Some might think it strange to see the topic of worship in a series on spiritual disciplines. After all, isn’t everything that the Christian does in an effort to know and glorify God considered worship? And in that sense, they are right; in all the Spiritual disciplines there is a level of worship taking place. If a Christian is practicing the spiritual disciplines of reading their Bible, praying, witnessing to others, and doing service in the name of Christ then they are also engaged in worship.
This week we are going to address the topic of worship as a spiritual discipline. The disciplines stir in us a heart to worship while worship stirs in us a longing to seek and know God through the other spiritual disciplines. So worship is also narrow while at the same time all-encompassing.
Unfortunately, many new or novice Christians make the mistake of assuming that worship is a genre of music. Music is a meaningful and important part of worship, but there are other ways to engage in the worship of God. Therefore, it would be foolish to reduce worship to only a small portion of its parts.
In a broader sense, human beings are made for worship. Of course, not everyone worships God in the way they were created to, but everyone worships something. Sin has destroyed man’s ability to worship rightly. People are inclined to self-praise, seeking satisfaction in lesser things, secondary things of creation rather than in their Creator, God.
So how can we fix this? Truth is, we can’t, but God can! And he has, by sending his Son as a ransom-sacrifice to reconcile us back into a relationship with Him. Jesus said in John 4:23, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”
We can conclude from this verse and others that the purpose of our salvation and, therefore, the chief characteristic of our Christianity is the worship of Christ. As the Westminster Catechism says, “What is the Chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
Two questions to consider: First, What is worship? Worship is first a response of love, affection, devotion, and submission to the grace of God shown in Christ. Secondly, How do we worship? This question has a bit more to it. In one sense we worship privately when we choose to put God first in our lives. It involves a devotional reflection on the person and work of Christ. In another sense we worship God corporately as we gather together with other believers, in unity of faith and conviction, celebrating our infinite and personal God.