I once went to a business conference where all of us were Christian people worshiping the Lord. I found myself with about 10 or more other men down the front lifting my hands singing to God with tears flowing down my face…time seemed to stand still and I lost track of what was happening around me…it was just me and Him…worshiping…totally free, not worrying about what other people thought. Towards the end I turned around and found almost everyone else doing the same thing. It will be something I will never forget.
What is worship? The following verse is great as it is coming from Jesus himself, letting us know how to worship Him and what worship really is.
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. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Worship is with our complete being, our heart, soul and mind in love with God.
Why do we worship? When we worship we feel God’s presence, His Spirit with us. It is much different to His omnipresence, which is God being everywhere all the time. When we worship there is a feeling of closeness of being one with the father, of an intimate encounter with our creator, as if we could reach out and touch Him in the midst of worship. Once we have experienced this, it could be that nothing else could satisfy us ever again? Our Lord wants to be with us, to have a close relationship with us. Worship is one way to be close to Him on a personal level.
What part of us physically worships? What do people do to worship? What does it look like? Well there is no one way…clapping, raising of hands, sitting, kneeling, standing, lying on the floor, quietly whispering, shouting, praying, praying in tongues, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, and talking. God has created us all different and therefore we all worship in different ways. We are emotional beings, and in our emotions we express our love for Him…to worship our Lord in every way we can. King David gives us perfect example of worshiping the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind.
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes. When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would! David said to Michal, It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’S people Israel-I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor. (2 Samuel 6:14-22)
The above story shows David worshiping the Lord without any fear, dancing, shouting, and with trumpets. David played the harp, a stringed instrument. I play the guitar and I just love the way we can sing and make music to the Lord in our own way. It is between our God and us. We have to be careful how we treat and view other people, to not bring anyone down in their worship. As you see above, Michal is putting down David as being a vulgar person to be dancing with hardly anything on. What David did was between him and the Lord. Our desire is to worship the Lord, to keep our eyes fixed on Him, not moving to the right or to the left. Asaph, one of David’s worship leaders, talks about our desire for the Lord.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire beside you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)
Our worship needs to be one of great passion, a yearning for more of Him, to be absolutely lost in Him, seeking, looking, and being sold out completely in love with Jesus.