Worship – It’s Not What You Think

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Woman worshiping with open arms or taking in the Autumn sun in a park.

What does worship mean to you?


Kneeling in prayer?

Raising your hands?


But is this really worship?  Or is there more to worship than our worship band leading us in a handful of our favorite songs while we enjoy moments of joy followed by deep contemplation?

After all – if that is all worship is, then it is still more about us than about Him. Right? If all worship consists of is being led into His present to enjoy Him then we are still the taker and He is still the giver.

Then what is worship?

There is a foundational principle of worship upon which all other acts of worship are built and if we fail to employ this principle in our lives, all other acts of worship are merely religious form void of meaning and power.

Mary understood this principle. 

Noah realized its importance

Jonah rejected it at first, but later repented.

This principle is:


Obedience is the principle that binds every other act of worship in an offering of love to God.

Because the very word worship implies that we are attributing worth to someone or something, and we do that best and most when we take the commands and principles that Almighty God carefully laid out in His Word, accept their importance to our lives, and carefully employ them and mold our lives around them.

We can dance at the altars, kneel down in reverence, raise our hands in surrender, and sing while tears pour down our cheeks, but all of this holds little meaning if an hour later we walk out the church door and fail to keep His commands.

The chorus: “I surrender all” is merely words dissolved in thin air if we truly have not surrendered all.

The words: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way…” are empty if we neither trust God nor obey Him.

When we sing: “Holy, holy, holy” and forget that Bible commands us to be holy as He is holy we engage in mere recitation, not worship.

We cry out, “Mighty is the power of the cross” and daily refuse to take up our own cross and say, “Not my will but Thine be done!”

You see, worship is not an action.  It is not a deed we do.

It is a life we live!

Worship is not about changing us. Worship is about

Offering ourselves to Him 

Obeying Him 

Surrendering to Him

Taking up our cross like He did

Laying our lives down for Him

For when we do this, true worship is offered up to heaven as incense before the throne of God.

No song need be sung, no word spoken. For the mere decision to live in complete obedience to Jesus Christ says more than the richest words penned by man.

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  1. That was a really great read 🙂 thank you. I found you at from my mountain view manic Monday’s link up. Tara (The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary)

  2. Oh, my! I just posted about Obedience last week, and this week hope to post about “Trust and Obey,” and, soon, Surrender (yielding to God), all as part of how we draw closer to Him. (“Closer” my “one word.”) Same page of truth. (Sylvia R @ sylvrpen.com

  3. I agree…. and I don’t think I even understood singing worship until I was preggo with my second child. Now, when I sing in church, I am overwhelmed with emotion when I think of Christ’s sacrifice. Thanks for this reminder 🙂

  4. I really like this definition of worship, Rosilind. Especially this part: “…Because the very word worship implies that we are attributing worth to someone or something…”
    Makes so much sense. Good words, my friend!

  5. Awesome post! So many people really don’t understand this. Surrendering your life, control EVERYTHING and trusting Him completely. TRUST & OBEY

  6. No – not always perfectly. I think that is why God looks at the heart. David didn’t obey perfectly – but he was still a man after God’s own heart, because when he sinned, he repented deeply and fully. That’s what pleased God!

  7. Great post. Worship is more than a feeling, it is a response to the greatness and reverence we have for Christ. We obey because we love who he is, and worship Him because He is worthy!

  8. This is a really thoughtful post. My husband and I used to walk out of church and say, ‘We ought not to feel so ‘good’ but feel convicted. We need to be real in our worship and not hypocritical. How we are at home when no one is there is who we really are. The worship from our hearts is far more important than outward worship when our life reflects the opposite.

    Thanks for linking this up over at WholeHearted Home last Wednesday, Rosalind.

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