Worship is the act of freely giving love to God. This forms and informs every activity of the Christian’s life. Worship can also be defined as a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual expression of awe, submission, and respect toward God. Worship is important because we have been created to worship. We are “wired for worship.” Worship is in our genetic code. Therefore, we will worship God or we will worship something else.
We worship by expressing adoration. We praise God simply for who He is. We worship by expressing thanksgiving. We give thanks for what He has done. We worship by confession. We acknowledge sin and guilt to a holy and righteous God.
There are several phases of worship. The first phase is the Call to Worship. It’s like a declaration of intent. The second phase is Engagement. It is the electrifying dynamic of connection to God and each other. The third phase is Expression which is the physical, emotional, spiritual awakening to His presence. This phase can take the form of tears, laughter, jubilation, etc… The fourth phase is Visitation when Almighty God visits His people. It is important to recognize that Visitation is a by-product of worship. We worship not just for His presence but because He is worthy. The last phase of worship is the Giving of Substance. It is when we allow the Kingdom, the dynamic reign of God, to flow through us.
However, before we form a theology over the “What’s, Why’s and How’s,” we must realize that worship is always changing. The content, the expressions, and the manifestations are always changing. If our goal is truly more freedom and intimacy then as we mature and grow so does our worship.
Even though worship is changing, it’s changing into what God always wanted it to be. God has given us a blueprint, a pattern. In Exodus 25 God tells Israel about His pattern the focal verses are verse 9 and 40. It’s a blueprint for a tabernacle. We see a New Testament reference in Acts 7:44-50. It speaks of God’s tabernacle or His dwelling place. I suggest that God’s dwelling place is a place of worship.
You can look at worship from the beginning (Old Testament) or from the other end (Heaven). The Levitical priesthood served as a copy of the heavenly. With the Holy Spirit now actively in the picture, worship on earth is to be a carbon copy of worship in Heaven. Worship in Heaven is holy. It’s expressive. It’s continual. It’s overwhelming. When we picture worship in heaven, we picture the Father! We see the Father as Jesus did. When we see a picture of the Presence, we will see a picture of the Glory. With the glory comes the substance (John 5:19 and Luke 4:18-19).
My favorite definition of worship is an over-simplistic one. Worship is simply singing love songs to the Father. Again, I realize the definition is too simplistic for some. However, I believe it is okay to find and use a simple definition as a foundational framework.
A lifestyle of worship produces an ever-expanding view of worship. As that view grows so does the definition. For instance, I am what you call a Kingdom person. I eat, drink, and sleep the kingdom. As my view of the Kingdom has matured so have my feelings toward worship. The Kingdom is an expression of God Himself. As I become more desperate for the Kingdom I become a more desperate worshiper.
It is important to stress that desperate worship has no formulas and not even a standard definition. Desperate worship is our reaction to that expression of God; His Kingdom. Desperate Worship is when we can say and live …God You’re all I need …God You’re all I want …God You’re all there is.
So let us push toward the Kingdom. Let us push toward the very heart and face of God. And let us worship desperately in the process.