(Understanding the heart of worship)
"For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
I am a third generation “PK”, also known as “preacher’s kid”. I was born and raised in the church, and have spent the majority of my life in church. Don’t get me wrong; I have had my rebellious periods, and even times of falling far away. What kept me coming back? The answer is truth. No matter how far away I have fallen or drifted, I have always known the truth. Believe me, it is hard to escape the truth about Jesus Christ. Once you know it, there is nowhere else to go. The truth about Jesus always compels me to worship Him.
Since truth compels me to worship; what is worship? Most dictionaries define it as reverence and adoration to God. True worship begins with adoration from a heart that truly loves, and respects Him. This is the kind of love that is overwhelmed with His beauty, strength, and majesty. It is the kind of love that wants to communicate with Him through prayer, and that desires to hear His voice. It is the kind of love that is expressed with obedience. In short, worship is loving Christ, then honoring him with our obedience. Romans 12:1, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT)
Worship is not a style, or particular expression (even though I have my preference). It is not contained in a particular setting. It doesn’t depend on culture, geography, or a specific tradition (even though I am particularly fond of one). Worship is birthed from the heart. Worship happens when the truth of Jesus elevates our spirit to the point of obedience. "Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods." (Psalm95:1-3 NLT)