Worthy of It All

Worship is more than a moment during a weekend service. If you’ve been to one of the FAC campuses, chances are you’ve seen Evan Watson or Michelle Peters lead the music in our weekend gatherings! Here are some of their reflections on God’s design of worship:

Evan: “For us to have a true understanding of worship, we must first define what worship is, and specifically what Christian worship is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, worship simply means: 1: to honour or show reverence for a divine being or supernatural power, and 2: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honour, or devotion.

Worship contains the ideas of honour and worth. When we worship God, we’re honouring Him and recognizing His value. Like the angels in heaven, the true worshippers’ posture is, ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power’ (Revelation 4:11). When we examine the Old and New Testament words translated as ‘worship,’ we see Hebrew terms most often used mean ‘to bow down, to do homage’ according to Genesis 18:2.

In the Greek New Testament, the most prominent word for worship conveys the idea of ‘showing reverence’ or ‘bowing down to God’ as depicted in John 4:21-24. There is a second Greek term which means ‘to serve, to minister’, which are both used in Matthew 4:10 where Jesus says, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ We can then conclude that worship involves both our attitude and our actions. Worship is the attitude of reverence and adoration, as well as the action of humble, loving service to the worthy God.”

How does God feel about worship?

Michelle: “Malachi 1:11 (the word of the Lord to Israel, as it came through Malachi) says: For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.’

God doesn’t need our worship. He is already being worshipped in the heavenly places because His name is already great, and His glory is greater than the heavens and the earth. All of creation praises Him! God is seeking people who will worship Him “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). He created us for himself (Colossians 1:16). He created us to worship Him and in worshipping Him only can we find our true identity and fulfill our purpose. 

He feels close to those who worship him and dwells with those who are lowly and contrite in spirit (Isaiah 57:15). He longs to be close to his children. What good parent doesn’t want to be close to their kids? 

When you love someone for who they are, you can’t keep from expressing it. It’s the same with God and our love for him. We cannot keep from singing his praises or be silent about it (Psalm 30:12). We come full circle when we express our love in worship to God through praise!”

Evan: “We must first understand that worship is for and about God, not man! Jesus said, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’ (Luke 4:8). God is strongly concerned about worship, and it is for this very reason that He gives specific instructions as to how we ought to worship Him. In the Old Testament, there are two entire books, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, that are dedicated to laying out how Israel was to worship God in the right and proper way.

God is the same today as He was in Old Testament times. God cares how we worship Him today in the right and proper way! Our worship must be in the Spirit, and in truth (John 4:24).”

Does God demand worship?

Evan: “No, He doesn’t! We must first understand that God doesn’t need our worship (Acts 17:24-25). Whether we worship or not, nothing is added to or taken away from Him. We are commanded to worship. There is a difference between a ‘command’ and a ‘demand.’ When we use the word “demand” concerning God’s expectations of us, it would imply that there could be something arbitrary or selfish about them. The authority of His command is based on His self-sacrificial love, and its purpose is to save and protect us, His creation. He commands it because He knows that we are lost outside of a proper relationship to Him.”

Michelle: “God invites us into worship. In Jeremiah 32: 39, the Lord says, And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of their descendants. I will make an everlasting covenant with them; I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me.’

This invitation is offered to everyone who willingly chooses to accept, believe and confess that Jesus is the Lord of their lives. We have an invitation to worship Him, not to seek what we can get out of it, but to commune with the living God. God is God. More of our worship isn’t going to make Him any greater, and less of our worship isn’t going to take away some of his greatness. While our worship invites God’s presence, he invites us to communicate and fellowship with Him.”

What are some misconceptions about worship?

Evan: “I believe some of the misconceptions we have concerning worship are:

  • ‘Singing songs is what worship is all about.’ Many people believe that worship begins and ends with music (singing and/or listening to “worship” songs). Music plays an important role in our worship, but we must remember that real worship is about obeying and pleasing God through our thoughts, attitudes, and actions (Colossians 3:17).
  • ‘True worship is when I am emotionally moved by hearing a song or listening to a powerful message.’ Worship is not the act of being ’emotionally moved’ but rather my response to God based on what He is communicating to me. We predominantly use ‘worship’ as an adjective, but it’s actually a verb.”

Michelle: “Many think that worship can be bottled into a weekend church service, when, in reality, most of it should happen outside the walls of the church!

In Romans 12:1, Apostle Paul urges us by the mercies of God, to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship’. We’re to live out the truth of the songs we sing at church everyday. And when we come back to church to join in corporate worship, in song and Word, we confess our common faith together, we remind ourselves and one another of the truths we know about Jesus, what He has done for us, who He is to us, and the good work He has prepared for us to do.

Corporate worship is just as important as our everyday worship. There is more going on in corporate worship than what meets the eye. The Holy Spirit is at work in us: a Holy God meeting with his people, and with His Divine power, He is transforming and changing lives – to make us more like Him!

So… ‘Come, let us worship and bow down: Let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand!’ (Psalm 95:6-7). 

FAC Music Pastor Dave Klob adds, “I appreciate what Evan and Michelle shared here. Ultimately, when we direct the worship of our lives to God, the only One who is truly worthy of it, our hearts come alive in all kinds of beautiful ways because we are finally living in alignment with our truest nature and purpose. When we gather together and do that collectively, a powerful spiritual connection happens between us and God and one another.

It’s one of the main reasons why I love hearing the Church sing. There’s just nothing like the sound and experience of God’s people exalting our worthy King together. That’s why I’m so excited for the Fill the Room night of worship on May 26 at the Southwest Campus. It’s important that we continue to “reclaim our voice” as a church, especially after the pandemic silenced us for so long. There’s something so special about feeling free to sing out at the top of our lungs to Jesus right next to someone else doing the same thing, and this is my invitation to you to do just that. If you’re in the Calgary area, don’t miss this opportunity to add your voice to the roar of worship that will be lifted up that night. We will also introduce a couple of original worship songs by FAC Music. Register right away to make sure you get a seat! You’ll also get access to all of the songs in advance so that you can learn them ahead of time, and then you will be more prepared to SING OUT! I can’t wait to hear you … all for Jesus!

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