Worship: the way of life of a lover of God
How often do you worship God? Worship is the food of God and it is the only thing that he cannot give himself. Every lover of God has the worship of God as a way of life. It is an act that is natural for anyone who truly loves God. This article explains more about how a true lover of God should worship God.
But you are holy, you who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered] – Psalm 22: 3 (AMP)
Therefore, brethren, I beseech you, I beseech you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive surrender of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devout, consecrated) and pleasing to God, which is his reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship – Romans 12: 1 (AMP)
Worshiping God is not just singing songs to God, but reverence and honoring God. When we worship God, we honor him; We recognize His supremacy and amazing nature. God is looking for people who really worship him in spirit and in truth – John 4:23
It is only a true lover of God who can worship God in spirit and in truth (acceptable worship). This is because your heart needs to be fully involved and you need to have a good knowledge of God. You must meet both conditions for you to be able to worship him acceptably.
The more you know God, the more you appreciate and love him, the more you adore him. Worship of God is an expression of your relationship with God. When you really worship God, you are sold to God and God wants you to worship Him.
Worship should be a way of life for you if you love God – in your words, thoughts, and deeds. You must honor God with everything in and around your life; It also means that God’s opinion of them must be important to you.
Worshiping God with words
This is the most understood way of worshiping God. He worships God when he sings to him, mostly slow songs that speak of God and His nature. Your heart needs to be connected to the words as you sing in order for you to truly revere him with your singing. Right now, nothing else crosses your mind but God and everything about Him.
When you really connect in your praises with God, God descends to inhabit them – Psalm 22: 3. He does not send angels to receive them for Him; He comes personally to receive them. And when He comes, He never leaves you the same way He knew you. One thing you are sure to find, among other things, is His amazing love for you.
When Paul and Silas praised God, He came down to meet him. And the foundations of the prison shook, the doors were immediately opened, and everyone’s chains came loose due to the presence of God. Also, the jailer and his family were saved because of God’s manifestation in response to praise – Acts 16: 25-34.
Raising holy hands
I call this a level of worship to God. As you connect with God, you will find that you will have a strong desire to raise your hand to heaven. Paul encourages us in 1 Timothy 2: 8, to raise our hands to God as we pray (worship is a form of prayer).
I remember some years ago during a youth service we were worshiping God and suddenly I wanted to raise my hands, but I tried not to, because no one was doing it. I felt that people would marvel at me, but the Holy Spirit reminded me that God’s opinion is what matters. So, I put my hands up and I was happy I did.
Another level that I have noticed is kneeling before God while singing or praying. It is an act of reverence to God. You must kneel before the Lord your Maker, in reverent praise and supplication; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture- Psalm 95: 6-7.
In some African countries like Nigeria, you don’t give anything to a king or an old man without kneeling, especially when they are sitting down. It is a sign of respect and honor for him.
So also when you deepen your worship of God, you will suddenly stop sitting or standing (in whatever position you are) while worshiping Him. You will kneel to give God all the glory that is due to him.
This is lying face down on the ground in humility, submission or worship to God. This is what I call the highest level of worship when you are singing or praying. It takes a lover of God to bow down before God; it is total submission to the authority and power of God.
It is a bit difficult for a Christian to lie face down on the ground before God. This is because it is a total surrender to God’s will: your opinion or desire becomes totally insignificant. It requires you to absolutely trust God’s judgment and the perfect plan for your life.
In Matthew 2:11, the three wise men, when they saw the baby Jesus with the mother, prostrated themselves before Him and worshiped Him. Also in 1 Samuel 5: 3, the people of Ashdod stood up and saw that their god had fallen face down on the ground before the ark of the Lord.
Again in Revelation 4: 9-10, each time the living creatures offer glory and honor and thanks to God, the twenty-four elders bow down before Him and worship Him. That shows that when you really worship God, standing, sitting, or even kneeling is not the ultimate position you should assume.
Therefore, your ability to prostrate yourself before God in worship speaks volumes about your relationship with God and your level of reverence for God. There is a point at which it reaches, you will not have words to express your appreciation and silence becomes the best thing you can do. You stay and drink of the love and glory of God.
