Worship. It is a word that separates many people. For most people it defines a style of music that is heard in church. And the style you prefer causes you to join together with people who agree with you, and separates you from those who disagree. We have fights over contemporary music vs hymns. We argue over instruments and how many people should be in the band. And all the while no one stops to wonder “is this worship?”
We focus on the music, and how it makes us feel and we forget that worship has nothing at all to do with us at all. God is calling us back to the true nature of worship again, and if we get it right we won’t worry at all about what type of music is playing. We are called to “worship in spirit and in truth” John 4:24 And worship that God seeks starts not with the music we sing, but with the heart we sing it with. Worship begins in the heart of the worshipper. The problem with our focus is that it remains on us. We look for songs and music that make us feel good and fit our personality. If we like fast tempos and a hard beat we love contemorary rock. If we like quiet we prefer thoughtful contemplative music.
But the fact remains that we are the focus of our worship. We cover our selfish nature by making the subject about God, but we sing and dance for ourselves. For most of us worship remains about what we want and has little to do with what God wants. We “honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me” Matthew 15:8 If all we have is the music we have missed completely the point of worship.
Worship is about giving awe, respect and value to someone. It starts with an attitude and a heart posture of submission. We cannot worship someone we feel superior to. As soon as we figure we know better than God about something we remove ourselves from a place of worship to lordship. As soon as what God wants for us becomes a suggestion we remove our ability to worship Him; because worship by it’s very nature means we bring ourselves under and submit to someone. If we don’t return to making Jesus our Lord, and bringing our whole life under His control we will never be able to worship Him at all. Worship must begin with surrender and exalt God for who He is which means He is God and we are not.