The Spiritual Discipline of Worship

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23

You and I were made to worship… Chris Tomlin, Made to Worship

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The act of worship centers all of the other spiritual disciplines. Worship is the connection of spirit to Spirit, ours to Him. Many Christians will not immediately identify worship in the family of spiritual disciplines because it lacks an ascetic dimension but this narrow thinking constrains our growth. True worship that brings us into the presence of the God of the universe, to know His immediate glory and holiness and to fear it to our core is anything but a trifling pursuit. To enter the Shekinah demands everything we have to give spiritually and physically; it is not something to be engaged casually. All of the spiritual disciplines have as their objective the strengthening of spiritual muscles that give us the endurance, strength, and character necessary to approach the throne and offer our worship.

God seeks worshippers. He entered the Garden to seek out Adam and Eve. Through Christ and the horror of the crucifixion He draws men and women to Himself (Jn 12:32). Worship is our response to God’s loving advances. Scripture is filled with the stories of those who have fallen to the ground in the presence and reality of the ultimate Love. Human history mirrors this trend. We were made to worship and the trajectory of life is altered permanently when the truth of this characteristic becomes our reality. Worship becomes both the most natural and most challenging of the disciplines.

Our practice of worship must be clear in its objectives and dismissive of peripherals. The first burden to rid ourselves of is the concern for method. There is no single correct form of worship. High, low, liturgical, or free are all valid forms of worship as long as the object of our practice is God alone and our objective is to have His spirit touch our spirit. Anything less is empty and void and is not worship. We are tempted to say that we have worship when we have mouthed a praise chorus or sat through a sermon or greeted those around us or even simply appeared for the scheduled service but worship demands more. It demands commitment, preparation, and engagement.

Worship ends in obedience. Devoting time and effort to seek and enter the presence of God changes us. We are exposed to the same raw glory that caused Isaiah to proclaim his ruin we will know what it is have the burning coals of holiness touched to our hearts. The boundless love of God becomes more and more real in our lives and it affects all that we are and all that we do. Worship, true worship, changes us irreversibly.

 

Grace and peace to you…

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