WEEK 6, DAY 37: WORSHIP
I teach about worship at a kids camp most summers, kids from five to eleven. I start with two questions. First, I hold up my guitar and ask, “Is this guitar music?” Half of their heads cock to the side and “nos” and “yeses” float up. I shake my head, “No. This is a guitar. It is a TOOL for making music, but this guitar is not music. You could use this for other things—you could use it as a hammer, or as a baseball bat right?” I then sternly warn them not to use my guitar like that! Then I say, “A guitar is a tool for making music. And guess what? Music is a tool – it is not worship, but it is capable of making worship to God.”
WORSHIP IS NOT MUSIC
Most people equate music and worship because we call it that—it’s a “worship service”, we have the sermon after “worship”. But the truth is, you can stand in a crowd of people and sing songs and not be worshiping. In fact, music is often used in worshiping people, power, love, money, and many other things. Jaye Thomas says that worship is “a right response to a revelation of God”. One of the earliest references to worship in Scripture is Chapter 22 of Genesis. Abraham tells his servant that he and Isaac are going up the mountain to worship, and then they would return. Abraham wasn’t referring to music, but to obey a command God had given him.
RESPONDING TO GOD
Worshiping the right way is responding to God. In Revelation Chapter 22 John the Revelator was having a heavenly experience. He was in God’s presence, but he responded by worshiping an angel! That’s not a right response. So, worship is not music. It’s not singing or even being in God’s presence. It’s not having an experience with God. However, all those things can spur us to respond in worship.
Think about these aspects of God’s character: God is love, God is jealous, God is righteous, God is forgiving. Now, think about how you could respond to those revelations of God’s character right now, where you are. You could use words, music, singing, dance, you could paint a picture, write a check, write a letter, or even receive forgiveness and then forgive someone else! We’re created to worship. In John 4:23 Jesus said the Father is seeking worshipers, those who worship in Spirit and in Truth. He is looking for a response from you. Right now. Where you are. You don’t have to be in a church building or worship service, you don’t have to sing or play an instrument. So, right now, worship Him.
—Bethany Pedigo, Vineyard Bowling Green
TIME TO CONTEMPLATE:
- Ask God to reveal something to you about His nature
- Choose a tool to respond. (Words, music, singing, dance, action, etc.) That is worship!
Thank you, God, for revealing yourself to us through the Scripture, through the world you made, through your Body, the Church, and most importantly, through Your son, Jesus. Thank you for creating me for worship, and looking for my response to you! I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for you! I will worship you all the days of my life, I will praise you with everything I am! Amen.