By Alicia Purdy, Crosswalk.com
Do you ever think about why you worship the Lord? Sure, as a Christian it’s what you do. It’s a traditional part of the Sunday service. It’s written about in the Bible. When we worship, we learn theology and pass down oral traditions, stories, concepts about God. Setting Scriptures to music is a great way to remember them. It’s unifying, empowering, and encouraging to sing together to the Lord, right?
Those are all good reasons to worship, but those reasons exist outside of you.
The real reasons for worship must exist within you.
Why should you worship God? Scripturally speaking there are many reasons why you “should,” but the more important question is this: Do you even want to?
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What’s the Point of Worshipping God?
The worst misconception about worship is that it is for the benefit of the believer. When your presumption is that worship is “God’s gift” to you or that you should come ready to “receive” from Him or “experience” Him, you’re going to walk away disappointed or, worse, deceived about what really happened. The primary purpose of worship is to minister to the Lord, not for Him to minister to you.
Will He minister to you? Of course! But that’s not the why we worship God. Don’t confuse the purpose of praise and worship with the “perks” of praise and worship. God has many, many blessings built into the obedient sacrifices of worship, but we don’t come into worship seeking His hand. We worship to seek His face.
“In blessing I will bless you,” the Lord said to His people in Genesis 22:17. What that means is that as you minister to the Lord, He is faithful to minister to you. In fact, your ministry of thanksgiving to Him opens the gates of His presence (Psalm 100:4).
Your worship enables, empowers, and invites the Lord to come close and bring His mighty presence in a whole different way than you’ll experience it otherwise.
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Worship to Know God More
The primary way you’ll know the Lord is through His Word, but the dynamic of His presence changes when you step into His courts, as opposed to inviting Him into yours. Worship creates two fascinating, spiritual conditions:
Think of it this way: You can have a friend over to your house every day and you’ll most likely get to know them well. But you’ll get to know your friend even better when you go and spend time in their home. Why? Because you’re more comfortable in your own home. You’ve created an environment that reflects your tastes and character.
It’s the same with your Heavenly Father! In John 17:3-4 Jesus said, “This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth…” Peter affirms the connection between worship and knowing the Lord saying, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to Him be glory, both now and forever. (1 Peter 3:18)
Yes, He’ll come to where you are, but you are invited to enter into His gates. And when you do, you’ll deepen your knowledge, enrich your relationship, and increase your intimacy with Him.
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Worship to Make Him Known
The primary purpose of worship is to minister thanksgiving to the Lord. However, there are many, many additional reasons why we praise and worship Him. One of the most powerful aspects of worship is that, while we minister to the Lord, we’re also ministering to each other.
“Faith comes by hearing” Paul wrote in Romans 10:17. When you worship the Lord, thanking and extoling Him for the things He has done, you are testifying to those who hear you—and that is a powerful and effective faith-building strategy!
In Psalm 40:1-3 David sang his testimony in the congregation saying, “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet on a rock, and established my steps.”
But continuing on in his worship, David makes it clear that the victory and rescue and faithfulness of God wasn’t just for him. David knew the world needed to hear of this powerful testimony as well, so he put it to music! “He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; many will see it, and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3)
Praise and worship are faith-building in two ways:
1) When we sing the Scriptures, our spirit hears these and becomes strengthened because, indeed, faith comes by hearing the words of Christ.
2) When we sing a testimony, we are speaking prophetically, as the Bible notes in Revelation 19:10 that “…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Our worship is a testimony that what God has done for one, He will do for all – save, heal, restore, rescue, provide, bless, protect—and more!
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Worship to Win the War
When Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Macedonia, “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:25-27)
In 1 Samuel 16:23 when Saul was tormented in the spirit, “David would take the lyre in his hand and play. So, Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
When Job faced the worst circumstances anyone can ever experience, “Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshipped [saying] blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20) and in the end, “So the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” (Job 42:12)
See the word “blessed” at the beginning and end of Job’s story, where Job “blessed” God and God “blessed” Job? In Hebrew it’s the same word. It affirms God’s faithfulness stated above from Genesis 22:17, “In blessing I will bless you…” Praise God!
Worship wins all kinds of battles: battles against the natural world, like with Paul and Silas; battles against the spiritual world, as in the story of David and Saul; and battles within ourselves, like in Job’s story.
Many people don’t have a “why” for worship that exists within their spirit, but instead do it for reasons that exist outside of them. It’s just a habit, routine, or something they’ve been taught to do and they listen to Christian radio or sing songs about God on Sunday while missing the whole point.
Why should you worship God? If you truly understood the power and purpose of worship a better question would be: Why wouldn’t you?
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Alicia Purdy is a worship leader and a full-time writer with an M.A. in Journalism. She is the host of “Living Out Loud!”, a weekly radio show broadcast at the ALIVE Radio Network. You can learn more about Alicia’s books including, “The Way of the Worshipper”, catch up on “Living Out Loud” episodes and subscribe to free devotionals at her blog: TheWayoftheWorshipper.com. Alicia is also a human with an ongoing education in all things life-related! Her passion is to write about real life and a real faith in a real Jesus to inspire, encourage and entertain people from all walks of life. Alicia and her husband have 5 kids ranging from 20 years old all the way down to 4 - and 1 cat, named Chester. You can find and follow Alicia on Facebook and Instagram. She welcomes questions and discussion. You can reach out via email at The Way of the Worshipper. If you meet her in person, she will most likely try and wipe you down with essential oils and then ask if you want to grab a coffee.