In the past 20 years, worship styles have caused more division in church than probably any other single issue in the history of the church. Many feel that you must wear a coat and tie, sing only Hymns, have a robed choir accompanied by only a piano and/or organ. Others feel more comfortable coming to worship in tee shirts, jeans and flip flops, singing praises to the Lord as they are led in worship by a band then followed by a sermon by a preacher dressed in jeans and an untucked shirt. So what does it REALLY mean to worship?
Webster defines worship as "reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem".
When King David finally brought the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem he "danced before the Lord with all his might....and as the Ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord" II Sam. 6: 14, 15 Was he worshipping?
"I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34: 1. Is this worship?
"Praise the Lord with harp; sing unto him with psaltery and an instrument of 10 strings, sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise" Psalm 33: 1-3. Is this worship?
"And I behld and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power, and riches, and wisdom
and strength and honor and glory and blessing
Is that worship?
"O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:2
If there is any verse in the Bible which defines worship, I think that is it. My reason? Simple. To magnify is "to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect" or "to enlarge in fact or appearance" - Merriam Webster. I shall choose the latter.
You see I read a statement this week that has totally re-defined my definition of worship. Although all of the above examples are certainly applicable, this statement to me is truly what worship is to be all about.
In his book FASTING, Jentezen Franklin wrote "When you worship you magnify God. Your enemies or circumstances may seem to be so large and so powerful that they are all you can see. But...when you worship, you not only magnify God but you also reduce the size and power of everything else around you."
When we worship we are to MAGNIFY God. As many times as I've read the Psalm 34 verse, I never saw magnify in the context of 'make larger'...like a magnifying glass. But as I read this statement by Franklin this week, it hit me. We are to MAGNIFY God....we are to exalt Him above all others, above EVERYTHING else in our lives. We are to recognize Him as
King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
the Alpha and Omega,
the Beginning and the End,
our strong high tower,
the Lover of our Souls,
the Lifter up of our heads.......
The list is endless. Just go to the book of Psalms and begin to underline every word that describes Him and you will have all you need to MAGNIFY Him.
Today, won't you worship with me. Won't you fall on your knees and MAGNIFY the Lord with me? When you do, all of your problems and worries and concerns will diminish in the light of His glory and His power and His mighty love for you.