Worshiping With Spirit
Worship may be defined as the contemplation of the spiritual. It is the highest privilege and the first duty of all created intelligences. It is the conscious and joyous act of recognizing and acknowledging the truth of our intimate and personal relationship with the Father.
Worship becomes a transforming experience whereby the one worshiping increasingly becomes more like the One who is worshiped. It renews the mind, inspires the soul, enables us bravely to face our problems, obliterates debilitating fear, and equips us with the assurance that enables us to dare to be Godlike. (Matthew 5:48) It is an exchange of strength for weakness, courage for fear, and the will of God for the mind of self.
We know that a part of the divine nature resides in us. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19) Worship, therefore, is the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son with the Father; time with eternity. Through worship, we assent to the attempt of the indwelling spirit to communicate with God.
But note that worship is not prayer. The great difference between worship and prayer is that worship is for its own sake. Prayer embodies a self-interest element; whereas there is absolutely no self-request or other element of personal interest in true worship. We simply worship God for what we comprehend him to be.
Worship asks nothing and expects nothing for the worshiper. We do not worship the Father because of anything we may derive from such veneration; we render such devotion and engage in such worship as a natural and spontaneous reaction to the recognition of the Father's matchless personality and because of his lovable nature and adorable attributes.
Think of our loving God who chooses to reveal Himself in these last days as a Father rather than a lawgiver, a judge, a dictator, or a fear-inducing potentate. Think of His compassion in sending His Son to demonstrate true worship, and to show us the way to attain to the presence of the Father Himself. Imagine how much love the Father has for us to design and orchestrate a vast spiritual organization for the advancement and upliftment of mankind. Contemplate that in our darkest hour, He is with us; that He goes through every trial with us, as a part of us. Remember how He repeatedly sent His prophets to warn and direct mankind, not so that we can do obeisance to Him, but to better ourselves.
Look around you and see the beauty of life. Even in the concrete cities, life forges its way through the cement cracks as a reminder that the Father is alive and present. Look at the faces of your friends and loved ones smiling back at you. Can you not see the Father’s love in their eyes? Look at your body. Whether old or young, ailing or healthy, we can still experience all kinds of pleasures, and most assuredly, the satisfying joy that comes from thoughts like these.
Be thankful for, and train your memory to hold in sacred trust, the strength-giving and worth-while episodes of life, which you can recall at will for your pleasure and edification. These experiences are your reserve galleries of beauty, goodness, and artistic grandeur. And do not forget, the noblest of all memories are the treasured recollections of the great moments of a superb friendship. All of these memory treasures radiate their most precious and exalting influences under the releasing touch of spiritual worship of the Father.
Think about these and similar matters for a few minutes. Pause and contemplate....
You have just engaged in worship! That is what worshiping the Father is all about. It is best to remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to your listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship.
The spirit rarely speaks in audible tones. Instead, you will likely experience more of a peace and a knowing. You may not know how, but you have a conviction that whatever problems you have will be worked out. You have an inclination that you can face whatever comes your way with courage and success. You will have “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)
These are the gifts of worship. When frequently practiced, we develop worshipful habits that eventually formulate themselves into a spiritual character that will be recognized by our associates as spiritual maturity. And we will, without fail, begin to more perfectly manifest the fruitage of the spirit –love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
In all, we worship the Father, first, because He is, then, because He is in us, and last, because we are in Him. Amen.