By Kelly Carr
What setting most often inspires your worship of God?
• Do you enjoy exalting him in a large gathering with hundreds of other believers, all singing praises together?
• Is your spirit stilled in awe when you are alone in nature and struck by God’s amazing creation?
• Does your mind race with excitement when you dig into a discussion about the depth and nuances of Scripture?
• Are you filled with the peace of Christ as you use your physical strength to serve and provide for others’ needs?
In Spirit and in Truth
It’s inspiring to think of all the many ways to worship God—some I’ve never fathomed. I enjoy observing how we are all created differently and how God’s Spirit moves in us differently to draw us close to him.
When I searched the word worship in the NIV, I found all kinds of references to worship that I had long forgotten. I found that people worshipped God in Old Testament times by:
• falling facedown
• trembling before him
• burning incense, offering sacrifices, and giving grain offerings at the temple
• Job tore his robe and shaved his head and then worshipped.
• Jacob worshipped leaning on his staff.
As for locations, people are described as worshipping:
• at God’s footstool
• at his holy mountain
• in the splendor of his holiness
• in an assembled group
• in a throng of worshippers
In the New Testament:
• the Magi worshipped by giving gifts
• Anna worshipped by fasting and praying
• the disciples worshipped Jesus on a boat
• the women at the tomb clasped Jesus’ feet in worship
• the angels in Revelation worshipped at God’s throne
• Jesus told a Samaritan woman to worship in Spirit and in truth
• the writer of Hebrews said to worship with reverence and in awe
In Our Unique Ways
Although some facets of worship are universal, I get a sense that God enjoys when we approach him in our unique ways, using the gifts he gave us to worship him. Just as he must enjoy creating people with different strengths and personalities, he must enjoy seeing people using what he created to give him praise.
Encourage young people and those who are young in the faith to worship with their daily lives, not just at the weekly worship gathering with the church. Your example and guidance will help them learn and live out the breadth of what it means to be a worshipper of God.
Whether you are making a joyful noise or treasuring up all these things in your heart, I hope you find new aspects of God to worship and find special ways to offer that worship to him. Although he is present anytime and any place, take care to set aside special focused attention and reverence to dwell upon his glory.
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