True Worship

Mike Miller




Prayer List


Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. - Matt. 4:10

When we talk about worship most people have about the same line of thinking as the woman of Samaria in the fourth chapter of John. They think of religious acts and ceremonies, or a certain place. They think of prayer or attending a church service. They think of emotional religious experiences or being awestruck by the grandeur and elegance of a fancy church or sanctuary. Just like the woman of Samaria, they worship they “know not what.” All these things are simply substitutes for real worship.

The first definition of worship is to adore. To adore is “to love in the highest degree; to regard with the utmost esteem, affection and respect.” (Webster 1828) Webster also defines worship this way: “To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; …” This meaning is also very clear in Matthew 22:36-40 when Jesus is dealing with a young man who appears to be seeking God:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  - Matt. 22:36-40

Worship is an expression of our highest love. If you really love God you not only CAN worship Him, you WILL worship Him. Many people try to find God’s favor without giving their heart to Him in love. This is false worship. If you do not really love God then it is impossible for you to truly worship Him, because true worship is an expression of love. Most people do not really love God – they only look at God as a means to get what they want. So they use religious acts, ceremonies, and even sacrifices in an attempt to persuade God to give them what they want. Their motive is selfish. They want God’s favor and blessings on their life, but they want to buy it with their phony worship.

God is not interested in that kind of worship. Read this passage of Scripture from Isaiah 1 to see what God thinks of phony worship:

To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Isa. 1:11-16

God wants man to LOVE him. Jesus said that this is the GREAT commandment. God wants our heart – not just our phony lip service. He wants our heart – not JUST our labor, or our support of His work. True worship will produce service, and it will be willing service, done with a glad heart, because its motive is love.

We worship what we esteem and value most highly. Jesus said that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also. God wants to know that He holds the first place in our hearts, thus the first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

So people worship what they love the most – and they lose themselves in it. When you really love someone you forget about yourself. You lose your will in theirs. You are more interested in their welfare than in your own – unless you still love yourself more than you love them. If our love for others can command such self-denial, how much more should our love for God cause us to serve Him?

Public worship is important because it establishes in the minds of others that we love God. It establishes our hearts also, because we have made a public commitment and that tends to settle our hearts and minds on the course of our lives. The husband and wife who hold hands in public and make it plainly understood that they love one another and are committed to one another are not usually the ones that the adulteress or adulterer will go after. So it is with public worship of God – when we make it plain to others that we love God it sends a message to all the people and all the devils that would try to pull our hearts away from God. It separates us from the world, which is another subject to deal with.

But private worship is also very important to the child of God. There must be private times of intimacy with God. This is not a time when you light candles and count beads. True worship is simply losing yourself in loving God. True worship is not begging God for all your needs. True worship is when you just sit still and adore and praise God from a sincere heart. Abraham’s servant stopped everything, bowed his head and worshipped God when he saw that God had led him to Rebecca. You aren’t worshipping God as long as your mind is occupied with other things. You have to come apart from the world and the cares of life to truly worship God. It is a wonderful thing that we have this privilege and ability to worship God this way. It is a place where there are no cares of life. There are no dangers or troubles. You can forget all those when you are truly worshipping God. True worship is when you just lose yourself in his glory and goodness. It is when you are focused on the wonder of an Almighty God who is without fault and who is totally good in every way.

Another wonderful thing about true worship is that it is not just a one-way thing. When we truly worship God He loves us back. God responds to true worship – “The Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23) True worship is what God made us for. God is love and he made man to bestow his love upon. True worship makes this a reality for us because God reaches into our hearts and touches us. That is sure better than counting beads and lighting candles! This is sure better than serving God out of duty or with the blind hope of gaining his favor because of our good deeds and labor!

Do you truly worship God? Have you worshipped Him today? You have to truly love God before you can truly worship Him. You can’t help but love Him when you know Him. You know Him through his Word – the Bible. Seek Him with all your HEART and you will find Him. When you find Him you will love Him. Then you can know what true worship is all about.

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