What is true Worship?

Disclaimer – These thoughts are simply how I see life and I only share them because I was prompted to. Everyone has their own relationship with Father, and will see life differently. 🙂

Worship in today’s Christian culture, has a very specific meaning. It is singing or listening to singing in a Church or a similar environment.

However, worship is a lot more personal and internal than getting together and singing once a week.

The meaning of the word ‘worship’ gives us a clue as to what worship really is. Amongst the obvious definitions, in any dictionary, you will find meanings like this.

” Ardent admiration or love ”
” extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem”
” to love or honor (someone or something) very much or too much ”

The last one sums it up, “to love or honor something very much, or too much”

So when it comes to Father, what exactly is worship, and how do we ‘do it’?

Unless we understand that Fathers entire plan and purpose was to have a loving relationship with us, and that the whole point of eternity is that we will be enjoying a fantastic relationship with him, none of these ‘religious’ terms make much sense!

In any of our human relationships, spouses, children, parents or family, do we regularly sing songs to them? Some cultures sing a lot, but no one sings love songs to their wife or husband once a week at 11.00am. That would just be a bit weird.

So why do we think that Father wants us to sing songs to him every week or so?

Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with singing to Father, there are examples in scripture, but when it’s driven by routine or habit, then it’s all backwards.

In a loving and caring relationship, if one or both of the people regularly experience love and affection shown towards them, they will grow more and more in their love or affection towards the other person. For example, if a husband is consistently loving and affectionate, the wife will grow more and more in love with him. If a father consistently shows respect and love towards his son or daughter, they will feel a deeper and deeper bond with him.

Life in relationship with Father is no different. He offers a real, authentic, loving Father/Child relationship with us. He wants to treat us like adult children, who have grown into an adult, but still have a fantastic relationship with their parents, based on respect and love. No guilt or manipulation.

The natural result of spending years drawing closer and closer to Father, feeling his love in real life, accepting and seeing that he means only good for us, and the comfort of knowing with every fiber of our being that he loves us no matter what, is ‘to love and honor him very much’

Worship is a heart response to Fathers love in our relationship with him. Worship is not what we do, it’s how we feel. We either do worship Father or we don’t, and that depends on how loved we feel by him!

We may express that worship by singing when we feel the desire to, but the singing isn’t worship, it’s singing. It’s the worship we feel towards him which inspires us to sing!

So why is this important?

Imagine you are married and have a ‘bad’ marriage, lots of arguing, or lots of silence, and you go out for dinner, get the kids watched and have a great evening. You sweep the bad bits under the carpet for the evening, have a fine meal, some wine, even dancing perhaps. Anyway, you thoroughly enjoy the evening and each other. The next morning however, the silence continues, or the arguments start again.

This would be similar to spending your week not connected with Father at all, in your own life, not feeling him with you during the week, or even mad at him for bad circumstances you have. On Sunday you go to church, and enjoy the worship session put on by the musicians. Then you go home and carry on not feeling Father at all present in your life.

On the other hand, imagine you have a fantastic marriage, close and loving. You go out for the evening, enjoy it and each other thoroughly! The next day, you are still in a great relational place, the evening was a celebration of your close relationship, a high point of an already great marriage.

This would be similar to spending a week in a close relationship with Father. You love him and know that he loves you. There may be difficulties, but you don’t have that panic or anxiety which usually comes with hard times, because you know deep down that Father in with you, and that your relationship with him is the most important outcome of any hard times, not the circumstances themselves. You do your daily thing knowing he’s with you. You may chat things through with him as you think them during the day, you may sit with him in the evening, you may just be comforable knowing he’s there. Friends may invite you over, or you may catch up with a group of friends and perhaps some singing and playing instrument happens as part of the afternoon. It’s natural and unforced, a result of an already close connection.

Obviously everyone’s lives are different, and theses are just two little examples, but they show how the relationship drives worship, as an organic and natural result of feeling Fathers love. It’s defiantly not an isolated activity in a life without a close bond with Father.

Another funny example is a teenage girl who worships a boy band. She doesn’t sing to them once a week. She is consumed by them, posters, music, daydreams…. While its not a direct analogy with Father, it shows that worship is an internal relational thing, and it is the worship of something which drives our actions.

Father loves you deeply, and only by embracing that and living into it, can we ever come close to truly worshiping Father.