Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.~Psalm 95:6 NIV
I started my journey with God as an adult.
My parents were not churchgoers, so they didn’t teach me about God. I had no idea there was a God let alone know anything about Him. But a neighbor, Mrs. Adams, changed all that by bringing the neighborhood children into her home to teach about Him. We sang songs, made crafts, and learned who God is.
For me, Mrs. Adam’s home was a place of peace, happiness, and acceptance, instead of the turmoil, chaos, and violence that I experienced in my home. I thoroughly enjoyed being with this God she talked about. I was drawn to Him from the first time I heard His name. Before long, our neighborhood meetings ended. Though heartbroken, what I walked away with, a belief and a love for Jesus Christ, will last my lifetime.
I attended my first church when my daughter turned five. I wanted to give her the opportunity I didn’t get. She may have been my reason for going, but God was my reason for staying. I wanted to learn everything I could. I fell head-over-heels in love with my heavenly Daddy.
We had been going to church for a few years but one concept I still didn’t understand was worship. I didn’t know how to worship God, how to discover the meaning of worship, or how to find its significance.
Unable to find answers where I was, I sought answers elsewhere. I chose a church that had a different style of praise and worship. I must admit the first few times walking in was a bit of a culture shock. People unashamedly lifted their hands. Strange sounds and words were coming from their mouths. Along with singing, clapping, and dancing, there were a whole lot of “hallelujahs” and “amens” going on too.
At first, I felt both drawn but overwhelmed, but as time went on, I liked it—a lot. It took me a while, and I struggled a bit, but I finally arrived at the place of doing those things myself. Bowing my head in reverence, lifting my hands towards Heaven, falling to my knees in adoration, and occasionally in desperation, yelling “amen.” I found the freedom to express my love for God. I finally grasped the heart of worship. Or so I thought.
~Psalm 108:3 NIV
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
It dawned on me those things we do are nothing more than actions. Important, yes, and we do them for the purpose of worshipping God, but are actions the heart of worship? Would they mean anything if a person doesn’t honestly believe or have faith in Him? Would I lift my hands toward Heaven without a thought of God? Would I fall to my knees in desperation if I weren’t truly seeking help from God? No, these actions bring us to a connection with Him, but they are not the heart of worship.
The heart of worship is not for the purpose of receiving from God, but for us to surrender our heart to Him. It is us believing He is and having faith in whom we don’t see. God already gave us His heart when we accepted his Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior. He gave us life, His Son on Calvary’s cross, along with grace and the promise of eternal life. Worship is not only accepting these things but also soaking in His presence and glorifying His Name for who He is.
Once I honestly and openly surrendered myself to God, those actions of bowing, kneeling, hand lifting, dancing, and singing came to me as naturally as walking and sleeping because at the center of it, is my heavenly Father. He inspires me to worship by His Spirit moving within my spirit.
~Psalm 145:1 NIV
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Friend, do you struggle with worshipping God? Maybe like me, you don’t know how. I know what a struggle it can be. But God is our Father. We are his children. As a young child lifts their hands to receive something, begin to worship with the same purpose so you can receive God’s heart. And when you receive your heavenly Daddy’s heart, your heart will change also.
How do you best express your love for God?
Heavenly Father, help me to surrender my heart to You, adoring You in my worship.
In Jesus Christ’s name, amen.
Copyright 2021: The Heart of Worship: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved