One of my favourite songs at the moment (and has been for some time) is So Will I, by Hillsong. Earlier today I was reading the lyrics again. It sent shivers down my spine and I had a moment of adoration toward God. Have a read of this ridiculous chorus:
And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I
Did you feel an internal winding as you read those lyrics? That is exactly what worship is: a reaction toward His beauty. And if you didn’t feel that, then there’s probably a disconnect here that I’ll address later…
What is worship?
Worship to God can be defined as “the expression of reverence and adoration toward God above all else, spontaneously or intentionally”. This can happen as you listen to a song, read literature, hike through nature, eat a tasty souvlaki, love on your kids, play footy or even work during the week (or weekend, you poor souls who do). That list covers quite a number of different activities. And that’s kinda the point…
Everything you do can reflect a gratitude toward God. If every good and perfect gift is from God above, then every waking moment you spend breathing the oxygen he spoke into being can be spent in worship to Him as you do life amidst the wonder He created (and I would suggest that the greatest wonder of all His creations is the people you cross paths with every day… But that’s another topic all together).
So my question is, “How does this relate to us? What do we need to meditate on for this to sink into our lives and affect our souls?” Jesus answers this question in John 4:23-24.
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.”
Jesus talks about how we view and adore God with our lives, aligned with the truth of God’s Word and made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit. To this end, we worship with our head and our heart; our mind and our emotions.
Worship is Saturated With Truth
If I go up to someone and say, “Dude, your new hair colour is so good, going black really suits you. And that navy blue blazer is epic, you shop at H&M?” Well, that would be well and nice, but that wouldn’t be accurate if he had bleach-blonde hair and he was wearing shorts and a singlet.
Well that’s exactly us and God if we don’t understand who He is. Accurate understandings of God inspires true, lasting and deep worship. I firmly believe that misrepresentations about God is one of the main reasons why people don’t run to Him and trust in Him. They don’t realise how good He is! Our God is a merciful God (Deut 4:31), rich in love (Lam 3:22-23), sacrificially generous toward us (John 3:16) and ferociously protective of us (Ps 138:7). When we grasp the depth of His beauty, there is an appreciation that takes over and causes us to stop and think. This is what it means to love God with your mind, and this is the very thing the Bible continues to encourage us to grow in.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” – Ephesians 1:17
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 3:18
Worship is Overflowing From the Spirit
There is more to our internal workings than we realise. Our spirit is made alive and sustained by the Holy Spirit, and it testifies of the goodness of God (Eph2:5, Rom8:16, 1Cor 1:8). I think we are often afraid or timid to express emotion, yet it’s exactly this that Jesus tells us to do. We are all created in the image of God, who is an infinitely emotional being who feels every single pain and pleasure in the greatest detail. Engage with spirit, engage with emotion, and worship Him!
Often we beat ourselves up, think we’re useless, think we’re unworthy, think “if I hadn’t done that the other night then I would be accepted by God”. But if we truly let the truth of God’s love collide with our spirit within, as inadequate as we are, then we would begin to see ourselves and respond to God very differently. It’s our understanding of the truth of what God has done and who He is that informs our emotions, and we erupt in worship: shivers down our spine, moments of amazement, tears of adoration, our humility in brokenness, joy in response to his love.
For those of you battling through something and finding yourself numb to God’s grace, I encourage you to pray for a life-giving, life-breathing rejuvenation by the Holy Spirit. He is your strength and your sustainer.
For those of you who read those lyrics above with a bit of “meh… so what?”, then I pray that you would experience the fullness of what it means to worship – with both your head and your heart; with truth and also with spirit.