There is much to say on the topic of worship because God created us to worship. It is intrinsically not only a part of our identity but defines our very soul. Everyone alive is living to worship something, whether it is another person, ourselves, a created image or ideal, or the Creator God who made all things seen and unseen and rules over all. This is the God that Christians worship. The One who is not created but is. The One who was before time, space and matter whose words spoke everything into being and breathed life into mankind.

Worship is not primarily something we experience. It is far different from the exuberance and exhilaration we experience at music concerts, inspirational talks or taking in the thrill or beauty of the world. It is not just good vibes and positivity and not primarily about doing something to gain something. And worship is not something you spectate although you may observe people worshipping.

Worship is primarily something you do. Something you give. It is a response. It is an offering. A sacrifice. Why? Because of who God is. If you know who God is, your whole life will be given in worship to Him.

Heart

No matter how talented and experienced you are in the act of worship, if your heart’s not in the right place, your worship will be pointless. In the simplest sense, worshipping God is loving God. And how and what we love most will determine what we genuinely worship. Worship begins in our hearts. To worship, you need love for God. It’s a simple thing but also complicated at times.

The heart can change and our emotions can change. Under different circumstances, our hearts can feel on fire or cold as ice. Our hearts can be hardened like granite or be open as the wide open ocean. What helps us keep grounded is the right knowledge of God

Mind

If we do not have the right knowledge of God to love God, we might not be loving God actually. We may be loving and worshiping just our own idea of God. This is why we need to be grounded in Scripture.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 

Without Scripture, there is no assurance, or confidence of things hoped for. There is no conviction, or in other words proof of things not seen. Scripture gives us the certainty to stand in our faith. We may not know why or how things are or will be but we can stand in faith with certainty that God is in control and that He is good. And in that certainty, we are led to worship God with boldness and confidence no matter the circumstances of our lives. We can remain faithful and consistent and powerful in our worship.

No matter how well intended and honest and pure our worship is, if we do not accurately know God through his Word, we will have trouble giving Him proper worship. There is such a thing as proper worship. God has not left us to just come up with good ideas on how to worship him. He gave us his Word and gave us direction by it. 

And this is hard work. To study who God is through God’s Word and learn what the Bible teaches is hard work. Worship is not something that we do only when we get the right feeling. But at the same time, worship is not something we can do simply by having a good heart and a good knowledge of God.

Spirit

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

To worship God properly, to worship God in the Spirit and in truth, you must be indwelt with the Holy Spirit. And to receive the Holy Spirit, you must be saved. Salvation is a prerequisite to true and proper worship. You need to have the confession of faith in Jesus and a repentance of sin, a turning away from sin and turning to God. And the more you understand what you were saved from and who it is who saved you, the more rich your worship will be.

The Apostle Paul commands us in Romans 12 to offer our lives as a living sacrifice and that this would be our true and proper spiritual worship. What does it mean to offer our lives as a living sacrifice? It means to die to ourselves and live for Jesus. It is worth noting that he continues in his letter right after this by describing what it looks like to live for Jesus and highlights our unique role in the body of Christ and our respective churches and then also highlighting the marks of a true Christian.

The person who is worshiping in Spirit and in truth will display a life that reflects the heart, character and Spirit of Christ and fulfill the desires of God in building up the body of Christ and call people into the new realities of their relationship with God.

An Invitation

Join me every Monday and Wednesday at 11AM ET for a zoom hangout to start building habits of faith that will guide you for the rest of your life! Each week will be a different topic or habit to learn, discuss and share with other college students and young adults. Follow the link below for our zoom meeting.

Follow me on Instagram @pastorjdryu and visit @commonsnyc for other fun hangouts they’ve prepared for college students throughout the week.

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