We all worship something. Worship is simply our investment of emotion, time, energy, and value into something or someone. We respond to something in front of us by assigning value in our hearts and living that out.
“Worship” is inherently spiritual, but we certainly can worship things apart from God. It may be money, power, safety, or family. These things usually bring us happiness and worldly success… for awhile. But it does not last. Certainly not into eternity, but rarely even through an entire lifetime in this world.
Where is the power?
We are promised trouble in this world, whether we worship God or not. There will be some level of sacrifice and trial. Think of the 12 disciples, Jesus’ closest friends, who all died as martyrs or exiles. Yet, they knew the power of right worship. Worshipping God changes our heart and our minds, shaping our preferences and our priorities. Worshipping God gives us power and strength, joy and peace, even amidst the troubles of the world.
I have not overcome the world. You haven’t either. I have not even overcome my own anxieties and stresses. Just last night, my shoulders were tight and giving me a headache as I came home from work with stress, worry, and frustration. (For no good reason, I might add!) The world hurts me sometimes, and it certainly hurts you as well.
Yet we have a Savior King who has overcome the world. When we fix our eyes upon Jesus, the power and pain of this world shrinks. It does not disappear. It does not magically become unreal or stop hurting us. But the reality is that our God is bigger than all of it. He is in control and He loves us – there is nothing greater in life!
When we focus our minds and hearts on who God is and what He has done, we fan into flame his Holy Spirit in our hearts. Anxiety, fear, and despair cannot stand in God’s presence. The light overcomes the darkness.
How to worship rightly
Spend time – whether five minutes or five hours – remembering and meditating upon the truth of who God is. Can you help but worship him? Do you find your thoughts refocusing, your heart melting before His awesomeness? Worship is our natural response to God’s true identity and power.
Read through Psalm 103. Read through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. The following Scripture is a great place to start, from Exodus 34.
4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the Lord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”
10 Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.