Have you ever asked yourself: "Can I worship God, how do I worship God, or do I even desire to"? Knowing that I cannot answer these questions for everyone, my desire is to stir your thoughts for your own practices and drive you to a more intentional lifestyle of worship. Your view of God will determine your view of worship.
Admittedly, my first thought was "Yes, I can worship, and I usually do that (in my normal schedule) on Sunday and Wednesday." I know practically and theologically this is not the only time, but it is what my mind initially goes to. Is this correct and good, or wrong? Should it be more? Can it be more?
To quote the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "worship" means:
1. to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power
2. to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion
While this gives us a basic understanding of what worship is, it doesn’t define the process or context.
To begin to answer these questions, we must look to the Bible for examples to shape and define our understanding and expectations. The Bible is filled with examples and commands from the beginning to the end of honor and worship to God - some of which we can all relate to, while others are a little more unique to the context, but we can learn from the examples and apply the basic truths to our own.
My mind went to the psalms first, such as Psalm 150:6. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! or Psalm 149:1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! These are commands but they also demonstrate the heart attitude of the composer. “Let everything that has breath…” (I guess that’s me) and “in the assembly of the godly” is also me.
So while I have breath, I can and should be worshiping God. While we are gathered together, we can and should be worshiping God. Remember “to regard with great or extravagant respect”? Singing praises to His name is worship both individually and corporately.
In Daniel 4:37 God graciously allowed Nebuchadnezzar the ability to understand and be restored, even though he blatantly defied God’s authority and instruction. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
I would be lying if Nebuchadnezzar’s previous attitude wasn’t similar to mine at times in my life. This passage is so beautiful because it shows God in so many facets. His love, justice, mercy, grace, wisdom, power, faithfulness, and compassion. This gives me confidence in God that even though I fail, God does not. This makes him worthy of worship through my daily life struggles, and not just on Sunday and Wednesday!
In Acts 16:35 we see Paul and Silas in prison, not for committing a crime against God, but for standing against the present evil age. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…”
How can they be singing and praising God while in prison? How can I worship God when I’m in a less-than-desirable situation? Ultimately, for the same reasons that Nebuchadnezzar could -- because God is completely trustworthy and faithful.
Recall the questions. Have you ever asked yourself: "Can I worship God, how do I worship God, or do I even desire to"?
To summarize, yes we can worship God because He is worthy and He has made us. All of creation gives Him honor, and we who are made in His image do so in our design but also possess the ability for choosing to worship. We can worship (give honor to) God at all times and in all things. This means keeping our focus on Him, His promises, and His faithfulness, even though our situation would not normally be conducive to worship, such as being in prison, severely ill, or losing someone close to us.
Do we desire to worship and honor God as we should? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I doubt there is anyone that truly fulfills this, but that cannot keep us from improving our current attitude or practices. We MUST continually pray that God would give us the ability and desire to honor and worship Him as he deserves. It’s an ongoing quest that won’t be fulfilled in this life, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t think you are “good enough."
Remember that I said your view of God will determine your view of worship? If we focus on learning who God is, what He deserves, and what He desires, our lives and worship will naturally begin to change towards a better reflection of what we see in the Bible. We should be so full of a desire to see God worshiped that we take every opportunity to honor and praise His name.