Friday, October 26, 2012

Worship IV: Worship Defined

You should probably read Worship I, Worship II, and Worship III before you jump to part IV. Just click here, scroll to the bottom, and read in order.

So far we've taken a look at the most important thing...what God is looking for in worship. In this post we want to come up with a "working definition" of worship.

First, worship is a verb, an action. Worship is something we do…it’s a response. Worship is not a feeling, it is not a "thing," it’s not something you watch or something you attend, it’s an action...an act...an act of response.

We don't have to look any further than the book of Psalms to see this clearly spelled out. It's there we are told to "sing, clap, dance, give, speak of Him, lift His name, tell of his might, meditate, glorify Him, magnify Him, praise Him, walk with Him, bow down before Him" and more.

Among many other things;
  • Worship is a truth teller and truth revealer. 
  • Worship is a safeguard for our heart. 
  • Worship is a weapon to fight sin, and a defense against temptation. 
  • Worship is passionate, and worship is disciplined. 
  • Worship is spontaneous, and worship is planned. 
  • Worship is for the intellectual, and worship is for the emotional. 
  • Worship is joyful and worship is sorrowful. 
  • Worship is loud, and worship is silence. [pause] 
  • Worship IS music and singing, and yet worship is so much more… 
  • And perhaps most importantly, worship is not about us. Worship is done by us, but it is not about us, or for us. Worship is about Him, God, Jahweh…worship is for God, to God, and because of God. And God says "you worship me by worshipping Jesus."
Darlene Zschech, the worship/music leader at Hillsong church defines worship this way; "Worship is our life's response to the grandeur and magnificence of God."

So what's our working definition of worship? I like this one that I’ve pulled together from many others (Dave Williamson, Jim Kress, Louie Giglio, Darlene Zschech, Matt Redman, and more)...

"Worship is all that you are, responding to all that God has revealed Himself to be; who He is, what He has done, and what He will do."

In this definition we capture three important truths;
  1. We capture Spirit Worship:...it's all that we are 
  2. We capture Our place in Worship: We don't initiate, we respond... 
  3. And we capture Truth Worship: Truth worship is a response to who God has revealed Himself to be...
    - Who He is, (He is worthy of our worship simply for existing)
    - What He has done, (in history, and in our lives), and…
    - What He will do, (His promises that await including/not limited to, heaven) 
God reveals, we respond and that response is worship.

As Matt Redman, author of many of the songs we sing, puts it; "The key to a life of passionate and powerful worship comes from seeing God. The more we encounter Him, the more impacting our lives will be."

If this is true, that worship is a response to God’s revelation, then it would follow that the most important thing in worship is not worship at all, but God. It all starts with Him…and what we think and know about Him will drive our response.

Coming next - Who is God?

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