Will You Worship God?
By Pastor J.D. Link
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This week I would like us to look at the subject of worshiping God. Worship is a very important part of the Christian life. Whether it be corporately in a church environment, or privately, worshiping the Lord should not be neglected.
Our worship should always be directed towards God, and Him alone. Rev 22:8-9 says “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD.” We as Christians should never worship a man, idol, or even an angel. God alone – Father, Son, & Holy Spirit – is worthy to be worshiped.
We also see in the Scriptures that God seeks those to worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:20-24). True worship comes from the heart. Coming to church on Sunday and singing some songs is not necessarily worship. That may be involved in worship, but that alone is not worship. True worship is spiritually motivated, but physically expressed. When you look at the Hebrew and Greek definitions of the word worship, it’s interesting to see that both definitions mainly consist of actions. Prostrate, stoop, bow down, fall down flat, crouch down, and kiss the hand are all physical actions. My point is this: by definition, the true, heart-felt adoration and worship of God involves physical demonstration of the spiritual motivation. Let’s look into The Word to see some examples.
In Exodus chapter 4:31, it says when the children of Israel heard they were going to be delivered, that they bowed their heads and worshiped. When you bow your head to pray at the supper table, or any time you pray, that is an act of worship. You are acknowledging God as creator and provider, the One who answers your prayers. Bowing our knees is also an act of worship (Eph 3:14), and in fact the day is coming when every knee will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 14:11, Phi 2:10). I would much rather humble myself and bow willingly today, than remain in my pride, and bow against my will on judgment day.
Psalm 47:1 says, “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” We can worship God by clapping our hands, or giving Him a shout of praise. Obviously in a church service things should be done decently and in order (1Cor 14:40), but as Christians, we should have the liberty to worship God as we are motivated, as long as it is Scriptural; and as long as it is God who is getting the attention and glory, and not a person.
Lifting up our hands is another way of worshiping God. Ps 134:2 tells us to lift up our hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. Ps 63:4 says “Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name (also see Ps 141:2, Ps 143:6, & 1Tim 2:8). We should not be compelled to lift our hands to God, but we should also not be ashamed to, if our heart desires to do so. Let us worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Other forms of worship are prostrating yourself, which means laying flat on your face, as we see in Lk 5:12; and even dancing, as we see in 2Sam 6:14-15. I know that’s not very “dignified”, but King David said he would become even more undignified than that for His God. Remember, David was called the man after God’s own heart. You don’t have to dance, but don’t despise it, like David’s wife did. God was not happy with her (2Sam 6:20-23).
Don’t worry about what other people think. It only matters what God thinks. If your adoring your Savior, and want to lift your hands to Him; clap your hands; fold your hands; bow your head; bow your body; lay prostrate; dance – do what you do as unto the Lord, decently and in order. These things shouldn’t be compelled, nor should they be forbidden. Just make sure your heart is right, and that your not putting on a show on Sunday morning, and taking attention off of God, and putting it on yourself. God seeks for us to worship Him, and He alone is worthy of our worship. Let us truly worship and adore our Lord from our hearts, and may we have the liberty to express our love for Him as the Spirit leads us. Selah.