The Attitude and Action of Worship

Worship involves your attitudes and actions.

The ATTITUDE?

I see what God is worth.

I determine, “God is worth more.”

I determine the value or price tag I actually place on God.

Psalm 95:3 illustrates an attitude that God is worth more, “…the Lord is the great God, a great King about all gods…”

But, worship not only involves attitudes, it involves ACTION.

If that’s really my attitude, then I have to DO SOMETHING about it!  I RESPOND to all that God is with all that I am!

In Psalm 95, actions and response involves things like shouting, making a joyful noise, giving thanks, bowing down, kneeling and listening to His voice, being ready to obey His commands.

It’s interesting that Psalm 95 addresses every ASPECT of our being.

Verse 1 — David says, “Worship is EMOTIONAL.” He uses emotional language: sing, make a joyful noise... Worship always touches on passion and emotion because at its core, worship is about LOVE.

Verse 6 — David says, “Worship is VOLITIONAL! It involves your will. It involves your ability to make a choice or a decision. “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” In other words, we have to choose who’s going to call the shots in our life. We have to choose who we’re going to surrender command and control to.

Then, in Verse 7-8 — David says, “Worship always involves your INTELLECT and REASON.” “Today, if you hear His voice and do not harden your hearts…” In other words, “Think this through...”

Authentic worship always involves your entire being: your heart, mind and will; your emotions, intellect and volition.

Before his death in 2008, a decidedly non-Christian, but highly respected author, David Foster Wallace gave the commencement address at Kenyon College and made some amazing statements about worship. 

There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship...is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

 If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you...

Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out...

Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day...”

"There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship."

Did you get that?  The world isn’t divided into people who worship and people who don’t. It’s divided into people who worship objects or things that will ultimately “eat them alive”. People who worship the wrong or inferior things, and worship the only person who is actually worth all of your attention, affection and devotion. 

Our greatest passion and deepest devotion was intended to be reserved for God and God alone.

That’s what Wallace was aiming at, but not able to fully arrive it. It’s what the Scriptures keep repeating again and again. Anything that occupies first place in our life other than God, actually becomes an IDOL and will always leave us disappointed.

Tim Keller described it like this: "Idolatry is not just a failure to obey God, it is a setting of the whole heart on something besides God."

We like to pride ourselves in some kind of intellectual superiority because we don’t worship idols of wood, gold or bronze; but we regularly give ourselves to objects, people and things that “eat us alive”.

The Bible says it like this: We become like the God (god) we choose to worship.

Those who make [idols] have become just like them, have become just like the gods they trust. (Psalm 115:8 MSG)

When we WORSHIP, we’re determining our VALUES.

When we worship, we’re declaring our PRIORITIES.

When we worship, we’re saying, “This is WORTH MORE. This gets FIRST PLACE in my life.”

And according to Psalm 115:8, our entire LIFE gets SHAPED by those kinds of DECISIONS.