The Heart of Worship

God alone decides how to worship Him. He gave the command. He also gave the proper and acceptable way how to worship Him.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:24

Biblical worship is worshipping God in spirit and in truth. We worship God with a heart renewed by the Spirit of God according to the truth revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Stephen Charnock (1628-1680) in his preaching on John 4:24 entitled “Spiritual Worship”, defines worship as,

….an act of the understanding, applying itself to the knowledge of the excellency of God, and actual thoughts of his majesty.… It is also an act of the will, whereby the soul adores and reverenceth his majesty, is ravished with his amiableness, embraceth his goodness, enters itself into an intimate communion with this most lovely object, and pitcheth all his affections upon him.

Stephen Charnock (James Nichol: Edinburgh, 1864), Works, I:298.

It’s not uncommon today to see many churches providing several styles of worship in an attempt to satisfy or appease their membership (traditional, contemporary, radical/ultra worship). We see here that worshippers are divided into several groups. In this manner, man gets to decide how to worship God. But this is not in line with Psalm 131:1 which says, Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! The church dwells together in unity, not in divided groups.

Public worship has become a free-for-all where everything goes. They do this to become “relevant”. Pastors become comedians and entertainers with cheap gimmicks. By semi-dramatic performances, they make the house of prayer like a theater. They turn their service into musical displays. They exchange their temple for the theater and turn ministers into entertainers. But this is not true worship!

Biblical worship is contrary to the claim of many that to do the traditional style of worship is to empty the sanctuary. They say that, when a church commits itself to solemn and serious worship, only a few will be interested to come since our generation loves happy, ecstatic, and worshipper-pleasing worship.

The Heart of Worship

Psalms 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
Psalms 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Notice the attitude of the Psalmists above. Worship is done with reverence and humility, yet with gladness and singing. This must be the case because we worship God, not man. We worship the LORD joyfully. We have God in mind when we worship. True worship entails a bowing before God for the purpose of offering Him heartfelt homage and sacrificial service.

However as noted above, what do we observe in most of the modern evangelical churches today? This breaks our hearts since they merely pay lip service to the worship of the True and Living God. But in essence, their worship is done to please the worshippers. On the contrary, the heart of Worship is the Triune God who alone deserves to be worshipped. So we sing, I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about me? No! It’s all about Jesus!

There are different kinds of worship:

  1. Personal worship. This is what we typically refer to as personal devotion. We privately worship God, by meditating on His word and prayer.
  2. Family Worship. This worship is led by the Father as the pastor of the household. Josh 24:15b “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 
  3. Chronic Worship. This is continual worship. The Christian’s heart and mind are always in the state of worshipping God in all that he does. Rom 12:1 ….by the mercies of God… present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 
    • All places are places of worship to a Christian wherever he is, he ought to be in a worshipping frame of mind. – Charles Spurgeon (1834 – 1892) 
  4. Formal Corporate Worship. This is the focus of our new blog series.

All places are places of worship to a Christian wherever he is, he ought to be in a worshiping frame of mind.

Charles Spurgeon (1834 – 1892) 

On our next blogs, we will be dealing with the Nature, Activity, Purpose, and Attitude in Worship.

To God be the glory!

This blog post is based on our pastor’s message on How to Worship Part 1 in Bella Vista last 02/16/2022.

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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