“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 NLT
A number of us may think of worship as merely the slower version of singing in church; the faster version called ‘praise.’ However, as you study the Bible, you would see that it is more than that. What then is worship?
The first time the word translated ‘worship’ was mentioned in the Bible, it was used to refer to sacrifice on an altar (Genesis 22:5). This is because more than singing, worship refers to the posture of the heart: one of sacrifice. It is any action that shows your response to the knowledge of God. It is a lifestyle of surrender, gratitude, and devotion to our Heavenly Father. It is a deep recognition of His greatness, His love, and His worthiness of our praise.
True worship begins with a surrendered heart, and is evident in total obedience and submission to God, coming to Him the way He desires. Just as human beings have preferences, so does God. There is a way that He wants to be served. Romans 12:1 calls it reasonable or acceptable service, where we acknowledge God’s authority over our lives and willingly offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
The Bible shows us over and again people who had a zeal for God but approached it in the wrong way (Acts 10:1-6, Romans 10:1-3). True worship begins with an understanding of God in His Word and what He expects of us which is then followed by absolute obedience. Worship is not about you, but about the One you worship. He is the creator and sustainer of the whole world, and we were created for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11).
In living a life of worship, we must recognize that it is not limited to external expressions. Singing is a beautiful way to worship, but it is merely an outward manifestation of an inward reality. Your heart’s posture of worship can be displayed in different ways: service, giving, singing, sacrifice, honour, among others.
Furthermore, a life of worship is marked by gratitude; recognizing that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). We acknowledge His faithfulness, provision, and grace poured out abundantly upon us. Gratitude fuels our worship. When we count our blessings in light of God’s goodness, our hearts overflow with praise.
Our anchor text shows us that true worship is done in spirit and truth. For you, believer, you have God’s Spirit within you, enabling you to serve Him acceptably. You must submit to the leading of the Spirit and obey the instructions that are written in the Word of God.
From today, commit yourself to a life of worship. Remember that the One you worship sees your heart. Let Him be Lord of all in your life, submit to Him, and respond with a heart of gratitude.
Bible Reading Plan: 1 Chronicles 13-16