Let’s begin by looking at the first time we see the word worship in the Bible.  Genesis 22:5-8, “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and WORSHIP, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” 

In these few verses, we gain some precious information about proper worship.  First, Abraham left his servants behind and went off with his son to worship.  Proper worship includes SEPARATION.  Separation from that which displeases and dishonors the Lord.  Our heart cannot be in tune to worship the Lord if our heart is in the world.  Secondly, proper worship includes SACRIFICE.  Worship is when we give to God the praise and adoration that belongs to Him.  Hebrews 13:15-16 tells us, “By him therefore let us offer the SACRIFICE OF PRAISE to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: FOR WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS WELL PLEASED.”  Once, when King David sought to buy a threshing floor on which to build an altar to the Lord, it was offered to him free of charge.  David’s response revealed his heart for the Lord.  He said, “…neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.” (2 Samuel 24:24). 

John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”  God is a spirit, and He does not dwell in temples made with man’s hands. (Read Acts 7:48 and 17:25).  There are simply two requirements which must be met for proper worship.  Worship must be led by the Spirit and it must be according to the truth of who God is.  The Lord is not impressed with glorious windows or lights.  He is not impressed with greatly talented choirs or well-dressed participants.  No, what the Lord desires is the true worship of our hearts. 

We often define worship as ‘worth-ship’.  It is when we realize to some measure just how much the Lord is worthy of our praise and worship that we are truly able to worship Him.  The Greek word for ‘worship’ is ‘shâchâh’ and it is defined as being prostrate in homage to God, to fall down flat, to bow. 

It is good to realize that worship is the act of our hearts reaching out to the Lord in reverence and adoration.  If we need music or any other stimulation to ‘get us in the mood’ to worship the Lord, then we are declaring that the person and work of the Lord is not enough in itself to bring us to worship.  If we need some exterior motivation to move our spirits, then we do not have our hearts and minds focused on the Lord, Himself.

True worship of the Lord may include singing as we read in Psalm 95:2, “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”  True worship may also include times of absolute silence.  Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  In reality, the Lord is not listening to the words of our mouths, He is not listening to the newest songs sung by the newest bands.  THE LORD IS LISTENING TO OUR HEARTS!  He longs for our hearts to cry out to Him with worship, praise, and adoration as the Spirit leads us in appreciation of who the Lord is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.  (452.6)