Jesus visited with a woman who was confused about worship (John 4). Because worship is so central to our purpose as people, Jesus challenged her with some truths to clear up her confusion. One problem she had was the place of worship. The Jews taught that Jerusalem was the place to worship God. The Samaritans taught that Mt. Gerizim was the place. Jesus taught her that worship is not limited to a specific place. God is Spirit and therefore is not limited to one location. True worship takes place in our spirits. Therefore worship can take place anytime, anyplace.
You don’t have to be in a church building to worship. It may sound strange coming from a pastor, but some of my best times of worship have been when it was just me and God alone outside somewhere in the beauty of God’s creation.
As you come alone to face God in honest worship these simple pointers should help you (some of these are drawn from Broadman and Holman’s Disciple’s Study Bible).
1. Worship is a dynamic confrontation with the living God. It is dynamic because His power is experienced. It is a confrontation because worship brings us face to face with God. In many of the individual experiences of worship recorded in the Bible, people bowed to the ground or fell to the ground. True worship will bring feelings of reverence and humility.
2. You are encouraged to worship individually. The Bible tells us to come boldly before God’s throne to receive mercy and grace in our time of need (Heb. 4:16). We are commanded to “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isa. 55:6).
3. You will encounter hindrances to worship—be ready! Distractions, Feelings, Ignorance, Fatigue.
4. God has given you helps for your worship.
- Spirit – The Holy Spirit lives in all true believers. He is our helper in our prayers, worship, witness and work. He will convict us of our sin so we can confess it. He will make known to us God’s presence. He will strengthen our weaknesses. He will comfort our troubled hearts.
- Truth – Since the Word of God is truth, the Bible is a great help in our worship. It reveals the nature, attributes, and expectations of the God we worship. Bible reading is a part of worship.
- Faith – Faith enables us to enjoy God’s presence. Faith pleases God. Faith will prompt us to worship. Faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8) and comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
- Establish a time and place for worship – Individual worship can occur spontaneously any time you experience God’s presence in your life and respond to it. But having a regular scheduled time for worship will discipline you to recognize God in the rest of the day. Pick a place where you can worship aloud without disturbing others or being distracted.
- Read God’s Word. Let God speak to you through His word. Then respond to God. Look for reasons to praise, confess, surrender, intercede, and rejoice.
- Sing to God. Music communicated truth in a way that is easily received. It motivates us to worship and well as expressing our worship. Feel free to make your own joyful sounds before the Lord.
- Praise God. Praise is adoring God because He is worthy.
- Practice silence. Listen for God speaking to you.
- Thank God. List specific reasons from your daily life experience to thank God.
- Confess your faith and your sins. Confess what you believe as an act of worship. Confess your weaknesses to God and seek His strength. Confess your sins and find His forgivness.
- Surrender your life to God.
People were made to worship. But what we find both in the scriptures and by experience is that people often worship the wrong things. The most important aspect of your worship is the object of your worship. WHO do you worship?
In many societies the wonders of the sun, moon, and stars prompted worship. The animal kingdom with its myriads of sizes and shapes has had its worshipers. The problem with worshipping these created things is that not only is it idolatry, but people have never been able to find true intimacy, love and acceptance from worshiping the created order. So according to Romans 1:21-25 people became guilty of creating their own gods and falling down before the work of their own hands (Isa. 2:8,20; 46:6). This was not a temporary trend. It is a fact of sinful human nature (Rom. 1:21-25).
Our adversary, the devil, does not want us to worship God. He even tried to get Jesus to turn his worship away from the living God (Matt. 4:9). The enemy still does not want us to worship. He knows the significance of worship in the life of a Christian. He will spare no effort to distract, deceive, and distort to keep us from true worship. We should expect struggle and resistance as we worship the living God.
Enjoy your time worshiping God today.