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What is Worship?

What is Worship 600

WHAT IS WORSHIP?

As a musician, worship is very close to me. I received Christ as my Savior on February 11, 1979, and ever since then I have given my gift of music to Him. What a privilege it is to use my personal gift to give glory to the one who gave me the gift! Satan would much prefer I offer my gift to him, but having done that for years, I found that effort of little value. I have absolutely nothing to give or offer to the one who is trying to steal, kill, and destroy my life. On the other hand, now I lift both hands, to the one who gave me my hands, in order to use my hands, to be a blessing to those who need a hand, and to praise my God and Savior Jesus Christ for what He has done for me!

Praise & Worship

Simply speaking, to sing a “hymn” is to sing a song of praise addressed to God. In Matthew 26:30 it says Jesus “sung a hymn” with His disciples before they went to the Mount of Olives. I would have loved to have been there to hear Jesus sing! There were no instruments, no musicians or band leader. They just “sung a hymn.” When Paul and Silas were in prison, at midnight they began “singing hymns to God” and the prisoners heard them. The key here is; it was not just a song sung – but a song sung (or addressed) to God! One Hebrew word for praise is “Todah,” and another Hebrew word for worship is “Halal.” Todah is more corporate. It demands corporate unity such as rhythm and clapping. Halal, however, is more one-on-one, or face-to-face. It’s more personal and intimate. Although worship can be corporate, it’s more “in one accord” than in “unity” when presented in a group context. Although it’s a group of people worshiping  it’s actually individuals telling God how much they love Him in a room with other people doing the same thing! Another way to express this would be, praise is more of an “outer-court celebration” declaring the greatness of God, and worship is more an “inner-court sanctuary” face-to-face personal conversation of love and thanksgiving to (and with) God.

True Worship

God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23). The word worship here means to prostrate oneself in worship, or to bow down and worship. The word truth means “in truth, not merely verbal, but with sincerity and integrity.” In other words, it should be from your heart “in truth.” It is not just lip-service! This is what the Father seeks! He is longing for His people to develop an “inner-court sanctuary face-to-face personal conversation of love and thanksgiving to Him!” It should be obvious that this type of event does not need gifted musicians, singers, songwriters, or arrangers to make it happen. True worship can be accomplished at any time and in any place.

The Common Thread

Jim Burgdorf, author of “Worship, the Gateway to God” says it so well – “True worship is the common thread – the common denominator, the essential ingredient and the principal issue that weaves all of eternity together.” In Matthew 22:37 Jesus declares that the greatest and first commandment is to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. This means all of us, all the time, with all that we do, with all our being. This is the common thread for all people – His creation. Satan, originally Lucifer, who, I believe, was the guardian and in charge of worship at the throne of God, decided he wanted to be worshiped and become like God. You know the story – he was cast out of heaven! He wants us to follow his footsteps and for us to worship him! Let’s keep things simple… God is God, and we are his people. God is the Creator, and we are the created. He is the potter and we are the clay. He does not need to worship us, we need to worship Him! Satan is an angel. He is not God and he is not human. He is less than we are! Now he is a fallen angel! We are created in the image of God – he was not! Our common denominator and prime objective is worship to God. Singing is worship. Meditating in the Word is worship. Reading and studying the Word is worship. Prayer is worship. The secret place is worship. Going to the mountain is worship. Serving God is worship. Giving is worship. Tithing is worship. Speaking in tongues is worship. Singing in tongues is worship. Attending church is worship. Witnessing is worship. Repentance is worship. Love is worship. Praise is worship. Benevolence is worship. Laying hands on the sick is worship. Preaching the Gospel is worship. Testifying of His greatness is worship. Chasing after God is worship! They are all a part of a common thread – worship!

The Secret Place

Two well known passages talk about the secret place.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).

What is the secret place? Other translations use terms such as, your room, your inner room, your most private room, your closet, a quiet secluded place, a room alone, and your chamber. In most every translation it is a place of YOURS, and it’s secret! In other words, it’s a place YOU go to. It’s a place YOU know of. It’s a place where YOU go… ALONE! When do you go there? When you pray! It’s not a place where you multi-task. It’s a place where you are out of reach of others. It’s a place to meet with your Maker. Only you and your Maker! It’s secluded, private, quiet, uninterrupted, and unavailable to others. No cell phones, computers, internet, – just you and God! It’s intimate, private, safe, and holy. It’s a place of life. Here are two quotes from author Jim Burgdorf about this place…

“Life does not occur without intimacy.” – Jim Burgdorf

“God designed this intimacy to always result in a birth.” – Jim Burgdorf

Is it a physical place or a spiritual place? Both! It can be anything physical from a closet to a beach or a mountain top; however, it has to always be a spiritual place within the heart!

