Worship – What Is It? (Part 2)

what is worship

We desire revelation over knowledge

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.


Dino loved Fred and showed it often

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?

10 Responses to Worship – What Is It? (Part 2)
  1. Julie Kaufman
    August 4, 2011 | 7:10 pm

    Travis, I believe you were worship leader when my husband, Ralph Kaufman, and I started Vineyard. If there ever was a time that two broken people needed to count on God, it was at that place in our lives.
    On the virge of divorce, and my husband on his way out the door of our house, God intervened. What a woman would consider unforgiveable, I forgave. What a man that doesn’t “stick things out”, he did. That’s because our forgiving, gracious God came into our lives and took over.
    That’s what kind of God we have. He loves us, he forgives us, he is gracious, and loves unconditionally. Those are qualities my husband and I strive for in each other as well.
    God mended our “broken” past and gave us a future to look forward too!
    Thank you, God! A saviour in more than one way!
    Julie Kaufman

    • Travis
      August 5, 2011 | 9:32 am

      What an awesome story of redemption. Thanks for sharing, Julie! Praise the Lord!

  2. Jim Pearson
    August 4, 2011 | 8:04 pm

    thought provoking Travis. You wrote your heart. everything you pointed to said that worship truly is a brb and not a noun. its our daily lives – not our “moments”.

    Thanks for your post.

    • Travis
      August 5, 2011 | 9:33 am

      Great to hear from you, Jimbo. Miss you lots!

  3. Maxine
    August 4, 2011 | 8:11 pm

    This post really hit home for me. I mouth the words of the songs and I feel His grace almost every time I sing/worship Him but there is something different about corporate worship. When I am at church and feel the beauty of His presence it is so difficult for me to express it without being self conscious. Some how, some way I want that revelation, that excitement, that deep contentment that I feel after being in His presence to be seen in my daily life. I want my life to be a constant worship of Him so that all who interact with me are aware that there is someone special that I serve.
    I like your comparison of love and worship to Fred and Dino. That puts it into everyday and visual language that makes sense. My son, Paul, once told me that the best way to compliment a teacher is to question that teacher on their subject because it shows that you are interested and seeking more knowledge on things that they are trying to teach you. If I will come to God with unashamed worship and love like Dino and seek more knowledge and have more questions for God like a bold student, I will nurture my relationship with The Creator of all, God the Almighty!
    Wow, and I do have those privileges as His daughter, and it is what He desires!!!

    • Travis
      August 5, 2011 | 9:38 am

      Wow, Maxine. I love the teacher/student analogy. And yes, you do have that right as His daughter to walk right up and learn from our Daddy.

      We all long for a deeper revelation. I don’t see it as linear, either – like one person has a deeper revelation than another. I see God more as a prism. We each see and respond to different aspects of His love and character. So I may have revelation in a certain area and you, another. It yet one more reason why the body is so important since we need each other to fully understand and experience His fullness.

  4. Ryan Henneberg
    August 4, 2011 | 8:14 pm

    It’s awesome how you tied worship back to the Flintstones! I can see the smile on God’s face if we were to greet him each day with half as much enthusiasm as Dino had for Fred.

    Can you imagine:
    Approaching our daily bible study with the same enthusiasm as our XBOX…
    Going to church with the same enthusiasm as going to the latest movie…
    Praying with the same enthusiasm as spreading the latest gossip or bashing the opposite political party…
    Serving others with the same enthusiasm as pampering ourselves on a day off…
    Sharing the good news of Jesus with the same enthusiasm as we share what happened to ourselves…

    Keep up the good work!

    • Travis
      August 5, 2011 | 9:40 am

      Thanks for sharing Ryan. I agree with all of your examples and long to walk in that same way. I think that the deeper our revelation of Him, the more enthusiasm we’ll exude towards Him.

      Let it be in our lives, Lord.

  5. Angela Rebecca Casselman
    August 4, 2011 | 10:52 pm

    I love the idea of being a Dino!! What a great parallel! The other thing I thought about is that Dino didn’t feel this way only at certain times of the day; he was ready to lavish his affection on Fred at any moment! It didn’t matter whether or not it was the expected time of arrival! I pray that I will be constantly ready to draw near and kiss my sweet Jesus!!

    • Travis
      August 5, 2011 | 9:41 am

      Great point, Angela. Thanks for sharing!

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