Worship is one of those Christianese words that we use, but struggle to define. You can look it up in the Hebrew, the Greek or in the Webster’s dictionary, but it won’t quite define what true worship is. In the Bible times, the Jews believed God resided in Jerusalem, so they would come to Jerusalem to worship and go through the motions of worship. Worship became a ritual and an act rather than a response to God’s presence. Many times the God rejected their worship because it was hollow or meaningless. They didn’t understand the worship He desires from us. I’m not so sure we’re that different these days. We’ve contained worship to a set of songs we sing on Sunday at church. We’ve made it about a certain place and practice as well.
The woman at the well asked Jesus who was right about where to worship God. Jesus told her that it wasn’t about the place or the act, but the heart. Our worship is expressed in many ways when we have a holy reverence for who God is. It can be expressed in bowing down, singing, crying, serving others or sitting silent in His presence. Worship is an attitude as much as it is an action. Remember that God looks at our heart- our intent- rather than our actions. He’s not interested in worship that is merely going through motions. He wants us to respond to His majesty, His goodness, His kindness, His might, His sovereignty and His presence. When we see God for who He is, we will worship Him in Spirit and Truth from a heart that honors Him.
Here are some Bible verses on true worship.
1. From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.
John 4:23-24 TPT
2. Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; Tremble [in submissive wonder] before Him, all the earth.
Psalms 96:9 AMP
3. Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG
4. And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you 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
5. Let us be thankful, then, because we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him, with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28 GNT