In what settings do you find that worship comes most spontaneously and meaningfully to your heart and your mind? Do you think that worship and praise are synonymous? How would you differentiate between them? The dictionary describes worship as “giving worth to something” while praise is “an expression of warm approval or admiration, strong commendation.” A much more precise definition which encapsulates a more Biblical concept of worship is “to honor God with extravagant love and extreme submission.” John Piper expresses it this way: “true worship is a valuing or a treasuring of God above all things.” It is both an attitude and action, a heartfelt conviction and a life response. Our expressions of praise to God, both in words and through music, not only help us declare our personal devotion and adoration of who God is and what He has done for us but enrich and deepen true worship for other people. However, they reflect only a portion of what God really wants from us – our “spiritual worship” – Romans 12: 1 – 2.
When Isaiah was called by God to warn the Israelites of the coming judgment and destruction due to their unwillingness to repent and to turn to Jehovah, he was profoundly struck by the Lord God Almighty, His Rock. His heart was moved to speak with authority and courage to the kings and leaders of that nation even when there was no response from them. His deep desire to have the people understand what the dreadful outcome of rebellion and wickedness would be, both for their nation in the foreseeable future and for mankind when ultimate victory will belong to the Lord, was relentless. However, in the midst of his prophetic declarations, Isaiah consistently found his heart being drawn to worship and honor the Upright One (26:7) for His faithfulness and His salvation. He eagerly and repeatedly reminded the Israelites that it was “God’s Name alone that we honor.”
How easy do you find it to courageously and faithfully express your praise to the Lord, your God, when your circumstances are not easy and life is challenging? To choose to worship the One true God is ours to do throughout every day, isn’t it?