The Heart of Worship

The com­mer­cial for Wor­ship Jamz begins with the nar­ra­tor say­ing “It’s wor­ship time!”, imme­di­ate­ly fol­lowed with song and dance.

I would be just fine with that if it was­n’t for the fact that they have gross­ly mis­un­der­stood wor­ship, and I chal­lenge any singer of “wor­ship music” to show me in Scrip­ture where song is con­nect­ed with wor­ship. I just sur­veyed every verse where “wor­ship,” “wor­ship­ping” or “wor­ship­peth” appears, and nev­er does Scrip­ture say that when we are wor­ship­ping, we are singing. Wor­ship is con­nect­ed to ser­vice and it is con­nect­ed to be being face down in humil­i­ty before God.

In oth­er words, we are more wor­ship­ful when we are knelt down pray­ing to God than when we are singing and danc­ing to “praise and wor­ship” music, which should hon­est­ly be called sim­ply “praise” music, which is what it is. 

I am sad­dened over the fact that in the minds of a vast major­i­ty, wor­ship involves singing and dancing.

Friends, this is not wor­ship. Wor­ship is a hum­bling expe­ri­ence that draws us face down before God. Wor­ship is true real­iza­tion of who we are and who God is, that we aren’t wor­thy of his grace, that we owe him our all.

Matt Red­man sings, “I’ll bring you more than a song for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deep­er with­in through the way things appear. You’re look­ing into my heart. I’m com­ing back to the heart of wor­ship, and it’s all about you. It’s all about you, Jesus.”

Those sim­ply lyrics are clos­er to wor­ship than most any­thing else I’ve heard in the “praise and wor­ship” genre, and I remem­ber read­ing that Red­man wrote that song specif­i­cal­ly for that rea­son, to call us back to bib­li­cal worship.

No doubt we should give praise and thanks for all the won­der­ful bless­ings. But we need to get back to the heart of wor­ship, allow­ing our­selves to be bro­ken, cru­ci­fied with Christ, laid out in the rev­e­la­tion that HE IS and that we are nothing.

I for­got to men­tion that I did find one verse which men­tions wor­ship and singing togeth­er: “All the earth shall wor­ship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah” (Psalm 66:4). Still wor­ship and singing are not tied togeth­er as being the same; they are sim­ply two things which will be done.

Fea­tured image: source, license






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Rick Beckman