Church Worship

Discovering the Heart, Mind, and Soul of Worship

  • James MacDonald Walk in the Word
  • 2010 5 Jun
Discovering the Heart, Mind, and Soul of Worship

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Mark 12:30

On every page of the Bible is the idea of worshipping God - that we are created and saved to the praise of His glory. But so much of what passes for worship today misses that mark. Worship is not about me and what God does for me. Worship is all about Him - recognizing that I am for Him. I breathe for Him. I live for Him. I spend my life for Him. The essence of worship is proclaiming God's rightful worth and position. It's one of the reasons why we come to church: to sweep the stuff off the table of our hearts and minds that have crowded out the central place where He belongs.

In Mark 12:28, Jesus was asked, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" He answered:

"Love the Lord your God . . . with all your mind." God wants us to think great thoughts about Him. You'll expand your capacity to worship God by studying His Word. An element of testimony is fine, but worship is singing to God about God, and the place to begin learning about God is in His Word.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." When feelings are dead, so is our worship. How would it fly if I said to my wife, "Well, honey, this is always the time to tell you I love you. So, I love you. See you next week." Would you agree that's not going to work with her? It's not working with God either. God's Word tells us what we should feel:

  1. Grief over sin: David said, "My sin is ever before me" (Psalm 51:3). I recognize how I measure up to a pure and holy God.
  2. Fear: "Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!" (Psalm 33:8). I feel respect and reverence for Him.
  3. Longing: "As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God" (Psalm 42:1). I long for a deeper relationship with Him.
  4. Thankfulness: "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving" (Psalm 95:2). I am full of gratitude for all He has accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ.
  5. Indescribable joy: "In your presence there is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11). My soul is satisfied at the foot of His throne.

You ask, "I want this-how do I get it?" I invite you to step forward from the role of observer to participant. In John 4:23, Jesus tells us that "the Father is seeking such people to worship him."
-James MacDonald

Oh Lord, we come to sing to You and make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! We come into Your presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise to You with songs of praise! For You are our great God. . . . We kneel before You, our Maker! You are our God, and we are the people of Your pasture and the sheep of Your hand. (based on Psalm 95).

  • Look over the five emotions we should feel in worship. Which emotions come naturally to you? Which emotions do you need to work on? 
  • If I'm just a worship-observer, what is keeping me from entering in? Take this obstacle to the Lord for help. 
  • Make it a habit in prayer to tell God how much you love Him.

Original publication date: June 3, 2009