Let’s talk about worship for a moment. As Christians, we are raised up and taught that worship occurs on Sunday or Wednesday during the worship part of service when there’s music playing and someone leading us in worship. Or perhaps in the car with your favorite worship song. We aren’t taught how to worship the Lord with our hearts. We were taught to follow a program, but a program isn’t what Jesus said He was looking for.
Jesus said that the day would come when the true worshipers would worship in spirit and in truth. There is no program to worshiping in spirit and truth. This kind of worship is intimate, personal, and radically different than singing some worship songs that give you goose bumps. This kind of worship can’t be led by a worship leader.
Wait. What’s wrong with worshiping to music? Absolutely nothing. In fact, music serves its purpose in many areas of worship. It’s just that true worship isn’t activated by music. It isn’t activated by someone else. It’s activated by your deep desire for the presence and glory of the Lord. Music can compliment and even open dimensions of Heaven, but true worship begins not with a note played but with the condition of the heart.
So let’s talk about the condition of your heart. The condition of your heart is determined by your desire for the Lord. If there is anything you desire more than Him, then the condition of your heart can be tarnished. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t fighting a stronghold. It means that even in the midst of your stronghold, you desire the Lord more than the stronghold and you are willing to keep fighting until you are free from that which is keeping you from a deeper relationship with Father. This is the kind of desire that is found in deep, unconditional, childlike love. In the midst of whatever you’re facing, are you pursuing God first or are you pursuing an answer, an object, a circumstance, a person, or anything else other than God? If you are, then you are operating in idolatry, and you need to do a heart check. A pure heart doesn’t pursue anything more than it pursues God.
How do you worship, I mean really worship? Well, think about who God is to you and what He has done for you. Begin to express that out loud. Keep doing it. Don’t stop. This causes your mind to begin to focus on God. It won’t be long before your heart will follow suit. As you do this, there comes a time when your mind, heart, and spirit begin to worship in unison. That’s the beginning of worshiping in spirit and in truth.
Perhaps as you’re reading this, you’re thinking something like, “I can’t do that! Someone will hear me! They’ll think I’m crazy or a fanatic!” That thought process is a whole other issue that we will deal with in a different post. For now, until you become comfortable worshiping out loud, do this in your private prayer time. If you don’t have a daily private prayer time, you need to make this a priority habit. More on the importance of daily personal prayer time on another post.
For now, focus on building a relationship with Father through honest, true worship. Think of it like this: you have a relationship with God, and you need to cultivate that relationship. Relationship experts relate how all good relationships have a mutual positive exchange. The parties spend time together and offer affirmations to each other. This helps build trust and intimacy in the relationship. Well, the same God who designed relationships to work this way is after the same relationship with you.
Worship is that time you spend with God speaking out affirmations of who He is and what He has done for you. The more you enter this kind of worship, the more you begin to trust Him. True worship leads you to a place of intimacy with Father that you won’t get in any other way.
I’ll do a follow up post, but for now, begin to practice worshiping. No one can really teach you how to do this. It’s something you have to learn to do. Practice this. Yeah, it may be uncomfortable at first, but soon, you’ll find that you are stepping into it and there’s nothing like it.