The Heart of Worship
Worship is not music, and it has nothing to do with music. They are associated merely by happenstance. ‘The world’ has delegated the word to meaning ‘singing songs about God’. It so much more than that.
Worship is a sacrifice. I never really thought about how people pray that line ‘may what we sing be a sacrifice to you’. Really, I thought it had to do with what we ‘offer’: I offer songs and they offered goats. It’s not.
It’s the acknowledgment to God that I am His creature: a created being, not worthy to look upon that creator, not worthy to do His work, not worth the salt and water in my body. But I have laid myself aside to kneel before that creator and tell HIM of his WORTH.
‘WORTH-SHIP’ is where the word comes from.
Its not about me, its not about what I like. It’s my personal outpouring of ‘thankfulness’ or ‘lament’ or ‘gospel truth’. This idea that we need to hear a certain ‘style’ of music to get ‘in the mood’ or ‘feel the presence’, this is a false idea! If it’s about you, the worshipper, then its not worship. If you had anything to do with it, its not worship. These concerns of what people want to hear, what they like, what the worship leader or the band wants to play; it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that God is glorified, not that people merely ‘feel his presence’. What matters is that we sing to our God! And if we don’t, he’ll find someone else or the rocks will cry out in our place (cf Luke 19:37-40). What matters is that we acknowledge that its not about ‘us’. Our sacrifice is the death of ourselves for a moment, that moment where we know Christ is King, and that He has done mighty works for His creation.
The words of His Word, the heart of the believer, this is what God wants with praise and worship. From the man humming a hymn tune in his head, to tribes in Indonesia that sing praises without music. From east Indian devotional songs, to Psalter in China whispered… carried by the wind to the ear of the creator.
is what God delights in.
Worship leaders don’t choose songs based upon their personal preferences or a theme…. they prayerfully consider what the worship team (which comprises the entire congregation) needs to sing to their creator.
And sometimes, they have some instruments to help that congregation find the notes.