What does worship really mean?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42 1-2 NIV)

These words are powerful. Read the above scripture out loud. As deer need water, I need God. Deer are fast moving, agile creatures. They stroll and graze but they dart through the forest from a threatening sound and are very quick. MossyOak.com says deer have the most movement during cold days with high wind velocity. These days are best for hunting deer because of all their movement says MossyOak.com. Ok, not only are they built for speed, but they like very windy days which means they rush against the wind. This works up a good sweat moving fast against the wind. I would say they are extremely thirsty when they pant for water.

After that kind of exercise, any of us would pant for water. In fact, after jogging up my street I pant like a deer does for water. But that’s just my lack of athleticism. Can you place yourself in that position? Running and jumping, darting and moving against winds like a deer? How spent and thirsty we would be. Well that is how our souls thirst for God. It is extreme thirst like dehydration. So the only way to be filled and quench our souls is to drink the living water, God. The Psalm continues and asks earnestly “When can I go and meet with God?” When can I be filled and quench my thirst? When can I rehydrate my body? When can I feel satisfied? When can I feel relief from lacking? The answer is… whenever we worship Him.

Merriam-Webster defines worship as: “Excessive admiration for someone.” “Extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem.”

I love how Merriam-Webster defines worship because it is exactly how we should worship Christ. I am guilty for not fully understanding the true meaning of worship. I enjoy writing these posts because I dig deeper each time, learn so much, and apply it. James MacDonald said in a podcast sermon one time that worship means to completely surrender, have no other thoughts, be in awe, and to solely give praises to God. That sermon was amazing. To go to God with nothing else on my mind but Him during that time of worship. To completely surrender my body and mind to Him. To give sole praises to the Creator for not what He has done for me, but just because of who He is. Isn’t that amazing? In order to be filled, we must completely deplete ourselves and give all of our attention to God.

Excessive admiration and extravagant devotion. Moses, Nehemiah, and many others fell to their knees in immediate respect and worship for the Lord. They would fall face down to the ground.

“Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshipped.” (Exodus 34:8 NLT)

Have you ever been so deep in gospel music or Christian music that you wanted to fall face down and bow? Other religions like Muslims, do this as a ritual whereas we don’t have to do it as a ritual. But, the extravagant worship behind it is the same. We don’t have to do it on a routine or for show. But, the heart and purpose behind it is the same. Alone time with the Lord in true worship is what our souls crave and thirst for constantly. We must be renewed and we must go before Him. Turn on praise music, open your bible early in the morning with no one around, fall on your knees and pray without concern for time, or again turn on the praise music to worship your God.

I love to worship with music. The songwriters say exactly what I’m feeling and the instruments lift my soul in praise. I get chills or even start to cry during true praise and worship with Christian music. But I don’t do it often enough. My soul lacks and I feel empty at times. So how often should we worship? There is no ritual or routine. But if you’ve gone a whole week and not spent time alone in true worship with the Lord, your soul is lacking and is extremely thirsty. Daily or weekly, depends on you. But we cannot afford to miss the calling of going before Him. We must listen to the definition of worship and act on it. Other religions should look to us for what it means to worship. On our knees, showing respect, face down to the ground, extravagant devotion, hands raised high, excessive admiration. Our souls need this to be replenished. 

Remember we don’t have to sacrifice goats or virgins to worship our God. Jesus paid the price for our true sacrifice. That means our worship is free from distraction. No killing animals or humans. No show boating or cheap frills. Authentic, sincere, excessive, and complete admiration and devotion to God, is what worship really means.

Be blessed this week ladies. Intentionally make the time to spend in true worship with God. He deserves way more than we give Him.

SN: I referenced James MacDonald above. You can find sermons & podcasts from this awesome pastor at Walk In the Word.

One thought on “What does worship really mean?

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