How To Worship God
By Pastor J.D. Link
Psa 100:1-5 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. (2) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
These two facts stand sure: God ought to be worshipped, and His Word tells us how to do it. What is worship? The Hebrew Word means: to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): – bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship (Strong’s). The Greek is much the same: 1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence 2) among the Orientals, especially the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence 3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication. (Thayer’s)
Notice, these are verbs. Worship is something done, not something known. It starts in the spirit; is joined with the soul; and expressed in the body. The whole being is involved; every faculty devoted. The spirit; mind; will; emotions; heart; voice & physical body.
Why do we worship God? (vs. 3 & 5) 1. Because He is God 2. Because He created us. 3. Because we are His people 4. Because He is good 5. Because His mercy is everlasting 6. Because His truth endures to all generations. Number one alone is sufficient reason, but many are given. God should be worshipped, simply because HE IS.
How do we approach unto God? (vs.2 & 4) 1. With singing. (Psalms- a song book – is the biggest book in Bible) 2. With glad service. 3.With Thanksgiving. 4. With praise. The picture given is that of the Temple. Heading toward the Holy of Holies, we first enter the gates with thanksgiving. Then, through His courts, we praise Him. Then, in the most holy place, we worship Him. It’s been said: “Thanksgiving acknowledges God’s goodness; Praise, His greatness; and worship, His holiness.”
What are some Biblical expressions of worship? 1. Shouting (Jos 6:16, 20; Ps 5:11, 32:11, 35:27, 132:9). Do you want walls to come down in your life? Shout! Do you trust in the Lord? Shout! Are you righteous through faith in the blood of Jesus? Shout! Do you favor God’s righteous cause? Shout! Are you a Saint (born again)? Shout! Shout, don’t scream – you’ll hurt your throat and ruin your voice. Shout out God’s praises and promises on a regular basis. It blesses God, and in return, it blesses you.
2. Lifting up of the hands (Ps 63:4, 119:48, 134:2, Heb 12:12). It’s not just lifting up your hands, but your heart must be into the physical action (Lam 3:41). We must worship God in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). Our spirit wants to praise God. We must get our soul and body in unison with our spirit, and allow our spirit to worship God with our soul and body (Ps 103:1). Let us not quench the Spirit. Let us yield to the Spirit, and biblically express our worship of God. Not just in the corporate setting of Church, but in our prayer time everyday.
3. Clapping the hands: (Psa 47:1) “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” God enjoys our heart-felt hand clapping. 4. Bowing or kneeling (Ps 95:6, 2Ch 6:13, Dan 6:10, Eph 3:14). If you are physically unable, God knows your heart; but if able, time on your knees before God can enable you to stand before any man.
5. Bowing the head (Ex 34:8, 2Ch 20:18). This can be standing or kneeling, with chin to the chest or forehead to the ground. The point again is the heart attitude behind the act. The heart must be bowed with the head for it to be genuine worship.
6. Prostrating (1Kin 18:39, Lk 17:16, 5:12, Ezk 44:4). This is literally as low as one can go in humility and worship and reverence to God. Flat on your face before your Maker is the best place to be. 7. Dancing (2Sa 6:14-15). David – the man God said “he is after my own heart” (Act 13:22) – danced before the Lord with all his might. God smiled upon him, but judged his critical wife. She was the stuffy, religious type who thought dancing before God was undignified. She suffered God’s judgment. Don’t criticize the expressive worshipper. God loves it.
We ought to care about what pleases God, not men. We ought to care what God thinks, not man. Decently and in order does not equal stoic and rigid. We ought to be filled with the Spirit, and sing to God in our hearts, and out loud for our brothers and sisters to hear (Eph 5:18-20). A church full of people singing in unison heart felt praises to God; and the freedom and unity of spirit to fully express their love and worship – is about the closest thing to heaven we can experience here on earth. This doesn’t mean we should “put on a show”, but only that there should be freedom and acceptance for the biblical expression of worship.
One last point: the Holy of Holies in Heaven is a perpetual worship service. I don’t know why the twenty-four elders (representing all the redeemed) have thrones, because they spend all their time on their face worshipping God (Rev 4:8-11, 5:8-10, 14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4)! If we aren’t to seem like foreigners when we get there, we should start practicing for eternity now. Selah.