True worship is a response to God. It’s never coerced or required or any other such silly thing that some suppose. As Jesus told the Pharisees, if we didn’t praise Him the very rocks would cry out. Dutiful service is never true worship. God does not need our worship, but we need to worship God, for from it comes a life filled with ever-increasing joy.
Knowing God is knowing how to love; you cannot know God and not love (1 John 4:7-8). As Bernard of Clairvaux once said, “The only reason people don’t love God is because they don’t really know Him.” They’ve never gone beyond the echo of their own soul, so they’ve never discovered the One who not only knows them but loves them in the deepest part of who they are.
There are times when worship is a spontaneous reaction to His glorious beauty, majesty, goodness, perfection, and splendor. Every cell in our being resonates and comes fully alive in the moment. This transformational encounter forever changes us into a worshiper of God. As I said in the post, “The fear of the Lord: reverential shock and awe“:
For this brief instant you’re suddenly thrust into something so stunning, so shocking, so overwhelming, that you know you’ll really never recover from the experience. And you don’t want to.
Worship is about an ongoing reciprocating relationship with God. He pours out His love and kindness on us; we reciprocate by returning our affections toward Him. This is how we enter into the “Divine Dance” with God. And from this place, we are made whole and filled with the fullness that fills God (Eph.3:19-20).
Here is a song sung and co-authored by Kalley Heiligenthal that’s been popular lately (also performed by Aaron Shust) called, “Ever Be.” It’s really an anthem of this reciprocating relationship. This verse says it all about the fruit of this worship:
You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
You shoulder our weakness
And Your strength becomes our own
You’re making me like You
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride
So let’s respond to His goodness and kindness and let His praise ever be on our lips.