What Is Worship?

Worship isn't just singing.

The Bible indicates that the entire universe was created for God's glory and His pleasure. All of creation, every star, every planet, every animal, and every person does what they were made to do when they worship God.

Revelation 4 gives us a picture of what's happening in Heaven. John sees God, glorious and shining sitting on a beautiful throne. In verse 8, amazing angelic creatures day and night say,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—

the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Immediately after in verses 9-10 we see more worship: Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,

to receive glory and honor and power.

For you created all things,

and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

Heaven is not a boring place! The activity around God is non-stop, breathtaking, and fascinating! Everything is focused on who God is, what He has done, and what He is doing.

This is John Piper's definition of worship: "Worship is what we were created for. This is the final end of all existence-the worship of God. God created the universe so that it would display the worth of His glory. And He created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it-with all our heart and soul and mind and strength."

We use the word "worship" to describe the singing we do together when we gather for church. But if we think about God creating the universe for worship, then worship isn't something we turn on and off like a light switch. We must live out worship; we can worship when we work by working hard and not taking shortcuts; we can worship when we play with and talk to our children; we can worship when we give a homeless person a meal; we can worship when we do the hard work of forgiveness and reconciliation. Lord, let my life always display your truth and glory!