Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength –Mark 12:30
John Legend was not the first to want ‘all of you.’ God has wanted all of you, and all of me from the inception of the world. Worship does not need to take place in any particular form; all that matters is that your heart is right with God. The kind of worship that pleases God has four characteristics:
God is pleased when our worship is accurate: In John 2:23, we’re told, “true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” To worship God in truth means to worship Him as He has been revealed in the bible… If we choose to create an idea of ‘God’ that differs from what the bible says, that’s idolatry.
God is pleased when our worship is authentic: We are spirit residing in a body. God pleasing worship is deeply emotional – we use our hearts and heads. God does not like hypocrites. The outward expression of your worship is not what pleases Him. I Samuel 16:7b: “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
It’s not expected that our worship be perfect, but we definitely cannot be insincere. The best style of worship is the one that most authentically represents your love for God.
In the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas, he identified 9 ways people draw near/ express their love to God:
Naturalists: out-doors, natural settings
Sensates: use their senses – worship uses all sense organs
Traditionalists: rituals, unchanging structures, or symbols
Ascetics: solitude and simplicity
Activists: through confronting evil or battling injustice
Caregivers: by loving and meeting the needs of others
Enthusiasts: through celebrations
Contemplatives: through adoration
Intellectuals: by studying with their minds
There are many more forms outside of these 9 listed.
God is pleased when our worship is thoughtful: Jesus called thoughtless worship ‘vain and repetitious.’ It could help if we’re specific sometimes. Maybe instead of saying, ‘God I praise you,’ you can say, ‘God I appreciate you for giving me the courage to confront that bully…’ I personally like to call His names. So I go from A – Z and mention His names…
Bread of life
Holy one of Israel
King of Kings
Lion of the tribe of Judea
My merciful daddy
Prince of peace
Quencher of thirsts
Rose of Sharon
X(speak in tongues, lol)
Z(my tongue just rolls here, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzez!)
God is pleased when our worship is practical: Let’s search our hearts and find ways to worship God that is unique to our personalities… Matt Redman, a worship leader in a church in England says his pastor banned singing as a form of worship for a period in his church as to teach his church the real meaning of worship. By the end of the time, Matt had written this infamous song:
“I’ll bring You more than a song,
because a song in itself, is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
than the way things appear.
You’re looking into my heart, into my soul.
I’m coming back to a heart of worship,
where it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus.
I’m sorry Lord for the things I’ve made it,
When it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus.”
Food for thought: Which is more pleasing to God right now – my public worship or my private? What will I do about this?