“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
What is worship? What is praise? We use these words constantly in church and the Christian community, but have you ever thought about what they mean?
I personally struggled for a long time on how I should worship God. By singing in the choir? Playing piano for Him? Saying “amen” to the preacher? Raising my hands when I feel the Holy Ghost? Shouting? Dancing? Clapping my hands? All of these seem like fair ways to worship, but are any of them the one, true way to worship?
I believe the answer lies not in any one of these, but in a beautiful mix of all the wondrous ways God moves in our lives. Christ tells us to worship the Father in spirit and truth. How can I worship in the spirit if I am not of the Spirit? How can I worship in truth if I never study truth?
To worship in the Spirit means that whatever the Holy Ghost impresses on my heart to do for His glory, I do it. Merriam-Webster defines worship as “reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence,” with reverence being “honor or respect that is felt for or shown to (someone or something).” How better to honor God than through obedience?
I propose that worship is not merely what you do on Sunday morning; worship is the continual act of submission to the Father’s will through obedience to the Holy Ghost in accordance with the truth of His word. Worship can be your vocation. Has God called you to be a doctor? Then your exercise of that gift, performed with constant prayer and thanksgiving, is an act of worship. Yes, examining a broken toe can be worship! The difference between worship and “everyday life” is that worship continually acknowledges the One who created and sustains all things, including the task you are presently performing, while “everyday life” subtly hints at the material, physical aspects of existence to the exclusion of the One who is overseeing each moment of time.
We are not called to solely worship God in church. While it is essential that we do so as the body of Christ, the traditional forms of praise—like singing hymns or raising our hands—are not the only ways we can worship God. Singing to Him continually in our hearts, uplifting His name in conversation with others, and simply performing the tasks that He has given us to do are all forms of worship of the One True God. Broaden your understanding of worship. Let God show you all the wondrous ways you can magnify Him in your life.