Worship is a response to who God is and what He is doing in the lives of His people. This response can manifest itself in many forms. Singing praise is only one aspect of worship. Prayer, serving others, generosity with our possessions, and teaching the Bible are all examples of worship. But music is unique because it is a form a worship that happens corporately. When we sing together, we worship with one voice to God. It is easy to get into the rhetoric of Christian repetition so much that we lose sight of the significance of our worship. Why is it that we gather every week and sing praises to our God?
The answer is simple: God is worthy.
The root of the English word worship is worth-ship. In other words, worship is the act of acknowledging the worth or value of something or someone. In this case, worship is proclaiming the worthiness and greatness of God Almighty. An understanding of this simple definition can revolutionize how you interact with God in worship.
The Bible gives countless examples of authentic worship through song. When Mary discovered she was going to be the mother of the Messiah, she sang out “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my heart rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46). The ten verses that follow are known commonly as the Magnificat—one of the most famous worship experiences recorded in the Bible. And why wouldn’t Mary respond in song? An angel had revealed to her that salvation of the world would be possible through the birth of a child in her virgin womb. A miracle of God! When Mary understood how worthy God is and how magnificent are His deeds, she could not contain her worship.
Another example of worship through song is found in the Exodus story of the Old Testament. After Moses led God’s people out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, he was overwhelmed with worship in response of God’s favor. Exodus 15 gives an account of all the miraculous provision God offered His people as they followed Moses out of bondage. Moses’ song is a proclamation of the greatness of God in seemingly impossible circumstances. Like Mary, Moses was able to catch a glimpse of God’s glory and responded in the only way he could—in a song of gratitude and praise.
So what does that mean for us?
When you sing in your worship team, choir, or congregation, do you sing with a heart that proclaims God is worthy of praise? Do you believe the words you are singing? If you don’t, do you wait for God to change your heart before joining in? Are you walking in obedience with the message echoing throughout your church? Be encouraged, God has given you a voice to sing His praise. Do so with an overflow of adoration like Mary and Moses. God is worthy of all our attention and affection.
We must praise God because of who He is and all that He is doing through those who follow Him. Psalm 150 said it best: “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.” Use voices, use instruments, use silence. In whatever method you feel the Lord leading you, worship the God who knows you intimately and has called you by name.
As you worship and lead others into worship this week, remember who God is and why He is worthy of your best worship. Your best worship is not defined by the most popular song, a flawless performance, highly talented musicians, or a physically vibrant and responsive congregation. Your best worship is found when you humble yourself before Almighty God and seek His face, day in and day out. Give all glory and honor and power and praise to the Lord of all creation, who deserves our worship.
About the author: Johnson Roberts has worked as a Credit Services Representative at Brentwood Benson for ten years. He has a Masters Degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and is also a studio musician and worship leader in Nashville. He lives in Thompson Station with his wife and daughter.