True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the
Father is seeking such to worship Him. John 4.23
One of the key practices, or disciplines, of the Christian faith is worship. It is essential for the life of every Christian, but at the same time there are a number of misconceptions about worship. Let’s tackle those misconceptions first.
- Worship is not necessary for those who are truly in touch with God. This may be true in the most academic sense. However, most of us do not live in a theoretical world. We are in real places with real problems and temptations. Worship is crucial for us as we seek to know Christ and grow in him.
- Worship can only happen in a church. How wrong this is. We should be worshiping God every day, and in every place we are.
- Worship is an obligation that Christians must fulfill. Too many of us have a sense that Christianity is all about rules and regulations. We think that we are required to obey, required to live a certain way. We need to begin to view worship not as a rigid observance of an ancient ritual, but as a living event that refreshes and renews us.
- Worship is something that keeps us faithful to God with no benefits. This is a wide spread, but seldom discussed, opinion. Open your eyes! There are many benefits to corporate worship: fellowship with other Christians, insight into God’s word and plan, inspiration for life.
- Worship is a dead exercise that has no meaning for contemporary people. I believe that in many cases this may be true. However, if it is true it is because of the attitudes and expectations of the worshiper. God certainly does not want worship to be lifeless or meaningless.
But if there are that many things that are wrong with our attitudes toward worship, what is right about it? What can we do? What can we expect from worship? How should we approach worship?
- We should worship God as true worshipers. That is, we need to come to Christ with open, honest, expectant hearts and attitudes.
- We should worship God in spirit. This means that worship is not an exercise of the mind. It requires a commitment of the heart. There are mysteries involved in worship.
- We should worship God in truth. Integrity of heart and mind are essential for worship. Do not approach God with an eye toward impressing someone else.
I hope this is helping you get a picture of what worship can be- of what it ought to be. But let me leave you with a couple of questions. Ask yourself these questions regularly. Keep a log of how you answer. “Did God show up in worship?” “Did I notice?” I believe that if you were alone in worship, it was not God’s fault. The Scripture says that God is seeking worshipers. If we come in spirit and truth, he will meet us.