Psalm 95: What is Worship?

Psalm 95 is a psalm about worship. What is worship? We learn from this psalm that worship engages every part of your being. Worship involves emotion. The psalmist is singing and shouting joyfully. He is issuing an invitation to come into God\’s presence with joy and music expressing emotion (v. 1-2). Note also that worship engages your mind. It involves hearing God\’s voice, understanding His will, and coming to know God\’s ways (v. 7, 10). Finally, worship affects your will. Words like \”Come,\” \”bow down,\” and \”kneel\” indicate that in worship we are making a decisive choice to submit to God not only as the Lord, but also our Lord: the Lord of our lives (v. 6). True worship should engage the whole person. Simply listening and learning and understanding is not worship if it does not affect both our emotions and our will to change. In the same way, expressing emotion with shouts of joy and singing if it does not engage the mind or change your life is not true worship. True worship involves our minds, our emotions and our will–it engages our entire being.

Notice, too, that all of the emotion, the bowing and kneeling in submission, began with something the psalmist is doing. The word \”for\” used twice (v.3, 6) is key here. \”For the Lord is…\” What is the psalmist doing that produces this emotion and this change? He is reflecting on the truth concerning who God is. God is a great King above all the gods. He is our Maker, our Pastor, and our God. The word worship comes from an older word \”worth-ship.\” Worship is really about seeing what God is worth and giving Him what He is worth–what He deserves. To say this another way, worship is the expressing what is ultimately valuable to you in a way that it engages your whole person. True worship is not simply informative, but also transformative. Worship is about reflecting and pondering who God is in such a way that it leads to expressions of real emotion as well as decisive changes in your life. Though our worship on this side of heaven will always be imperfect, we should strive to give God worship He is worthy of–and that kind of worship will engage every part our person.




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