What Is Worship?
I want to talk a little about worship. We know there are many forms of worship, but I want to focus for just a moment on songs. Just because it is a song about God, a Christian song as it were, does not make it a “worship song.” In a way, anything we do that glorifies God is a form of worship, but a song of worship is a song that is directed at God in a way that glorifies Him and loves on him.
Now, keep in mind I am not song bashing here, but I notice that in “worship time” we quite often sing songs that in no way love on or glorify God. They are songs about God but not really singing to Him. Let me give you an example:
“It Is Well With My Soul”
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
And on it goes to the chorus. Now, get me straight here before you jump all sideways on me. I am not bad mouthing this song. It is a beautiful song with a wonderful message. It is a hymn, older than dirt, but very much a legitimate song even for today. One of my all time favorite songs is a hymn, so I love them and they have a wonderful place in today’s churches. But… It’s not a song that praises God. It is worship in a very mild format. Again I am NOT bad mouthing Christian songs in this format.
Christian songs come in many styles and genres. It would be impossible to fully explain it all here. I am not a song know it all, but music is a very big part of my life and has been since I was a child. And honestly, I love all genres to a point. But I’m getting off point here.
So, what is my point? I think that when we come together to worship, we should in fact worship. I feel that far too often we are singing songs that were just handy or that we know well. You may ask why worship is so important? Well, first of all (among many reasons) worship is the single thing we can give to God. In all formats of worship (our time, our money, our praise), it is the only thing we can give to God that he doesn’t have. It is the greatest way to say thank you for all He has done for us.
Also, He asks for it. He is telling us to worship Him. And, the Word tells us He inhabits the praises of His people. Essentially, He becomes “heavier” in worship. That’s why many miracles and words of prophecy and so on happen in that time. It’s too much to go into here, but I have had God’s strong touch happen to me more than once in corporate worship.
True Worship Songs?
So what is a true worship song? Well, a real worship song will always have the subject focus in it to be God. Whether it is directly speaking to Him or indirectly. A song that speaks directly to God is the greatest of worship songs. We are telling God how much we love Him directly. Like a prayer, only it is focused on just telling Him of His goodness. Here’s an example:
“Awesome In This Place”
“You are awesome in this place, Mighty God
You are awesome in this place, Abba father
You are worthy of all praise, to you our lives we raise
You are awesome in this place, Mighty God.”
Do you see the difference? Not every worship song is directed to Him, but the greatest are.
Worship songs that speak of Him are still worship. They do not speak to Him but speak of Him. As though we were speaking to the world about how wonderful He is. I feel these are legitimate worship songs as well. Again, here’s an example of what I am talking about:
“How Great Is Our God”
“The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice, all the Earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in light and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice, trembles at His voice.”
In this song, it’s as if we are telling those around us about how awesome God is. It is very much a worship song, but indirectly as it is like we are bragging about God to someone else.
Worship songs never talk about how tough life is. They don’t talk about how the world hates us. They don’t talk about the devil. That’s one you really gotta watch out for. Imagine, singing songs in “worship time” that reference the fallen? But, it happens a lot. I think the biggest problem that happens is that the person deciding what songs to sing has never learned of the responsibility of the “worship leader.” Leading God’s people in worship is never secondary to any other “position” in church. But, many places today do exactly that.
God blesses the most during worship. No other time does it say He inhabits. Not the preaching, not the offering time, not the prayer time. Just the praise time.
Worship is almost always the first thing we do in church. Why? Is it tradition? Nope, it’s because His presence comes in during that time and we take advantage of that to have Him involved in the remainder of the service. If there is interruption during worship, it will set the tone of the remainder of the service. The anointing will be “resistant” over all of the service. Including the Word. I used to be a pastor and having a lack of anointing during the Word because of messy worship is devastating. Most preachers who struggle with this likely have no idea what’s going on.
Think About It!
Now you know, worship time in song is not just a bunch of songs thrown together haphazardly. The entire time should be led of the Lord from start to finish. Choosing the songs, the singing, the leading, the sensitivity to God’s presence. And what is being said in the songs.
Blessings – Hey, I’m not a know it all and I can take a little correction. Let me know if you agree or even if you think I’m somewhere out in deep left field.