The only way to find complete, unending fulfillment requires a relationship with the ultimate fulfiller, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. This “fulfillment” requires taking the focus off ourselves, and uplifting and worshipping the Lord, the only one who deserves it. Because we are led by our love, and worship is our expression of our love, worship is what directs our lives. Man, is above all things a worshipper (Cilluffo). However, true worship was contaminated by sin. If our thoughts, feelings, and hearts are not presented to God, meaning they are preoccupied by other things, we are saying those things are above and better than God. Do we really want to do that to the Almighty?

“Worship” is derived from the Old English word worthspice meaning “worthiness” or “worth-ship.” So, in its simplest form, worship is giving worth to something. To understand what worship is, we must first understand what a relationship is. Our relationship with God includes our connection and involvement with Him. The strength of our relationship really depends on how much time we invest in it. Little time, reaps little growth.  If we are having a hard time with idolizing other things, we must go to the root of the problem, the relationship.  Sometimes it may be difficult realizing this idolatry, because it can happen so easily. If you find yourself constantly thinking about something, always wanting it, devoting your time to it, spending money on it, and all its doing is “driving” you, you very well may be idolizing that thing.

This false worship has been in happening since the beginning, since the Fall. Having idols in our lives is like building a wall. Slowly yet surely each block will find its way to get on the next until eventually, an entire wall is built between you and the Lord. It is in the way of not only relationships on earth, but relationships with God. It blocks our view of Him, the sound of His voice, and the touch of His hand. However, our God gives and takes away. He has the power to tear down the walls and restore broken relationships.

In order to offer sacrifices like a true worshipper we must realize this problem is a love issue. One man named Henry Ward Beecher sums this situation up greatly by saying, “I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.” This is the truth! We cannot worship unless we love! And this love comes from God. Worship, according to the Bible, is personal feelings and intimacy being expressed to someone face to face. Typically this expression is telling someone your feelings for them or who they are to you. This is where the love issue arises. When our love is not set on God, our worship is no longer directed towards Him. Man was not created to be alone. He was created to have relationships, especially with his Creator. Often times, the relationship with our Creator gets pushed to the side. Maybe because of anger, disappointments, or maybe just people getting caught up in their daily routines of life; they forget to nurture and grow in their relationships with God. This is the time when idols begin to creep into our lives.

Idols become distractions to our love and affections. Psalm 106:36 talks about the people of the world, and says, “They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.” Idols are a wall between us and the Father. Idols come in many forms. An idol can be any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration or devotion. In the book of Genesis, the people began building a tower, so they could make a name for themselves. The Lord saw this and scattered them all over the earth. He confused their language so they could no longer build a tower to lift up themselves. So easily can we idolize people or earthly things! For example, greed is idolizing money, hoarders idolize the objects they collect. We must be careful and remember that our worship should be solely reserved for God. Psalm 95:3-7 says, “For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice.” No one else created us, loves us unfailingly, heals us, forgives us and saves us. In the Bible, it says that our God is a jealous God. We were created to worship HIM, not our cars, or money, or pop stars, even though it is so easy to do.

We can even worship ourselves if we become selfish and preoccupied with “self”; we are putting ourselves before God. Many times I find my mind/thoughts preoccupied with things. I have realized that whenever I get so attached to something and all it does is drive me, God often takes it away. He removes the temptation and leaves me the choice to either turn away or turn back to Him. He wants me. He wants my heart and my love. It may not always be easy, but when we submerse ourselves in God’s presence, grow deeper in our relationship with Him, and set our eyes on our one true love, it will be easier to set other things aside and give ourselves to the one who deserves it.

We are to present God with our hearts, minds, thoughts, and feelings and give up control of them. It is an expression of true sacrifice that will allow us to get rid of the focus on ourselves and uplift Christ in our lives. By taking the focus off of ourselves, all our selfish desires have no place in our hearts, and God can fill that void! After all, we are the dwelling place of God. We can become God’s tabernacle. We are to enter his courts with a demonstration of thanksgiving, praise and worship because of who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do. Romans 12:1-2 provides a description of the manner of our worship. It tells us to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice.” It says that we are to give God all of ourselves. No longer do we offer sacrifices of animals to please Him, we offer Him ourselves! We can to give it all to God! Hold nothing back! We are actually idolaters when we hold back. Why would you hold back your thankfulness and praise to the one who paid it all?

There are many forms of worship. Just because worship is offered up, doesn’t make it acceptable. In Exodus 20:5, God is speaking to his people about idolizing. He says, “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” There is punishment and reward for the worship we offer up. Again in Exodus 34:14 it says, “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Nothing but punishment is gained when we worship anything but God. “Whenever His people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God’s people consistently neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced.” (Ralph Mahoney). Unlike praise, worship can be more personal and private. In the Bible, many forms of worship were expressed because worship is not defined or limited to any specific action or context. Bowing, kneeling, extending hands, crying out in praise, or using instruments are some of the many examples of biblical worship.

Worship involves every means of adoration being used to lift up and praise something. It comes from us pouring out ourselves in thanksgiving, whether it be for God, people, or objects. A key to being a true worshipper involves us knowing our unworthiness, while being embraced by God’s unfailing love and forgiveness. Because worship is an outward expression of love, one must know “how to love God.” Love is a choice not merely a feeling. Spending time with God, like reading His word, His love letters to us, or talking to Him just like you would to your love, will help the love manifest and grow. Relationships take time and effort. God is longing for us, and because it takes two willing sides to have a relationship, we too must be willing to run after God. Our relationship with Him is a journey. Chasing after Him and seeking and finding Him will put a new fire and an unquenchable desire in our hearts for Him that can never be satisfied by any other. That is because God is the ultimate satisfier. He is the only one able to fulfill our desires. Worship draws us near. Worship also brings us to the only place where we find mercy and grace. It brings us back to God, and without God, we have nothing.

A true worshipper experiences completeness in fellowship with God and nowhere else (Cilluffo). Worship sets the mood and humbles us to lift up God. It gives us the opportunity to forget about the things of this world and focus on the One of infinite value. Psalm 99:9(NIV) says, “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.” Worship goes beyond praise. It is not limited to a specific action or location. We were created to admire and worship the Almighty God, who saved us from death, forgives, cares and loves. Our lives should be the very definition of worship, not just the outward actions of worship, but TRUE worship, worship offered up with a humble heart. Worship is a sacrifice.  It involves seeking minds and thankful hearts, it is not self-seeking but God seeking. Worship acknowledges the true Creator, the true God, the Great I Am. Worship is heartfelt, genuine, not fake or done for show and self glory. Revelation11 4:10-11 is talking about heaven; it says, “the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’” 

        We worship God because HE DESERVES IT! We don’t worship our cars, our money, achievements or family. All of these things are nice, but we must remember to keep our priorities straight. We need to keep God first in everything. If anything comes before God, it has the potential of becoming an idol. None is as great as God. No one is as strong as our God, loving, gracious, forgiving, just, truthful, or powerful as He. None compares to Him. Words cannot describe Him because he is indescribable, uncontainable! He is above all. There is no other like our God, in heaven or on earth. Why would you want to adore anything else?