Do You Know What Worship Is Really All About?
Jesus often asked the question of His disciples, “Where is your faith?”  What He was after was teaching
them to discover for themselves why they struggled with their faith.  Today I have the distinct impression that
the Spirit of God is going to be dealing with this through a look at idolatry, the revelation of what worship is,
and how hardness of heart and unbelief come from the worship of anything other than God.  It has many, many
implications and applications for our lives that will reveal why God is or is not responding to us as we would
hope.  This teaching may take a few days or even weeks to fully digest and a lifetime to apply.
Idolatry is not the actual bowing down before a statue, but it is the replacement of God in the mind of
the worshipper.  Col. 3:5  We must be constantly on guard that we let nothing come between us and God.
As soon as anything does, that thing is an idol.
Idolatry is not only the giving to any creature or human creation the honor or devotion which belonged to
God alone, but the giving to any human desire a precedence over God’s will.  Further, it seems consistent
with the nature of idolatry that to serve Him from anything but love is to serve Him in idolatry.  An idol is
what we love.  We worship what we love and trust.
To worship an idol makes one  a slave to the depraved ideas his idols represent, Gal. 4:8,9  What many
may not realize is the we begin to represent it.  Thus, God would forbid it as a violation of why we are here
- to declare His glory and image.  This is how men, “Turned the truth of God into a lie,” seen in Romans 1.
Proud people make themselves equal with God; covetous people make their money equal with God;
and whatever we esteem or love, fear or hope in, more than God, that ‘creature’ we make equal with
God, which is the highest affront imaginable to him who is God over all.

          Worship is from a Hebrew word that is very often translated, bow down.  The act of bowing down is

usually done before a superior or a ruler.  So to worship something other than God is to make that thing superior
to you and ruler over you!  We are mastered by what we worship.
It is as natural to worship as it is to live. The feeling and expression of high adoration, reverence, trust,
love, loyalty, and dependence upon a higher power, human or divine, is a necessity to man.  From this I
understand that our worship in church is a symbol of our devotion to God throughout our daily life.  Our
worship does not have any more validity then the integrity of our lifestyle.  Furthermore, everything that we say
and do in the worship service measures our life.  When we sing that God is holy we are instantly measured
concerning our personal holiness.
When our worship in church is disassociated from our lifestyle than our worship becomes ineffective. 
Our worship therefore puts definition on our life.  We worship now in the sanctuary of human life.  We
respond to the Spirit and in truth as we sing the notes, not of musical perfection, but of honesty.
Glorification is the target of worship.  When we worship Him rightly He responds in allowing himself to
be glorified.  Worship makes us the vessels fit for the glory to live in.
When true worship takes place then glory is the natural result.  If glory is not being manifested, then
worship is not happening.  When worship happens, glory results, always.  How will He show himself?  However
He chooses.  But faith worships Him.  Asking for things in His name is done upon the foundation and in the
context of worship, because the answer comes as a result of the desire for the glory of God.  The question is not
how we measure His glorifying himself.  The issue is our desire to see Him glorified.  When we ask with the
desire to glorify God, no matter what the need or request, we are on the surest ground when the idolatry of
requiring an answer for personal attainment is laid aside.
By definition a god is something that is important, and of value to us.  We make something our god
because of the return that we get.  There is reward.  But with every god there is also a sense of what he requires
of us.  We will always give something back.  If alcohol is our god than the payback will be a hangover.  We
believe in a god of alcohol and are willing to give him or it the payback.  What we give back to our god is our
primary act of faith.  We somehow naturally believe in that god, and we naturally give back what that god
requires.  We begin to see that our true act of faith is the price that we are willing to pay to have that god’s
reward.
Our primary act of faith towards our god is not something that we normally struggle with.  We do not
struggle to obtain that kind of faith.  We do not struggle to believe in the power of a high with drugs or alcohol
or sex.  Why can we not believe as simply in the power of God’s fulfillment of our lives?  I believe that it is
because we are inwardly and subtly worshiping other gods.  I also think that somehow we still have far too
much of a sense of God’s demanding performance from us before we have a right to walk in his fullness.  That
is not grace.
What is the primary act of our faith?  We go to buy a bottle, we pay the price of a hangover and even a
ruined family.  We willingly make the sacrifice, even though we know in truth that we are not free but bound. 
How much merit is there in repentant acts of so-called faith, so-called holy living where there is no joy and
peace?  How much of that fulfillment is nothing more than a sense of self accomplishment - not that much
different from building a garage or painting the house?  How much of a free flow of repentance do we really
have that comes from the excited joy of knowing God’s fullness?  How much repentance and holy living truly
comes from the joy that we have already been forgiven?  I believe that this alone is the true power of the new
covenant.  The fear of God, of his judgment, and of failing him must be nothing more than the foundation of
knowing his grace and mercy.  We must never dare think that we can live up to this foundation by our
performance.
So we see that worship defines our existence and identity.  It establishes our destiny and purpose. 
Worship reveals our true life allegiance, and it also describes where we get out personal sense of value and
honor.  Further, worship displays what our life is truly representing and reflecting to others.  To not desire to
worship God reveals a total betrayal of what we claim to have believed.  A lack of worship in Spirit and in truth
and life patterns of bondage go together.  Honesty in worship also helps us discover what we are ruled by and
why.  Our primary acts of faith will help us understand our own true worship, and if they are in the Spirit by
faith, those acts of worship will release the glory of God.