I am asked the question about what worship is all the time.
Some say worship is everything we do if we love Jesus, while others say that worship is something very specific, very sacred and holy unto Jesus. Some say worship can be done only without instruments, while others say you have to be rocking your heart out to have true freedom in worship.
There are so many genres, so many expressions and so many resulting disparities from among those same expressions that many are left wondering what true worship really is at the end of the day.
I would like to answer.
Main Reference: John 4:23-24
True worship has nothing to do with genre, nothing to do primarily with anything corporate. It has nothing to do with music. Worship is not music, and music is not worship; music, as with other props, is a servant to the worshiper inside us.
True worship is found in “3rd grade level” simplicity, rooted in a liberating acknowledgment that we can be absolutely us, and is grounded in ever-growing intimacy with Jesus Christ. True worship is expressed through our authentic personal response to His Truth, to His liberating and reassuring Presence and His life-changing Love.
His Truth is located and cemented in the Word of God, or the Bible. These truths will never change about who He is, who He says we are to Him and how He feels about us (Eph. 1:17-20).
When you discover the truth of all that God, Jesus and Holy Spirit have done—and are doing for us right now in order to know the Father through the Son—you can only respond in real, authentic, genuine worship.
His presence will change even the most skeptical of us all because when you experience His presence, all worry, anxiety, unbelief, hopelessness, loneliness and bitterness are replaced by a peace that surpasses all understanding and an absolute awareness that you are in the midst of the God of the universe.
This is why Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 3:17, “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!” Invite the Holy Spirit into your alone time with the Word, and acknowledge His presence with you. You will never be the same.
Last and most life altering is the awareness of how much He loves you.
God, who receives worship from the entire universe, sings over you. He dances, sings and lifts shouts of joy over you (Zech. 3:17). He proclaims and decrees blessings over you because of your love for Him (Ps. 91:14-17). He says that nothing will EVER keep Him from loving you (Rom. 8:38-39).
A simple, individual revelation of His love for you (revealed by Holy Spirit) will change your life forever. It will make you secure in the knowledge that you are His, forever.
What is worship? It is a personal response of thanksgiving, of praise (Ps. 100:4). When we worship Jesus, we offer Him our genuine, simple and real personal response to His Truth, to His presence and to His love. It is always personal before it can ever be corporate. Not the other way around.