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A Worship Devotional


I wrote this devotional for our service at North Hills this sunday. I thought I would share. It is far from perfect and far from being theologically thorough, but sometimes, that may be just what we need.

What is worship, what does it mean to worship, and what is the purpose of our worship? Does it mean coming to church and singing songs?


The word most commonly translated as “worship” in the New Testament means, quite literally, to bow down. The word itself is used of Kings, Jesus, God, and some angels. There is a word that seems to be only applied to God that means a sort of liturgical worship. So, if we put these ideas together we find that worship is more than just singing songs and praying and even coming to church. Our act of worship is to bow down and give to God what is His in the first place.


In the book of 2 Samuel we find David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant in a linen Ephod, about the closest you could get to dancing in your underwear in those times, this also was a garment reserved exclusively for close worship of God. He did not care that he had bared himself for God and acted in worship toward God in public because he knew who his redeemer was.


What are we to do in our worship?


John 4:23,24 – Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.


If we go on to verse 24 we find out that God is spirit. If that is the case, then we must worship in Him; we must come to the throne of God and lie prostrate at a place where there can be no lies. Who we are is laid bare before the throne of God. We find that no corner of our being is left untouched. To worship in spirit and in truth means that as we pursue God, we also pursue that which is ultimately true -about God, about Jesus, about our place in the world, and about ourselves, these are the kinds of worshippers that God desires. What He wants from us is to come before that very throne and lay ourselves bare to be tested by Him, for “our God is a consuming fire.” God desires that we purchase gold refined by that fire through our worship. To do anything less is to miss the mark of what it means to be a true worshipper.


Romans 12:1- Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -this is your spiritual act of worship.


What does it mean to offer our bodies as living sacrifices? I have heard it said that if we do not lay our bodies down at the altar, if we do not lay our very existence -everything that we are- at the altar of God, we aren’t truly living a Christian life. Yet that is what Paul would call our “spiritual act of worship. In verse 2, it tells us that in light of this we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind.” As we come to the throne of God, we find that as we lay ourselves down, our encounter with God, changes, transforms, and renews our very beings -our minds- so that we may “be able to test and approve what God’s will is.” This is an act of God entirely, not accomplished by our own will power, our goal is to put ourselves in the place where God can change us. We find that as we worship God, as we approach his throne. This is the point where the human will ends, the point where we approach and lie prostrate before Him. As we encounter God during our worship, we find that He gifts us in ways that we can never imagine, even being able to understand His will.


Imagine you are walking into the very presence of God. What do you see? What does His throne room look like? Is it cold, warm, hot? What do you feel? What emotions rise up inside of you as you see his glory and Jesus sitting at his right hand? You come forward to the throne of God and see both God and Jesus smiling. You immediately fall down on your face in front of their awesome majesty because it is the only thing you can do. At this moment, nothing else matters except that you are communing with the creator of the universe and his exalted son. At this point the music doesn’t matter; it is just you and God. He searches you and finds problem areas and begins fixing them, He rewards you for jobs well done. He guides you and teaches you.

This is the goal of our worship, to commune with God in a way that far surpasses standing in a sanctuary and singing. This is what God calls us to do as we worship him in spirit and in truth and as a living sacrifice. 


2 Responses to “A Worship Devotional”

  1. on 06 Jun 2008 at 9:39 pmMark

    Thanks Kyle! This was a clear, simple, yet profound picture of worship, and it was just what I needed to hear.
    Rock on!

  2. on 09 Jun 2008 at 8:18 amKyle



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