In many church circles, when someone makes reference to the word “worship”, it usually will conjure up thoughts and/or preconvieved notions of a crowd of people standing up in a church building collectively singing to God, sometimes singing hymns, sometimes contemporary, sometimes being lead by one person with a guitar, sometimes one person with a piano or organ, sometimes with an entire band, drums and all. Sometimes people will feel led to raise their arms, sometimes not, and that’s ok.
Typically, for a lot of people the word “worship” means – singing.
There is definitely a component of corporate worship that is biblical.
My all time favorite picture of corporate worship is described by John in Revelation 7:9-10
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
This sounds amazing…does it not?
It’s actually a beautiful thing to worship together with others.
that’s not the only way we ought to think of the word “worship”.
Worship is not just the act of singing songs to God….as awesome as that is!
Worship is a state of mind….a perspective…..an outlook on life.
Here is an excerpt from a book I just finished. It’s about trusting God in the middle of pain, adversity, or when life hurts.
Another response to the trustworthiness of God is to worship Him in times of adversity. When the initial disaster struck Job, the scripture say,
He fell to the ground in worship and said
“naked I cam from my mothers’ womb, and naked I will depart.
the LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised”
Instead of reacting against God in the time of his calamity, Job worshiped Him.
Instead of raising his fist in the face of God, he fell down before Him.
Instead of defiance, there was a humble recognition of God’s sovereignty.
God in His sovereignty had given and God in His sovereignty had a right to take away.
Worship involves a two-directional view.
1) Looking at ourselves we recognize our dependence upon God and our sinfulness before Him. We see God as the sovereign Creator, worthy to be worshiped, served, and obeyed,
2) We see ourselves as mere creatures, unworthy sinners who have failed to worship, serve, and obey Him as we should.
We deserve nothing from God but eternal judgment. We are continuous debtors, not only for His sovereign mercy in saving us, but for every breath we draw, every bite of food we eat.
We have no right before God.
Everything is of His grace.
Everything in heaven and earth belongs to Him, and he says to us in words of the landowner to the workers in his vineyard,
“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?” (Mathew 20:15)
Worship from the heart in times of adversity implies an attitude of humble acceptance on our part of God’s right to do as He pleases in our lives.
It is a frank acknowledgment that whatever we have at any given moment – health, position, wealth, or anything else that we cherish – is a gift from God’s sovereign grace and maybe taken away at His pleasure.
But God does not act toward us in bare sovereignty, wielding His power oppressively or tyrannically.
God had already acted toward us in love, mercy, and grace and He continues to act that way toward us as He works to conform us to the likeness of Christ.
As we bow in worship before His almighty power, we can also bow in confidence that He exercises that power for us, not against us.
So we should bow with an attitude of humility, accepting His dealings in our lives, but we can also bow in love, knowing that those dealings, however severe, and painful they may be, come from a wise and loving heavenly Father.
(excerpt from Jerry Bridges, Trusting God – Even When Life Hurts)
Do you trust God this way?
Do you worship God this way?
We must continually remind ourselves that the goal is not to gain stuff or have a good life, position, or a life free of adversity.
The goal is for us to be conformed to the likeness of Christ.
When adversity strikes…..notice I say “when” and not “if”,
when adversity strikes……do you trust God enough to know that through your adversity, God is wanting you to look more like His son rather than yourself.
This should cause us to humbly fall before the throne of grace and
He is faithful.
He is HOLY!