The Heart of Worship
- Ryan Duncan
- 2015 30 Oct
In 1999, Christian musician Matt Redman released a song called, “The Heart of Worship” which has since gone on to become one of the most popular hymns in modern churches. No doubt you’ll recognize the following lyrics,
“I’ll bring you more than a song,
For a song in itself is not what you required.
You search much deeper within,
Through the way things appear,
You’re looking into my heart.”
Allegedly, Redman came up with the words for the song when a pastor at his church encouraged the congregation to spend a week worshiping God. The catch: they couldn’t sing. For many people, worship and singing are practically synonymous with one another. Churches typically dedicate half their time to music, a few even have separate services based solely on musical preference. But what happens when you take away the songs and the chants, how do we go beyond the music?
Like prayer, worship is an intimate communication with God, and its success largely depends on the person. For my part though, I’ve found three ways to glorify God that don’t require you to carry a tune.
Worship by Serving
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
A year ago I was having problems. I felt like my relationship with God had grown stale, and at Church I was simply going through the motions. I decided it was time I got more intentional about my Christian walk, and as part of that decision, I started arriving early on Sundays to help set up. It was during one of these morning sessions that I finally admitted my frustration to another volunteer. In particular, I confessed how bland I felt during the singing portion of the worship service.
He simply shrugged and said, “You’re here early because you want to serve God, that’s a form of worship isn’t it?” I guess sometimes you don’t see something until its right in front of you. They say actions speak louder than words, and with Christ, I believe our works can glorify Him more than our words ever could.
Worship by Praying
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? – Psalm 8:3-4
If you’re like me, you’re really bad at prayer. In fact, for a while I was so bad I even wrote an article about my journey to expand my prayer life. That being said, one of the things I learned during that time was how to worship while I prayed. Before, the majority of my time was spent asking God for things, on a good day, I might remember to thank Him for the blessings He’d given me. Then one day I simply took a step back and began to praise Him.
It was a very surreal experience. It felt like the world had expanded, and in all the wonder and majesty of the cosmos, I was just a tiny speck. The idea that an all-knowing, all-powerful, deity would not only listen to me, but love me, was intensely humbling. So I continued to pray, and tried to give Him the glory He deserved.
Worship by Living
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
No doubt many Christians are familiar with the following quote from Chariots of Fire, where Eric Liddell explains his passion for running,
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
It’s a moving statement, and one that I think few Christians understand. Too be frank, Christians often get pushed into believing that God is only happy when we’re attending Church or reading our Bible, we forget that we are made in God’s image. What does this mean? It means we spend all our time waiting to meet God in heaven that we never meet him in life! The Bible says that to every person He gave gifts, things that we do well, things that we enjoy doing well, and I believe God takes pleasure in watching us do them.
Maybe you have a passion for dancing, or art, or traveling the world to find adventure, God made us all unique. Like a parent watching their daughter’s ballet recital, or their son’s first big game, He takes joy watching us simply be us! One of the simplest ways to worship God is just by doing what you love, and feeling His pleasure.
*This Article First Published 8/20/2013