for what I get out of it. If I come away from the time recharged, then I would say that the worship experience was good. If I come away empty, then the worship experience was bad. Now I am not saying that real worship won’t impact me. But I do believe that the measure of worship should not be how I feel when done.
While I may indeed be recharged by true worship, I could also be recharged when no real worship is taking place. Meeting together with other believers, singing some catchy songs about God, and listening to his word can all change my mood and make me feel better when leaving. How often do I come home Sunday afternoon feeling good because of the morning’s experience, and have not actually worshiped the one who I claim as my Lord?
Worship is really about expressing reverence and adoration for God. He needs to be the focus of my thoughts and feelings. If I am not joining the chorus in Revelation chapters 4 & 5, falling down before the one who sits on the throne and praising him, then I am not really worshipping.
Jesus tells us in the passage at the top that true worship is a spiritual exercise. It is not just a matter of saying or singing an appropriate set of words. Worship only occurs when I fall on my face before the one who alone is worthy of my adoration, and praise him for who and what he is.
Worship for me is primarily an individual experience, even when I am surrounded by other people. And it is an experience that is not nearly common enough in my life. I long to worship more naturally. And I yearn to be able to be a part of a koinonia that can worship together, not only in song but also in prayer; that worships in spirit and in truth.
Because He is worthy!