Call to Worship

From God comes…

From God comes a call to worship Him. God beckons us to worship Him! This is not just an invitation, but an admonition. We were created to worship God. (Isaiah 43:21) The Bible is full of exhortations to praise God.

To worship in the biblical sense means to admire, adore, esteem, exalt, honor, glorify, respect, reverence, pray, supplicate, sanctify, or extol. We don’t worship God from an academic duty, but a heartfelt gratitude because He is our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and so much more.

There are many ways to worship God. We can worship through praise, adoration, thanksgiving, prayers, offerings, music, and so on, but our biggest act of worship is presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. (Romans 12:1) Our whole life should be an act of worship towards God. Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” Psalm 113:3 says, “From the rising to the setting sun, the Lord is to be praised.”

God doesn’t command us to worship Him for His benefit, but ours. If He just wanted His name shouted over and over again like some sort of rock star, He could create beings to do that. What God wants is our heart. He wants a relationship with those who realize how much He loves them. Then they will want to worship Him.

There are so many different forms of worship. Worship can be informal, formal, meditative, exuberant, quiet, or lively. All can be an outpouring of love to Jesus. Since worship is relational and a heart issue, it can manifest itself in many ways with various people. Therefore, we must guard against judging the hearts of those who express their love for God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit a little differently than we do.    

Take for example the woman from Bethany who poured very costly fragrant oil over Jesus’ head. This was an act of worship that many there could not understand. This ointment cost 300 denarii which was about a year’s wages back then. So the disciples criticized her sharply. They thought it offensive to use expensive oil in this way when it could have been sold to help the poor. (Mark 14:1-9)

Jesus had a different perspective. He defended her actions saying, “Why are you finding fault with her? She has done a lovely thing for me.” He recognized her heartfelt act of worship.

How quick are we to judge how people worship God? Although we may not choose to glorify God through rap lyrics or rock music, that doesn’t mean it’s offensive to God. It all depends on the heart of those bringing it before the Lord. God likes soft music and loud music. While not all of us feel comfortable enough to dance before the Lord, David did and so did many others. (2 Samuel 6:14; Psalm 149:3) The Psalms are full of examples of worshiping God through quiet meditation, speaking, shouting, singing, bowing, standing, dancing, lifting hands, clapping, playing musical instruments, etc.

We are called to worship God. God leaves the way we do that up to us. As long as a person’s worship is sincere, heartfelt, and pleasing to God, who are we to criticize?  

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God…”

~James 1:17 (NLT)

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