There seems to always be a worship war taking place in some theological circles. Some are worried that not enough passion is being shown and that there is a heavy-handed emphasis on being sure our actions conform to scripture. Others who are deeply committed to making sure the scriptures are being handled properly never stop to think of how our hearts and emotions must also be involved in worship. God is looking for us to worship him properly (John 4:23-24). This means our actions must be governed by his word and our attitudes must demonstrate that we are fully engaged in what we are doing. As Christians worshipping God is a part of what makes us who we are so let’s be sure to give it our best. Here are a few things we can do to be sure we always get the most out of worship.
1. Be present (Heb. 10:25). While some cannot be in the assembly due to sickness or other complications that keep them away those who can be here should always be among the people of God. There is no substitute for being in the assembly of God’s people and engaging in worship together. Never willfully absent yourself from the assembly. We cannot derive benefits from worship if we do not show up regularly.
2. Sing Every Song (Eph. 5:19). We all like some songs more than others. However, when we are in the worship assembly we should sing every song making melody in our hearts even if it is not our favorite. If you never sit a song out you may have your heart moved in ways it never has been before and have some spiritual truths further engrained in your heart.
3. Shed a Tear (Psa. 56:8; Luke 6:21). We should not manufacture emotion or fake passion. Yet, when we find ourselves thinking about the beauty of heaven, the Love of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus our hearts are touched. As these ideas stir our emotions we should not hold back the tears that may well up in our eyes. The absence of tears does not mean the absence of sincerity, but the presence of tears often reflects a deeply penetrated heart.
4. Think Through Scripture (Psa. 119:97). As we worship God think through the passages that command each action. Try and connect passages to the lyrics of the songs we sing. Realize Christians have been performing these same actions for centuries and biblical worship is God approved and time tested. Consider that what we’re doing on worship is exactly what God asked us for but also exactly what we need.
5. Consider Your Brothers and Sisters (Heb. 10:24). Worship is a vertical exercise, but also a horizontal one. Give your Amen to sound points in the lesson. Think through the prayer we’re being led in as a congregation. Tell the song leader you appreciated his effort. Sing loud enough to teach and admonish others. Smile at those you make eye contact with during the service. Rather than pinpoint errors, practice exhortation.
Worship is like anything else. We will get out of it what we put into it. God wants us to worship him and if we do it right, we will delight in doing so!