It can be arguably said that the need and desire to worship a greater being or something has been around since mankind was made.
However as a Christian how do we define worship?
Religious organisations in the world may define worship differently and no doubt there are different trends within the world.
For instance, the Pentecostal belief system puts an emphasis on the emotional experience that one my receive and that it is not considered worship unless you can feel it and conversely everything that brings about a spiritual high is considered worship.
Alternatively, the Catholicism belief based a lot of their worship on rituals and traditions and despite not having a understanding or conviction of what you are doing, worship will still occur.
The scriptures describe a number of instances of people worshiping:
The wise men worshiped Jesus - Matthew 2:11
Satan wanted Jesus to worship him - Matthew 4:8-9
A man worshiped Jesus when asking for his daughter to be healed - Matthew 9:18
Notice that worship was a distinctive action. It was not a vague concept that permeated a person’s life. Worship is something distinctly done. Worship is not accidentally done.
So how can we define worship?
John 4:21 - 24
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Firstly, worship requires a worshiper, a person who is actively partaking in the act of worshiping. Animals cannot worship nor can just the existence of something be worship.
Secondly, worship requires an object of worship which we need to understand is God the Father. Isaiah 2:8 tells us that mankind has often misdirect it's worship towards idols and things that were made with hands.
Thirdly, worship must be done with the proper spirit being the right attitude with the heart. It cannot be done accidentally.
And finally, worship must be be done in trust. God is the object of our worship and He is the one who has told us how He wants us to worship him. Remember that God does not need man's worship and therefore man cannot tell his Master what God will accept.
So what is worship?
It something man does that is giving praise and honour to God.
It is limited to things that God has told man to do to worship Him.
It requires a proper attitude by man towards God while doing what God has directed.
Next time you consider coming to worship services, let us remember how God wants us to worship and prepare our hearts and minds to worship Him that will give God the honour and respect that He deserves.