Worship has its origin in the heart of man and therefore is a very personal experience for the believer. The heart is a gateway into the presence of God, allowing us to experience God and enabling us to express ourselves before God, since it is out of the heart that all the issues of life arise. The heart is the final decision maker, it is the seat of our will and the place where we choose what we will allow into our lives, or restrict from our lives. The soul and heart of man you might say is the engine room of our lives, it’s what gives us our self-consciousness and allows us to be God-conscious as well. The heart gives us our self-expression, we may express fear, doubt, love, joy and faith to name just a few. The heart houses our nature and character, the type of person we are as well as what motivates us in life. The heart has been truly wonderfully made and is what distinguishes us from all other forms of creation. We have a natural heart and a spiritual heart with each providing a central and vital function to our lives.
A basic definition of Worship is: 'My heart attitude expressed in the presence of God'.
When God looks at a man he does not look at the outer body of a man, but first looks at the heart of the man to get the true picture of that person. What is the nature and character of that person, what motivates them; are they loving and kind or selfish and full of pride. We may portray confidence yet inside we are filled with doubt and insecurity, the heart gives it all away which is why nothing can be hidden from God.
Love is an emotion which comes from the heart and which may be expressed in various ways, by various means. A young man who has fallen in love with a young woman may openly express his love for her verbally and also demonstrate his love by his actions. He may shower her with gifts and flowers, offer her his support, do things together which they both enjoy, give up his beloved Saturday afternoon soccer game to spend time with her.
He may even choose one day to give her the ultimate gift; he may choose to spend the rest of his life with her by marrying his beloved, this would be the ultimate expression of his love for her.
The heart is the launch pad for worship; it reveals my thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards God, paving the way for my response to the call of God in my heart to His presence. Do I love coming into the presence of God, do I open my heart to Him to tell Him how much I love Him, and do I wait upon Him to hear Him speak into my life? Do I quiet my heart in eager anticipation of meeting with Jesus, the Lord of lords and the King of kings, or am I too caught up with the hustle and bustle of my own life thus closing myself off to the flow of the Holy Spirit through my will, thoughts and emotions. Do I allow my heart to express my love for Jesus, allowing my life to become an expression of my love?
Having been created in the image of God my life is to be the expression of the heart of the Father, who made us to be like him. Worship allows us to express the love we have in our hearts to our heavenly Father and also to express the heart of our Father to this world.
King David was a man whom God chose to rule over His people, being called as a young shepherd boy and anointed to be King (1Samuel 16). You may wonder why God would choose a young shepherd boy to be King, why not a man who had proven himself on the battlefield in defending the land; surely there must be another worthy of this position. The answer once again lies with the ‘Heart’.
(Acts 13:22) “And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their King, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’
King David was a man who honoured God in everything he did, who chose to live and do things God’s way. He was a man who had the utmost trust in his God and who never trusted in his own strength but relied totally on God for guidance, deliverance, protection and provision. He was a man who honoured God and was not afraid to openly express his love for God and to seek His presence.
In contrast King Saul had been a self-willed individual, who had no trouble in taking matters into his own hand and was disobedient to Gods commands. He never expressed any love for God as did King David, instead he became a self-serving King; a characteristic which cost him his throne. (1Sam 13:11-14) `
God seeks those who will seek His will for their lives and who love to be in His presence and become one with Him, being transformed into His glorious image; that our lives may become the expression and manifestation of God, as the Spirit flows from within us to accomplish all that is on the Father’s heart.
Jesus said that out of our inner most being would flow rivers of living water (John 7:38), referring to the Holy Spirit. In other words, we would experience a release in our lives of the empowering life, wisdom, knowledge, strength and provision of God on a daily ongoing basis.
King David was a worshipper; one who knew God, whose heart was open and submitted to God to do all His will, and one who was not ashamed to openly express his love for God. A worshipper is one who will honour God with his life in all he does and all he is, while expressing his love unashamedly. He will give God the place of receiving the highest honour in his life by submitting his all to God as his sovereign Lord.
We may now refine our definition of a worshipper as: ‘One who continually experiences and walks in the presence of God and knows Him as Father and is unashamed in expressing his love for the Father.’
(John 5:19-20) Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.
God longs to reveal His heart to each one of His children. Worship is what will touch and open up the heart of the Father to each one of us.
A worshipper is one who loves to be in the presence of God and walks in all that God reveals to him. Worship becomes an experience of great intimacy as we open our hearts and God responds by opening His heart towards us as we share love together, filling us with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Great blessings await those who dare to open their hearts to Jesus and worship the living God. Do not be a spectator but be a participator in worship. Open your heart to Him, tell Him you love Him, get to know Him through the Scriptures and then come before Him and allow Him to fill you with His peace and joy, allow Him to speak into your life and bring about meaningful change.