Often when Christians hear the word “worship”, their minds latch unto the Sunday church activity of singing songs. Certainly that is one aspect of worship but that is not authentic worship. The psalmist best describes what worship is when He says , “Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness” [Psalm 29:1-2, NIV]. Worship is giving God ALL the glory that is due His name. Yet you may ask, “But isn’t that what we do when we sing songs on Sunday?”. No, anyone can sing songs but not live or believe what they sing. However, the life of a true worshiper will manifest in the singing of songs that glorify the name of the Lord.
True worship starts from the heart. That is why simply singing songs in itself is not worship. It is very easy to sing of God’s greatness and not believe it, because of the disconnect between the songs being sung and the state of the heart. Until the heart truly believes in the greatness and sovereignty of God, all that the mouth professes will be lip service. This is what Jesus meant when He said of the Israelites that “these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” [Matthew 15:8, NLT]. So what is authentic worship you may ask?
Authentic worship is “to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him” [Romans 12:1, NLT]. Without living a life of total surrender to God, it is impossible to truly worship Him. Becoming born again doesn’t automatically make you a worshipper. You have to offer yourself up to God be used for His glory; yielding yourself to the control of the Holy Spirit, obeying and acting on the Word of God and being salt and light in this world. This is the ultimate form of worship because you honor God and ascribe greatness to Him when you do the aforementioned. The life of someone who lives authentic worship, is a life that gives glory to God in all that is said and done, and such a life shines forth so brightly that men also see and give Glory to God. For such a person they actually mean it when they say, “I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me” [Galatians 2:20, AMP].
God is looking for authentic worshipers, “those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration” [John 4:24, The MSG]. It is impossible to worship God in truth when what we say with our lips on Sunday is different from the lives we live during the rest of the week. It is impossible to worship God in truth when the same mouth we use to ascribe God’s glory is used in profanity, gossiping, backbiting, insults and other ungodly things. This is where the will be a disconnect between the songs we sing, and the state of our heart. We may think that lifting up hands during worship will suffice, but we ought to remember that “man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart” [1 Samuel 16:7, NJKV].
We know that it is out of the heart that flows the issues of life and it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. It is out of the overflow of the heart of an authentic worshipper that songs proclaiming the goodness of God will come forth. That is what God is looking for and his Spirit is moving through out the earth looking for such people. When He finds such a person, He is pleased with such a person. If you don’t believe me ask King David, the man whom God said “‘I’ve searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him” [Acts 13:22, THE MSG]. That was an authentic worshiper and because He worshiped in spirit and in truth, He could move and touch God’s heart.
Can God say the same about you?