Worship: Understanding Where It Came From

January 25, 2011

Why worship? Why do YOU worship? I’m not just talking about why do you sing songs of praise or adoration, but why do you worship? I’m talking about why you present yourself to God… why you choose to worship.

Maybe to be able to answer that question, though, we need to start back at the basics. I’ve touched on it before, but let’s do it again. Let’s start 2011 off learning to grow together. Let’s take the next few weeks to really delve into what worship is and what it looks like.

Step 1: What is “Worship”?
The World English Dictionary defines worship as “to show profound religious devotion and respect to; adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine)” and “to be devoted to and full of admiration for.”

Did you catch that? Profound religious devotion… respect to… adore… devoted to… full of admiration for. Worship isn’t a song. It isn’t a word. It isn’t an act or a set range of motions or tasks. Now… that said, all those things I just mentioned can be a part of your worship. My point is, though, that Worship isn’t just one thing. Worship is a way of life. Worship is how we go through every single day giving glory or praise to something (preferably God). But the truth is we can worship anything we choose.

We can worship God. We can worship our job. We can worship our car. We can even worship our family. Let me take it one more step: It’s entirely possible that we can worship our church and our traditions, yet never truly worship God.

So let’s go back. Let’s go to scripture and figure out what worship is, what it has looked like in the past, what the basic root of true worship is.

In Exodus 24, Moses is told directly by God to, “Climb the mountain to God, you and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. They will worship from a distance; only Moses will approachGod. The rest are not to come close. And the people are not to climb the mountain at all” (v. 1-2).  As the chapter goes on, we read that God gives Moses very specific instructions as to how they will present themselves and how they will worship. There are instructions for what will be presented as an offering, how it will be presented, and so on. The next morning, Moses and the others set out to fulfill their worship, and in verse 11, it tells us that “They saw God; and they ate and drank.”

Did you get that? Not only did God present Himself to them, but they ate and drank. They fellowship with God; they commune with Him. Why? Because they were there to worship… to adore God, and to show absolute devotion to Him. The people worshipped, and God was with them.

In Isaiah chapter 6, the prophet Isaiah describes a vision he had. In this vision, he sees God sitting on His throne… high and exalted. There were Angel-seraphs hovering above God and calling back and forth to each other “HOLY! HOLY! HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! His radiance… His brightness… His excellence… fills the whole earth.” The very foundations of heaven shook as the angels were shouting this, and the whole room filled with smoke.

Sit for just a second and imagine that if you can. The very foundation of heaven shaking because of the intensity of angels worshipping God. THAT is how powerful worship can be.

Are you worshipping? Are you completely sold out to God and to the gospel? Are you plugged into a body of believers that just gives you a “fix” to get through the week, or are you choosing to come together with fellow believers and shout “Holy! Holy! Holy!” from the very depths of your being to the very God that created you?

This isn’t the last I’ll talk about why we worship; it’s simply the first post of many. Let’s get intentional, folks. Let’s worship out of true adoration and devotion, not just because it’s “what is right to do.”

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One Response to “Worship: Understanding Where It Came From”

  1. roxiebrooks said

    Brian…VERY GOOD!! I like the way you make me search my heart and come to a reason of why I worship and how I worship! I want to worship God the way the angels do, out of true adoration and devotion! Keep up the good work! I miss your posts when you are quiet for so long! Roxie

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