Now, you may ask, “How can I prostrate myself in church where there is no room for that?” Yes, there may not be room for you to fall face down to the floor, and again, you may be overly conscious of cleaning the floor. All of this will keep you from surrendering to the Holy Spirit. But if you have time to do it at home, then whenever you have a push to prostrate yourself before God, you will not hesitate to do it, no matter where you are.
Worshiping God in action
Your actions can also honor or dishonor God. God is a God of knowledge by whom actions are weighed – 1 Samuel 2: 3. Worship goes beyond singing with our lips, it includes anything else you do. It involves your way of life; how he represents and values God before people.
This is why Paul was asking us in Romans 12: 1 to make a decisive dedication of our body, as a living sacrifice to God. And he called it our reasonable service and spiritual worship. Every lover of God will certainly ensure that their lifestyle honors God at all times.
I read an article titled “Food as Worship” by Brett McCracken where he, a Christian and aspiring chef, said that making the best possible product with the food God gave us is his act of worship.
I have also heard that sex within the context of marriage is worship of God. In truth, our lifestyle should always revere the supremacy and awesome power of our God.
Maintaining your virginity as a single person is an act of worship to God. It is reverence for the One who created sex and gave the limits within which it can be enjoyed. It is also respect for the indwelling Holy Spirit if you are a believer, because you are His temple and God demands that you honor and glorify Him in your body – 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
You dishonor God when you unite your body with another in fornication. All other sins are outside the body, but the sin of immorality is against your body – 1 Corinthians 6:18.
In the past, pagans sacrificed young virgins to their gods as a sign of worship. Your ability to maintain your virginity because of God shows your fear of God and your willingness to obey him.
Joseph, when tempted to lose his virginity, preferred to flee rather than sin against God. He called it great wickedness – Genesis 39: 9. Keeping your virginity and not polluting the bed glorifies God.
You are the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11: 2, Ephesians 5:24) and therefore your appearance is very important. Your appearance must represent God effectively. How you look speaks volumes about you and certainly describes your relationship with God.
Like a wife who dresses for her husband, our appearances should always glorify Christ, our husband. Why should someone mistake you for a whore when you are committed to Christ? This is why Paul said we should dress modestly – 1 Timothy 2: 9.
The one who loves God dresses appropriately, knowing that her boyfriend is watching her. She honors him everywhere for his looks.
You also worship God with your offerings. This is why it is called a worship offering. Reverence and honor God with his substance – Proverbs 3: 9. Every lover of God is a giver and gives with joy and willingness.
God said in Exodus 23:15 that no one should come before Him empty-handed. That means you shouldn’t attend services without an offering to God. The person who loves God will eagerly pack his offering to worship God with it.
When you have to fight within yourself or be coaxed into giving offerings and tithes, as it is written in Malachi 3: 8-10, then your love for God is in question. You cannot love and not give, although you can give and not love.
Worshiping other gods
God will not share His glory or praise with another god – Isaiah 42: 8. You must not worship any idol but the Lord, because He is a jealous God – Exodus 34:14
An idol is everything that comes before God in your life. As a lover of God, you should always put the Lord number one in your life, not your career, money, children, or reputation. When you worship other gods, you incur the wrath of God – Jeremiah 44: 1-6
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt, they soon turned to idol worship because Moses was not around and God’s wrath took hold of them. And about three thousand men of the town died because of sin – Exodus 32: 1-28.
You will have no other gods before God and you must not bow down to or serve any god – Exodus 20: 3-5
Worshiping God with thoughts
As in words and actions, God expects us to worship him in our thoughts as well. God sees our hearts and reads our thoughts. And he warned us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he – Proverbs 23: 7.
God gave us in Philippians 4: 8 the characteristics of the kind of thoughts that He approves. Your thoughts must be true, noble, just, pure, beautiful, reputable, and must have virtue and be worthy of praise. You are encouraged to meditate on these things.
Now the bottom line is that a lover of God worships God as a way of life. He is never forced to, but it comes naturally out of him. He delights to worship God with all that he has and does: spirit, soul, and body. And he does it in spirit and in truth, with all his heart and a deep knowledge of God.