7 June 2013 by Robbin Khoo-
What is Worship?
Right at the very beginning of this 3-part article, let’s just get it pinned down immediately – WORSHIP is NOT about music, musical performance or singing. It’s not just meant for the skillful and specially anointed. It is about the very CORE of one’s Spiritual Journey in Faith. It is about the pursuit of God in adoration and in honor. It is about getting into this communion with our heavenly Father, and engaging Him in thanksgiving and in praise. Simply, it is THE process through which we make contact and “connect” with our Creator, the God we serve, our Abba Father.
Sure, the music and songs are pleasantries in which we immerse ourselves when we go into worship and often, feel good about it. But let us not miss the point here. It is God who gives us the peace and the joy in worship and NOT the nice music and songs we sing. The music and songs are mere expressions of worship.
As it is, worship is for everyone…the entire church. It is a process through which we can express ourselves to God with our hearts, minds, souls and strength.
Do we only worship God through singing?
We must get away from this very shallow understanding of true worship. Taking the lesson learnt from Abraham in Genesis 22, where he “obeyed God without holding back”…surely this is the very “Heart of Worship”. In John 4:24, it is said that “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth”. As in all His creation, we were created to delight and fulfill Him…through worship and prayers…focusing upon God and His priorities. Through worship, we then enter into the spiritual realm to honor and proclaim the glory of God and His victory on the Cross at Calvary.
the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Why do we worship God?
It is not uncommon to come across questions like:
“..do we worship God only in church?”
“..what is so important about worshipping God?”
“..in the early days, believers just prayed…?”
“..what good does it bring to worship God?”
“..so how do we really worship God?”
“..in the first place, does HE want us to worship Him?”
Of course He does. We were created first in the likeness of Him, for His Will to be fulfilled, for His delight and pleasure, for His love and grace to be poured unto, so that His works can be complete, and He can sit back and revel at His entire creative piece of art in perfection.
And therefore, YES…we were meant to worship Him and not only in church or home cell groups, for wherever we are, we shall be standing on a definite piece of His Kingdom.
So, why is it so important that we worship God? It is because this is the very single purpose why we were created in the first place. It is for this single purpose life was breathed unto us. We who are here in this living world have been given the privilege to live a life, to worship Him in ALL that we do. Everything that comes along which fills the space and time in our lives, whether in church or at home or in the workplace, must be recognized as opportunities given by God to each of us, to fulfill our destiny…our purpose in life…to worship Him.
How then does God want us to worship Him?
In ALL that we do, we shall do with all our hearts, our minds, in Spirit and in Truth. That is exactly how God wants us to worship Him. It’s not just about singing and music. It goes beyond and across the boundaries to every other circumstance we are placed into. It envelopes the very mold of who we are expected to be, what we are, and what we do. In short, it is about our “being” and not about our “doing”.
The Lord our God, expects us to be a consistent “representation” of who He is. REPRESENTATION here means to present, again and again. Through our “being” a believer and child of God, the world must “see” Him in us. People who encounter us must walk away, feeling touched by the Greatness of God and the Grace of God.
“I hope people would walk away from my music, knowing the greatness of god and his grace, which is just such an indescribable character of who God truly is”
Why are some people apathetic towards worship?
Worship is something that must first come from “within”. It is not about any influence that comes from the surroundings, set ups, performances or external environment. It is NOT about how the circumstances around us bring us into the worship of God. Perhaps the environmental factors of influence do add value and might influence the state of our well-being, and bring us into this “connection” back to God. But true worship is about being constantly “connected” to God, in all we do…at all times…no matter the circumstances.
Therefore, unless and until such understanding is in place, there will continue the grunts on how the singing and music is “not my type”; the songs are “unfamiliar to me”; the musicians are “not good enough”; and so on. Let us be fully aware that forces of evil stand constantly in readiness to draw us away from God with their influences. When we start to complain, grunt, groan and reject the beauty of Worship, which is God’s creation to allow us to “connect” with Him, we are automatically drawn away from Him. When that happens, we are like strayed sheep vulnerable to be pounced upon, as we risk falling into the pits of darkness.
So what good does it bring us to worship God?
Let us re-visit Deuteronomy 6:4, when Moses set down for the Israelites how they are to love their God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Our worship of God is directed by our love for Him; as we love, so we worship. Again in Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27, Jesus further expanded this expression to “mind” and “strength”. To worship God in spirit and truth is to love Him with heart, soul, mind and strength.
True worship must be “in spirit,” engaging the whole heart. Unless there’s a real passion for God, there is no worship in spirit. At the same time, worship must be “in truth,” that is, properly informed. Unless we have knowledge of the God we worship, there is no worship in truth. Both are necessary for satisfying God-honoring worship.
Spirit without truth is a shallow, emotional experience. Truth without spirit can also become dry and passionless and risk running into a form of joyless state of being. What is REALLY relevant and important is to have a thankful appreciation of God informed by Scripture and a constant “connection” with Him in joyous worship. The more we know about God, the more we learn to appreciate Him. The more we appreciate Him, the more meaningful our worship. The more meaningful our worship, the more God is glorified.
And so…worship is all about our “Journey of FAITH” to love and glorify God, our Heavenly Father the Creator. And through our true worship of Him, His radical grace shall always be sufficient for us.
Stay tuned for ABOUT WORSHIP (Part 2), The Spiritual Journey
NOTE: This is a 3-part article about Worship. Part 1 talks about “What is Worship?”, what it truly is. Why and how does God want us to worship Him and what good does it bring us to worship God? Part 2 explains why and how we can experience spiritual growth through Worship, and Part 3 provides a brief guide in summary on leading worship and helping others to grow in faith.
ABOUT AUTHOR: Since coming to the Lord in 2005, Robbin stumbled across an entire new world of music, the Christian Contemporary Music (CCM). The Lord's plan for Robbin's journey in worship was just about to begin. And so by 2007, he was already leading worship in his home cell group. With a God-given passion for music, he found strength in the Lord and perseverance to diligently serve in this role week-in and week-out over the last five (5) years with only some sparing moments of nonavailability. God has since expanded his horizon where he now regularly leads worship in his home cell group, in an FGB (Full Gospel Businessmen) Chapter, a corporate Christian Fellowship group and also as a choir / singing member of the Resonate team, the resident worship team at DUMC (Damansara Utama Methodist Church). By the grace of God, he also had the privilege to be called to serve in weddings and funeral wakes. And his journey continues….
IMPORTANT: This article is written from the personal experiences,beliefs, thoughts, learning and views of the writer through his personal journey in faith and does not necessarily represent the views of ChristianityMalaysia.com nor reflect the opinion of the editorial board of ChristianityMalaysia.com. Readers are to exercise wisdom in prayer and in the understanding of this article. The sole purpose of this article is to share and elevate knowledge and understanding in the faith of Believers as well as Non-Believers.
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