Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Experiencing Worship

Worship can be described as the proverbial “elephant” in the church. We know that worship is vital to our time together but what should it look like. In what ways do we know that we are truly worshipping God? How should it feel? These are questions that have plagued the church and unfortunately created some dissension.

In his book, Exploring Worship, Bob Sorge gives a few definitions of worship (65-66):

1) Worship is conversation between God and man, a dialogue that should go on constantly in the life of a Christian.

2) Worship is giving to God and involves a lifetime of giving to Him the sacrifice He asks for: our total selves.

3) Worship is our affirmative response to the self-revelation of the triune God. For the Christian, life is an act of worship when it is done with love that responds to the Father’s love.

4) Worship is the outcome of the fellowship of love between the Creato and man and is the highest point man can reach in response to the love of God.

5) Worship is an act by a redeemed man, the creature, toward God, his Creator, whereby his will, intellect, and emotions gratefully respond in reverence, honor, and devotion to the revelation of God’s person expressed in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit illuminates God’s written Word to his heart.

6) True worship and praise as “awesome wonder and overpowering love” in the presence of our God.

7) Worship is the ability to magnify God with our whole being—body, soul, and spirit.

8) Worship is the response of God’s Spirit in us to that Spirit in Him whereby we answer, “Abba, Father,” deep calling unto deep.

Though these definitions may be helpful, they still fall short of its true meaning. Sorge’s father-in-law, Morris Smith, insightfully remarked, “Real worship defies definition; it can only be experienced.”

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