I had the privilege of attending a Bible study last night on genuine worship. There are many worship wars taking place these days over style and many who are passionate about “worship” do not pause and consider what the Object of our worship has to say on the subject. I am so thankful that I am part of a church where the Word of God is the authority on all things, even on the subject of worship.
The first time that the word “worship” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 22. I love this passage because it is also the first time that the word “love” is used in the Bible and it all takes place in the context of being obedient to God, no matter what. The foundation of our worship is having a personal relationship with God that is demonstrated through our love for Him via our obedience to Him. If this is not the starting point then no matter what “style” you use, your worship is useless.
The first passage that we looked at was Exodus 15. The people had just had an amazing experience with God and as a result of that experience, they broke out in song to the Lord. Here are a few of the insights that we attained last night as we studied together.
- Their worship to God is a song of praise
- It comes about after a great victory that the Lord brought about
- It comes out of the joy of their heart
- When a person has an experience with God he wants to worship
- He has reasons to sing and wants to worship
- They prepared ahead of time to sing because they all knew the words
- This was a monument to the Lord’s goodness
- The truths of God are mentioned
- The message had meaning
- The song meant something to them
- They all had an experience with God and it moved them to write this song and sing together.
This summer while leading a camp, we had a similar experience. The praise band at the camp was a professional Christian band called “Not an idol”. They studied the same Bible study that we did, while still finding time to prepare for the morning and evening worship. After studying a few lessons on the character of God, Elena and I challenged them to write a song to teach the main truths of the lesson. They composed an awesome song that immediately became the “hit” of the camp. It had meaning and all of us who had been studying wanted to sing the words because we were singing about our God whom we had been learning about. It was an absolutely amazing experience. While studying last night, I was reminded of the event from the camp and could not help but smile. If you do not experience God in your daily life then your singing during worship will become a routine with little impact. I see it happen over and over again. Those who experience God want to sing to Him and about Him, even people like me who cannot carry a tune in a bucket 🙂
The next passage what we studied was Psalm 33. There were many good insights that we attained here too and I would like to share them with you.
- The righteous ones are the people who worship and sing (righteous means being “right” with God)
- They praise the Lord
- They use instruments
- They sing new songs (because they have new experiences with Him daily)
- They sing and play skillfully
- They sing with great joy
- The focal point of genuine worship is God, not me
- They sing of the Lord’s ways, His character, and His actions
- Worship goes hand in hand with a pure heart (walking with the Lord daily in obedience)
The final passage that we considered during our study was from the New Testament. Jesus speaks to the idea of worship. Up until this point, we see that worship is between man and God. It is a personal experience. In the New Testament, Jesus takes our worship one step further. If we are true worshipers of God then our worship will bleed over into our daily lives. This can be found in Matthew 5.
- Songs without good relationships with people are not accepted by God
- We must first work on our relationships and then come to the Lord in worship
Finally, here are a few of our conclusions.
- Songs express the state of your heart
- They are not forced
- They are organized
- They are done well
- Instruments are used
- There are leaders
- There are followers
- It comes out of a unique experience with God
- You sing to God
- It is a reminder of what happened
- It is a way to send out a message
I hope that this has been as helpful to you as it was for me. Have a great day.