Worship is such a broad topic. People have writen books about it and taught sermons on it since the church began. Yet it would seem there is still more to learn, isn’t there? My wife and I often talk about the difference in “understanding” and “revelation.”
Lets be clear – we understand worship. We get it. It’s not that we need more knowledge. We need revelation, don’t we?
Lord, give us revelation to understand what it really means to worship you!
Each week many Americans go to church, but do we engage beyond what is expected and deemed “normal?” We greet our friends and check our kids into the children’s ministry. We gather in our sanctuarys and listen to the band, choir or song leader play various songs full of powerful words expressing the greatness of our God. We sing along, some more enthusistically than others, give our tithes and offerings and then sit down for the “meat” of the service – the sermon. But have we missed something? Did we really “worship?” Or are we going through the motions? What measuring stick can we use to determine if we worshiped or not? (I, for one, am not here to judge or apply a standard – I am simply suggesting each person individually looks inside his or her own heart to determine the answer to these questions.) Perhaps one way to assess our heart is to look at the meaning of worship.
One of the most used Greek words for worship in the bible is proskuneo.
Proskuneo: (pros-koo-neh-o) GREEK -from two root words meaning to draw near and to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.
I absolutely love the definition of this word. It reminds me of a cartoon we all have seen – the Flintstones.
You remember. Fred would get home from a tough day at the stone quarry, park his prehistoric Ford (Fred drives American, mind you,) and who would meet him at the door? Dino! Dino would knock Fred down with excitement! He would begin to shower Fred with kisses (much to Fred’s dismay.)
As silly as it may seem, this is genuine picture of worship.
I believe we can gain valuable insight to the topic as we unpack the reasons Dino responded in such an enthusiastic way. You see, when we worship authentically, we’re like Dino.
We worship God because of who He is.
Dino knew who Fred was. When the Flintstone’s first got Dino, they brought him home from the dinosaur breeder. Dino was super cute, needed to be potty trained, but probably didn’t knock Fred over the first few times he came home. Dino just didn’t know him that well yet. It took time. The parallel is obvious – the more we get to know God the more excited we’ll be when we see Him.
We worship God because of what He’s done.
Fred had done a lot in Dino’s life. I’m sure that Dino realized that Fred was the one who always cared and provided for Him. He fed him dinosaur sized portions of meat, took him for walks around the stone-aged neighborhood, played fetch with him, gave him special treats like dinosaur bones – things like that. The more Fred did for Dino, the more Dino appreciated and was thankful to Fred. It’s the same way with us and God. The more we see God do things for us and provide for us, the more our natural response is worship Him!
So let’s start the discussion and encourage one another. How have you understood God’s character in ways that inspire worship?