What does it mean to worship God? Is it simply singing songs to Him while at church? Does worship have to happen in a specific location? To answer these questions let's look at God's Word.
We Must Worship In Spirit And In Truth
Let's take a moment to look at what Jesus said while talking with the Samaritan woman at the well.
"The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:19-24
What does it mean to worship God in spirit and truth? To worship God in spirit means we worship God with our spirit, with our whole being. God does not just want lip service; He wants us to be genuine. Anyone can sing God's praises and talk about the wonderful things He has done, but not everyone does it with a sincere heart and attitude.
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:8-9
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’" Mark 12:30
To worship God in truth, we must acknowledge who God is. When we don't know the truth about who God is, we cannot worship Him properly. We worship God because He is God. Yes, he has done many amazing and wonderful things for us, but even just the fact that He is God makes Him deserving of our honor and devotion. God is the only one who is worthy of our praise!
"Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:10
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" Psalm 150:6
"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness." Psalm 29:2
Does worship have to happen in a certain place?
Since we have the Holy Spirit living within us worship happens within our hearts. We do not have to be in a church at a specific time or place. We can meet God in worship no matter where it happens geographically.
What are acts of worship?
Worship is more than singing songs of praise and praying to God. We worship God by our actions, not just our words. When we are living our life for Him and putting His will first, we are saying that He is worthy of our worship. Everything we do should be to the glory of God.
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Romans 12:1
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17
"Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
Our worship is not confined to singing songs in church once a week, we worship Him with our whole lives! It is important that we are worshipping God with our spirits and all that we are. Where we worship is not as important as Who we worship and we worship God because He is the only One worthy of our praise!
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! Psalm 95:1-6