Psalm 29:2 “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.”
Worship is the occupation and the overflow of the heart, not with its need or even with its blessing, but simply with God. Overflow is the resulting residue of what occupies the heart, if fear is what occupies then fretting will be reflected in the overflow. When we are occupied with God worship will be spontaneous as it flows from a grateful heart. David spoke of this when he sang, “My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.” Psalm 45:1. “My heart is stirred literally means his heart boils, or bubbles up. In the twenty-third Psalms David speaks of worship saying, “You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.” Worship is the outpouring of the soul in the presence of the Savior, what occupies me flows out of me. When we enter into true worship we will find that the things of this life become less important, as we focus on Him the rest becomes peripheral. Today as we look at the five “W”s of worship, Who, What, Where, When and Why we must remember that the overflow of the heart is in response to the Redeemer.
The first and greatest question of worship is the Who? God is the “who” of worship because at the heart of worship it is all about Him. This is made clear in 2 Kings 17:35 “When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: ‘Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.” The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 begin with who we worship and also who we do not: “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them.” Who is at the heart of your worship?
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name” To ascribe means to give the credit to and recognize who is the authority, the “what” of worship is submission. Worship requires us to surrender and submit to the authority of God and because submission is at the heart of worship it is in direct competition with our culture. Our culture teaches us be in control, to compete instead of surrender, to never give up and never give in. We live in a culture that prizes winning above everything else, we value success and succeeding not surrendering. Our world philosophy is built on overcoming and conquering not yielding, submitting, obeying, and surrendering. When we view worship from a worldly prospective we value worship only for what it can bring us instead of what it ascribes to God. We begin to value worship only in the context of winning, what’s in it for us, instead of its wonder. Until we submit to His authority we will never fully ascribe to God the praise He is due. Surrender is when we give ourselves to Him, not out of fear or duty, but in response to God’s amazing love and mercy, ‘Because he first loved us.’ Today we come into His presence desiring worship to free us when in reality what we really need is for it to capture us. Today do your words speak of worship or winning, succeeding or surrender?
Where does our worship, our surrender to God occur? This question was posed to Jesus 2,000 years ago by a Samaritan woman at a well, John 4:20. This woman said that her fathers worshiped on “this mountain” likely referring to Mt. Gerizim which is where the Samaritans had built a temple. Because the Samaritans were not welcome in the temple at Jerusalem they built their own temple. They have a rival place of worship and we see how the origins of their worship are already convoluted and distorted. Their worship originated as some kind of rivalry and statement against the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus however says that worship takes place in spirit and in truth and in a physical sense, the “where” for worship is everywhere. Today would you stop where you are and worship Him in the splendor of His holiness?
When should we ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name, should it be limited to half an hour once a week as we gather with other believers? Psalm 27:4 says, “One thing I have desired of the Lord. That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord. And to inquire in His temple.” When do we worship? Always! Today regardless of your circumstances will you focus on the praise instead of the problems?
Worship goes against our worldly ways, why in the world would people make it all about someone other than themselves? Why would they surrender themselves to someone else, let alone someone they can’t see? Why would they want to spend their lives, everywhere they go at all times, worshiping God? Why, because He is Worthy. “Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:9-11) Today we waste our worship on worthless things when God alone is worthy of our worship. When I read Revelation 5:11-12 I am reminded of the weight and worth of worship: “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Today would you choose to give weight to His worth in the way that you live? Let your walk be one of worship.