Humans are hard-wired to worship. God created us for that very purpose – to praise Him.
…the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:21, NIV
Humans will worship. We cannot help ourselves. Just look around. Any individual who isn’t worshipping the God who created them, still worships something.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.Amen. Romans 1:12, 25, NIV
Yet even the earth knows Who alone is worthy of praise.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1, NIV
Let’s assume we desire to fulfill the purpose for which we were created by worshipping God. How do we do that? What does it look like?
“Worship” is the act of glorifying God. Worship acknowledges that God alone is worthy of all our praise and honor and submission. Usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think of worship is singing our praises to God. And that is definitely one way of expressing our worship. But it isn’t the only way.
4 Ways to Worship
The following four expressions of worship is not an exhaustive list, but it does give us a solid foundation. Let’s start here and ask God to expand our understanding of what a lifetime of worship looks like.
- Verbal Praise – Whether spoken or sung, we can worship God by honoring Him with the fruit of our lips. We can do this alone in our private time with God or corporately with other gathered believers. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lipsthat openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15). Verbal praise can be a formal song or biblical passage, or it can be words of praise about God shared with someone else. If you need some direction with private worship, begin in the psalms. For instance, see Psalm 98, Psalm 100, and Psalm 111.
- Good Works & Acts of Service – As believers, when we help someone, when we serve in the church, when we share with those in need in the name of Christ, our actions point others to God and bring Him glory. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).
- Monetary Offerings – This one may surprise you. Our monetary tithes and offerings as well as helping those in financial need can be acts of worship. Consider this example from Paul’s letter to the believers in Philippi: “I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18). I think too often we give grudgingly or out of a sense of duty, but when done with the right heart, giving is worship. Even the realization can free us up to give cheerfully!
- Submission to God – When we yield ourselves to God in full obedience we become “living sacrifices” that bring Him glory. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
What other expressions of worship do you practice? What other biblical examples have you seen?
Other posts you might like:
- 9 Benefits of Praise
- Do we worship the Provider or the provision?
- Worship is Better Together
- Ten Ways to Worship without Music