Can I worship God beyond the music?

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So.. why do we sing songs every week at church again?

Here’s what I know a lot of people would define worship as: a time when everyone gathers together to sing songs before or after a pastor gives a sermon. This is the common thought when worship is mentioned, but I have learned that worship is so much more than a song.

Here’s my definition of worship: acknowledging God’s presence by expressing great love, high respect, and deep gratitude towards Him. I’ve learned that this is the truest way to describe in easy terms what God desires to receive from us. He didn’t appear to Moses as a burning bush and ask him to sing a song for Him. No! God asked Moses to take off his sandals. Why did God ask Moses to take off his sandals? Seems weird, right? He asked him to take them off because He wanted Moses to acknowledge with his physical body that He was standing before the presence of God Himself. How was taking off his shoes going to signify that he was honoring God’s presence? Well, have you ever thought about how many things your shoes have touched that your feet haven’t? Shoes are there to protect your feet from all kinds of dirt and disease that they could be walking on. For Moses to take off his shoes it was almost a message that said “I realize I’m sinful (or “dirty”, if you will) and I don’t deserve to be standing before You, God.” God desired for Moses to give Him the honor He was due by acknowledging that he was just a man, blemished and imperfect. It says in Exodus 3 that Moses not only took off his shoes, he hid his face too because he became afraid when he realized he was looking at the One and Only, Incredible and Awesome, God, in the form of a burning bush.

If worship is much more than just a song, but instead it’s about the way you think of God in your heart and how you respond to knowing who He is.. what do you think your worship would look like then?

I’ll be the first to say that there are some days I wake up, go to church, and I struggle to connect to God in the first song because I’m too busy wondering if my friends are around.

Is it still worship if I passively sang that “He has done great things” when my heart wasn’t actually engaged in that truth? I would venture to say that’s not really worship.

In the same way, when I get into a conversation with my sister about the Bible, but I start to be rude about it, I have totally missed an opportunity to acknowledge what the Bible is all about by worshipping God with my words and deciding to be gentle towards my sister. God desires for us to respond to Him in our spirits and in truth. He wants us to become aware of who He is and respond to it like we can’t help but sing or be nice to people because we KNOW who He is. When we know who He is, want to tell Him again and again and express to Him what that means to us!

Let me use another example.. has someone in your family or friend group ever told you that they love you and why they love you? How did it make you feel? I can answer that question.. it made me feel like I was worth a million bucks. There’s just something about someone looking you in the face and telling you why you mean so much to them.

God desires this same thing from us.. a true relationship where when we say or sing things to or about Him, we really mean it because we are willing to engage in a heart-conversation with Him.

I would encourage you to start pondering how you can worship God beyond the music that you sing at church. How can you tell Him you love Him right when you wake up? How can you tell Him you love Him when your sibling, parent, or guardian just made you upset? Your response in any situation can become worship to Him if you will tune your heart to recognition of His presence that never leaves you.

As well, in worship at church maybe ask yourself “Am I responding to who I know God to be or am I distracted?” If you’re distracted, try to move away from any other thoughts other than who you know God is. He is so good and He is so worthy of our attention and true worship!

WRITTEN BY: MALLORY GILLEY
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