Knowing how to worship involves more than raising your hands, closing your eyes and singing along with the praise and worship team in church. In fact, often what passes for worship in some services is nothing more than copying what others are doing rather than an act that comes from real knowledge.
God is Spirit, and in order to really come into communion with God in worship it must be done from inside…from the spirit…from that part of you that lives beyond physical death. It’s not about emotions or physical manifestations, it’s about acknowledging Him as Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, King of Kings and Lord of Lord.
Truth? That’s getting absolutely open before God, not trying to hide, but acknowledging that the Truth of the Word has revealed to you your sin. If that revelation of sin has resulted in repentance, then and only then are you truly able to worship Him. God delights in our passionate engagement with Him and what He longs for is that all His children be real.
Very early in the Bible we see where Saul is asking Samuel to pardon his sin so that he can worship God. He knew that if he wasn’t forgiven, he couldn’t worship the Holy God. Unfortunately, for Saul it was too little too late and God had withdrawn His favour from the King of Israel.
So, before you can learn how to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth you must have repented of your sins and asked forgiveness. You cannot go out partying Saturday night, hooking up with whoever looks appealing by closing time, and then expect to be able to really worship the Lord. In fact, sin interferes with worship.
It doesn’t matter how long ago you have repented of your sins and have received Jesus as Lord of your life, for most people as time passes little sins begin to creep back into our lives, and if we are not vigilant we will soon find ourselves unable to really worship.
1Ki_9:6 But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them:
Each one of us would do well to pause and ask ourselves what is my image of God, how do I see Him, what concept of the Creator do I carry in my heart. Idolatry consists not only in kneeling before visible objects and giving them obeisance but also of carrying in our hearts a picture of God which is unworthy of Him. A wrong concept of God can lead to wrong conclusions about Him. Make sure your concept of God is drawn from Scripture.
If there is something or someone in your life coming between you and God, then it’s time to clean house and get back on the narrow path.
2Co 6:17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.
Sin separates us from God and makes it impossible to worship Him in a way that is acceptable. If you find you are having a difficult time worshiping God, then perhaps it’s time to ask Him to reveal in areas of your life into which sin has begun to creep back. Repent, turning away from that sin, then you’ll find that you are once again able to worship Him in spirit and truth.
2Ki_17:36 But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices.
Since Jesus was our sacrifice, we are no longer required to perform the shedding of blood in a sacrifice of repentance:
Psa 40:6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened— burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Instead we are told that by giving of thanks, that we are offering a sacrifice:
Psa_107:22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Psa_116:17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
In addition to being thankful, He wants a living sacrifice of service:
Rom 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Offering every part of your body to the Living God is an act of worship. This offering is done on a daily basis. Our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He lives and moves in our being. Therefore, we need to be continually cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb of God for we serve a HOLY GOD.
There’s an old chorus that we used to sing in church years ago, “We bring a sacrifice of praise, into the House of the Lord…” When does praise become a sacrifice? When you don’t feel like praising God for anything. That’s when it’s a sacrifice to praise Him, but that’s also when we are more likely to find ourselves entering into real worship.
Heb 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
To start learning how to worship, begin by learning to be thankful for everything, but especially that God is God.
The Bible mentions various actions that are part of worship and to lift the hands toward heaven is an act of blessing God.
However, we can see that in heaven, worshiping God will include giving Him blessing, glory, honor and praises:
Rev 5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Therefore, as you learn how to worship God, lift your hands and give Him the honor, glory, and bless Him, worshiping in Spirit and in Truth. A heart in which there is a confident trust in God, there will always be a readiness to worship.
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