Shut the Door

Once we have entered into our place, the next thing we must do is shut the door! Just think, when a married couple gets intimate they shut the door. They do not want to be interrupted. They do not take the TV or telephone with them. Why? This is a special time of intimacy where communication and relationship will be fully focused on each another in privacy. It’s where they get to know one another uninhibited, honestly, and in true love. It’s where the distractions and responsibilities of life are left outside to be dealt with later. It’s a place to develop a relationship through communication – face-to-face. God is looking for us to enter our secret place to commune with Him face-to-face. As John 4:23 states, “He is seeking such to worship Him.”

The Bible describes the day that Adam “knew” Eve. To “know” in this context is much more than a casual relationship. This type of knowing is not someone you met yesterday at the grocery store for the first time. It’s not someone you saw on TV or heard about in the news. This “know” is a dedicated close intimate relationship. It’s one of marriage, commitment, closeness; a real knowing.

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits (Daniel 11:32).

How well do you “know” God? Does he “know” you? Or, one day, will He say to you, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). For me, the secret place is a place of life. I must testify the Word is true when it says “The Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). It’s true. He is seeking such. Develop the secret place, and you will receive rewards and blessings in the open place!

The Fear of the Lord

The Fear of the Lord, giving God the glory, and worship, are tightly knit together.

Saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Revelation 14:7).

I like how the FaithLife Study Bible explains the fear of the Lord by expressing its results.

FaithLife Study Bible: Those who fear God exhibit trust in Him and obedience to His commandments!

Another way you could say this would be, “If you see someone who trusts and obeys God, you are also seeing someone who fears the Lord.” We must be careful not to get into working for our own righteousness through obedience. We must understand, that because of His righteousness we received by faith, it produces both the desire and the ability to obey. I believe a great way to put this together would be to say, “We are saved by grace, through faith, that works by love.”

Glory

Glory is a big word. The glory of God is a big as glory gets. What is it? How do we give it to Him? How do we “Give God the Glory?” This word is so big it can be difficult for our limited minds to grasp. One thing that has helped me is to describe the Glory of God as the “Greatness” of God. In order for me to give the glory to God all I have to do is declare His greatness! I can do this by telling Him how great and wonderful He is. I find this easy. Why? Because no matter how great I think I may be, I know He is a lot greater. I understand He is the Creator and I am the created. If He created me I must also be great (no matter what I think or how I feel, or even what someone else may think). However, whatever greatness I may be, it will never compare to His greatness! He made me. He made you. Just think, could you do that? It’s time for us to understand what worship is. It’s the created saying to the Creator – WOW, YOU ARE GREAT! The secret place is the perfect place to tell Him. Go ahead! Go to your room and shut the door!

The secret place is a wonderful place. The secret place is the focal place of intimate worship affecting all areas of life. If we can develop “the secret” of secret place worship, I am convinced we will begin to birth life in every area. At home, work, church, school, in marriage, with our children, in provision, in health, and more. Worship is the gateway. A gateway to victory, joy, and success in life. As Jim Burgdorf’s book is titled, “Worship is the Gateway to God.”

Bibliography

All Scriptures Quoted from the New King James Version

The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

Barry, J. D., et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham: Logos Bible Software, 2012.

Burgdorf, Jim. Worship, The Gateway to God. Dayton Beach: Jim Burgdorf Ministries, 2005.

Vine, W. E., M. F. Unger and W. Jr. White. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Vol. 2. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1996.

 

Pastor Jim Langlois is the Senior Pastor of The Master’s House www.tmhnow.org, President of MKEA (The Master’s Kids Evangelistic Association) www.mkea.org, and an Area Director for ICFM (International Convention of Faith Ministries) www.icfm.org. You can follow him at docinthehouse, on Twitter at jimlanglois, and on Facebook at jim.langlois. His most recent books are “Is it Okay to Pray in Tongues in Church?” and “Will the Real God Please Stand Up!” Both are available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

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