The Church of Jesus exists for three basic reasons:
- First, we exist for God’s Pleasure.
- Secondly, we exist to edify and equip God’s people.
- Thirdly, we exist to declare God’s plan of salvation to the world.
As important as it is to “equip saints” (Ephesians 4:11-13) and to “evangelize the world” (Matthew 28:19-20) we must never forget our top priority is to bring God pleasure.
“. . . all things were created by Him and for Him” – Colossians 1:16
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”– Revelation 4:11
One of the most Scriptural and practical ways to bring God pleasure is to worship God. He deserves it; He desires it. Jesus said, “… the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks” (John 4:23 NIV). In this verse is a beautiful and practical truth. When I feel far from God, instead of striving to seek Him, I just begin to worship Him in Spirit and truth and let Him seek me! Worship brings me into an awareness of God’s presence.
What then is worship?
The Greek word for worship is “proskenuo“. It means, literally, “to turn and kiss”. It implies turning away from ourselves and turning toward our Lord in an intimate and affectionate way. It implies an emotional expression of love.
Some think that emotions are uncool, un-macho, or un-spiritual. Some feel that emotion in worship is a waste. Not so! That wonderful woman, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, gave to Jesus an anointing with spikenard. It was costly; worth about one year’s wages. She was criticized for such an extravagant act and accused of wasting it unwisely. But, nothing given to Jesus is ever a waste or unwise. Jesus was very touched by her act of worship. Worship is often costly; worship is often criticized, but worship is always comely. As Mary wiped His feet with her hair, she then took on the same fragrance of Jesus. That is what happens in worship!
How can we worship?
The Scriptures declare many ways we can worship the Lord. Let’s list a few.
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. – Psalm 95:1
“…come before His presence with singing.” – Psalm 100:2
- Clapping Our Hands
“O clap your hands, all ye people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” – Psalm 47:1
- Lifting Hands
“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.” – Psalm 134:2
- Lifting Heads to the Lord
“I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven..” – Psalm 123:1
“Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O you servants of the Lord! You who stand in the house of the Lord, In the courts of the house of our God,” – Psalm 135:1-2
- Bowing Down
“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” – Psalm 95:6
- Speaking Praise
“My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever.” – Psalm 145:21
“…shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” – Psalm 47:1
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” – Psalm 32:11
- Being Quiet and Still
“Be still, and know that I am God…” – Psalm 46:10
Scriptural worship will include these forms. Initially our flesh might rebel, but eventually our spirit will be refreshed and renewed as we do according to His Word.
In our corporate worship, let our worship be done:
- Orderly “Let all things be done decently and in order.” – 1 Corinthians 14:40
- Joyfully “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.” – Psalm 5:11
- Sincerely ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me,…’” – Matthew 15:8-9