How do you define worship?
For many of us, worship is what we do when we sing to God in church. Others would define it as the entire church service. Some would simply say we worship God by living our day-to-day lives as believers who seek to honor Christ.
None of these answers would be wrong. In fact, each could make one very complete definition of worship. The problem is, we don’t often realize the implications of what we are doing, who we are worshiping, or why we should do it in the first place.
We need a refresher.
The word “worship” is derived from the old English word weorthscripe, which refers to worthiness, or the acknowledgement of worth. Basically, we worship God because He is worthy of our praise, adoration, exultation, admiration, gratitude, honor, reverence, and veneration.
Why is He worthy of these things? Because He is our Creator, Provider, Savior, Comforter, High King, High Priest, and Lord.
The point? It’s not about us. It’s all about God, the object of our worship.
When we don’t fully understand why we worship, we begin to take it lightly. We begin to treat the singing of hymns and praise songs as just another thing we do once a week.
But worship needs to be more than that. It is an activity that should be at the center of our lives.
One of the best calls to worship I’ve seen comes from Psalm 96:
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
. . .
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness. (Ps. 96:1-3,11-13)
We worship God when we are focused on Him, and it’s when we intentionally spend time with the Creator of the universe that we bring Him glory. This is the true meaning of worship.
Corum Hughes works on the production team for HAVEN Today and is the managing editor of the All About Jesus blog. His passions include running, biking, reading, watching movies, and seeking Jesus in places He is seldom sought. Corum lives with his wife in California.