Worship has far less to do with a building and far more to do with daily living and the posture of one’s heart toward GOD, whether it be proud and defiant or lowly and submissive.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:21-24
The Bible is very clear as to what worship is. It’s as easy as looking up the word in Scripture. For example, “worship” and “service” are used interchangeably in the Greek, so the term “worship service” is redundant. The following are the ten words associated with the word “worship” in the Bible
GREEK (New Testament)
1. “Doxa” = to give GLORY or high esteem to One and show it through praise, honor, and glorifying Him (“Doxa” is the most used word for “worship” in the New Testament, used 168 times; it is used in every book of the New Testament except Philemon and I, II, and III John).
2. “Ethelothrēskia” = False worship; worshiping one’s own will power (“Ethelotreskia” is used in Colossions)
3. “Latreuō” = To serve (“Latreuō” is used in Matthew, Luke, Acts, Romans, Philippians, II Timothy, Hebrews, and Revelation)
4. “Proskyneō” = To “kiss the hand” or “bow before” in order to show reverence (“Proskyneō” is used in all the Gospels, Acts, I Corinthians, Hebrews and Revelation)
5. “Sebō” = To revere or worship (“Sebō” is used in Matthew, Mark, and Acts)
HEBREW (Old Testament)
6. “Cĕgid” = To bow prostrate before (“Cĕgid” is used in Daniel)
7. “`Atsab” = False worship; torturing, vexing, or flagellating oneself (“`Atsab” is used in Genesis, I Samuel, I Kings, I Chronicles, Nehemiah, Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, and Jeremiah)
8. “Hachah” = To bow prostrate before (“Hachah” is used in Daniel)
9. “Shachah” = To bow prostrate before (“Shachah” is the most used Hebrew word of all for “worship”, used 172 times, and is used throughout the entire Old Testament except in Ezra, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, and Daniel; it is also used three of the Minor Prophets but not the rest of them; the three in which it is used are Micah, Zephaniah, and Zechariah).
10. “Eusebeō” = To show reverent devotion toward (“Eusebeō” is used in Acts and I Timothy)
With so many “worship” leaders, I believe the word has been soiled in modern usage and has become an equivalent to singing songs. Worship is far more than music, although our songs must also be subjected to His Majesty’s wishes and must sound like music for a Sovereign King instead of cheap, brothel music. Music is just one subset of areas that we must devote in our hearts and lives to the LORD. While defining worship may be easy by using the Scripture, what about applying worship to our lives?
It’s easy to visit a building on Sunday, but how about making that certain decision at work for the LORD which may cost you the executive position you’ve always wanted?
Isn’t it easy to make decisions based upon what we want and then simply justify them?
Do you really worship GOD daily through every decision? How about if that means you can’t get that attractive individual at work? Or what if it costs you the executive job, clothes, modeling contract, singing contract, acting job, new sports car, mansion, high society honors, or multiple pleasures that you may desire? All our desires must be lowered to a prostrate position before Christ and His desires.
True worship is simple in definition. It’s devoting one’s life in obedient service to GOD with a humble, reverent attitude in order to give Him the glory due Him. True worship is not so easy though. It requires us dying to self and robbing ourselves of the pride and glory of our own lives in order to give glory to GOD.
- Why do those with cheap lives, music and theology shout so much about worship?
- Why do those who cry loudest for “unity” cause the most division by their “liberty”?
- Aren’t cult folk like Jehovah Witnesses more unified or serving than true followers?
- What does GOD require more than unity, service, and zeal? How about your heart?
Unity comes only when Christians are unified with the Holy Spirit.
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling.” – Ephesians 4:4
Souls can only be won when the Spirit’s power is present.
“But you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Service is worthless without love for GOD and others (including watching out for conscience). Rebellion is like witchcraft; stubbornness like idol worship. Revival comes with repentance.
“If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, says the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart.” – Malachi 2:2
“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – II Chronicles 7:14
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams … For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry …” – 1Samuel 15:22-23a
Jesus said “If you love me, keep my commandments”.
Worship and service are all about your obedience and submitting your attitudes, heart, and physical body to His desires.
Your great books, songs, service, and sacrifices are worthless unless you love Christ, and according to Him, love is shown through obedience. Those who say that matters of conscience should be thrust aside for “the Mission” show their own lack of love for Christ and their brother. Scripture is clear that we must be careful about offending even the smallest among us. Those who force others to give up their conscience for “the Mission” or who shovel them out the door of their church to bring perceived “unity” will stand guilty before Christ for their lack of love someday. That will be a somber day indeed.
And in regard to worship in our singing, let me share this in closing with you.
“Music is the magic, enchanters weave the spell, the spell’s a trance ‘the Piper’ wrought to lead the damned to hell.”
To learn upon the subject of music, be sure to visit the extensive article at this link.
“There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch” – Deuteronomy 18:10