Presley from Douala, Cameroon asked me via email this great question;
“How can one worship God with all his heart and really know that he has done so?”
First let’s put Presley’s question in context with the Bible:
A Pharisee who was an expert in the law, tested Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
What is Worship?
If Christianity is the transformation of rebels into worshipers of God, then it is imperative for the Christian to know and understand what constitutes biblical worship. One may always consult Webster’s Dictionary for the precise meaning of worship (adore, idolize, esteem worthy, reverence, homage, etc.). Yet truly defining worship proves more difficult because it is both an attitude and an act.
Worship came from the Greek word “proskuneo” which is pronounced – (pros-koo-neh’-o). ‘Kuneo’ means ‘to kiss’ and ‘Pros’ means ‘toward’ which literally means, to blow a kiss. Hence, it means to show a literal, physical gesture of acquaintance, friendship, or affection. Proskuneo is usually translated as ‘worship’ in the bible, meaning much more than a physical gesture. It is also translated as the words or phrases: to bow down, bow down before, bowing down, and bowing before.
Many people believe that worship is what people do at the church on a Sunday morning and/or at other times during the week. To many people worship means singing religious songs. Yet neither of these fully describe worship in its entirety.
The truth is, worship – “proskuneo”, is not something we are supposed to do for only an hour or two a week and only in a specified place. Proskuneo / worship is a lifestyle; it is submitting yourselves to God.
You may be wondering, “Why is Victor saying it’s a lifestyle?” Well, God wants our whole life to be a form of worship, not just a now and then occurrence.
Worship has many characteristics. Going to church is just one small aspect of worship. True worship can include: prayer, singing, reading and studying the Bible alone or with others, fellowship with other believers, using your God-given gifts and talents to help others, offerings, giving someone an encouraging word, telling someone about Jesus Christ, teaching, living by and living out God’s commands, loving others, etc. All these are just a few aspects of worship; and please note that they each relate back to Matthew 22:34-40; Loving God with all your heart and loving people.
Worshiping God with all Our Heart
Worshiping God with all your heart means there’s nothing in your life that competes with God as the object of your worship. Nothing comes before Him; not your lifestyle, your possessions, your career, not even your loved ones. This does not mean you can’t have any of these things, it just means they can’t be more important to you than God is. As you can see, this is not a skill you acquire, it’s a love you chose to express.
There is something you can do to accomplish this. By studying His word, you’ll learn more of the truth about Him. The more truth you learn, the more grateful you’ll become for everything He’s done for you. As you become more grateful, your spirit will align itself more with the Spirit of God. When that happens, no matter how you spend your time, the very process of living your life will be an act of worship.
What Should We Do?
Paul said, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). “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 spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).
We are all called to Worship the Lord God; to spend the same kind of time and energy on Him that we would spend at our favorite sport, game or hobby… yet worshiping the Lord God should be more of that kind of time and energy.
God took the time to make each one of us and to give us what we have. Above all, God gave to us our sole means into Heaven (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). We should be grateful and give Him the praise, thanks, and worship that He deserves.
Why don’t you bow before God today and give to Him the praise, thanks, and worship that He deserves? It’s a choice that you make that no one (not even God) will force upon you to do. I hope you choose to do so.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations.
1 Chronicles 16:23-31
Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Proclaim His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful works among all peoples. For the Lord is great and is highly praised; He is feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place. Ascribe to the Lord, families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of [His] holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord is King!”