From The Master's Table Web Site
Just what is worship and how should we worship the Creator God?
The term Worship is a distinction between adoration or latria (Latin adoratio, Greek latreia, [λατρεια]), which is due to God alone.
Let’s look at the term adoration or latria Adoration (Latin) is love given with deep affection. The term comes from the Latin adōrātiō, meaning "to give homage or worship to the creator and the Holy Father alone." In 1 Kings 19:18, God stated, "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." And in Psalms 2:12, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way." (See also Hosea 13:2.)
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
A look at both the original language and the origin of the word “Worship” in English we find the meaning. The primary Hebrew word for worship is Shachah which means "to depress, i.e. prostrate (in homage to God): bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, or worship."
Three Greek words for worship is Proskuneo, from Strong’s "meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand), to fawn or crouch to, homage (do reverence to, adore): worship." It occurs 59 times in the New Testament. It originally carried with it the idea of subjects falling down to kiss the ground before a king or kiss their feet and Sebomai to reverence, or hold in awe. Used 10 times in the New Testament and the word “Latreuo,” meaning to render religious service of homage. Used 21 times in the New Testament.
True worship begins with a deep respect or reverence for God, from the heart, or an attitude of reverence which is the reason we should never use the word reverend as a title to any man. Worship is an "act" proceeding from or the result of that attitude of understanding who God is and what He is doing concerning the future for all mankind.
The Bible talks about several "kinds" of worship.
There is what is called Vain Worship and we find Jesus admonishing the Pharisees in Matthew 15:7-9; He stated… "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
The Pharisees made their worship Vain (useless) because they had added a great deal of the commandments of men to their practices which included much of what the Hellenistic religion used. This is the attitude which changes what God has commanded and does not respect or obey what God has said.
We find in Colossians 2:23; that Paul admonished the church in Colossians that they were not worshipping the way God wanted because they were having a form of religion but it was not worshipping God in Spirit. He stated… “Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh. These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
This is the same type of worship that we often have in churches today, which is "audience centered" worship such as great music and waving the hands towards the ceiling. Many people even get so involved with the emotions that they fall down and roll on the floor. The question is should we feel emotion when we worship God? Yes we can feel love and awe as well as appreciation for all God has done in our lives. I do believe that we are worshipping Him when we return to give thanks as we find when Jesus was called upon by 10 lepers to heal them. As recorded one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:12-16
Another type of wrong worship is a lack of understanding of how we should worship or in many cases not worshipping the true God but the old pagan gods and even the worship of the creation and not the creator in Spirit and in truth. This kind of worship can be found in Acts 17:23 which states "for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing Him I proclaim to you: Paul perceived that they were very religious but he had to warn them that their religion was not pleasing to God for it was done without knowledge of what God wanted or even who God was. Such worship will never be pleasing to God, for “His will” has been revealed as we find recorded in John 4:24. Ignorance of the true way to worship is not accepted by God as we find recorded in Acts 17:30.
The question is what can we learn from the bible as to what true Worship is? Let’s check out John 4:23-24 which states… "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
To worship using idols is in direct disobedience to God. When God stated in Exodus chapter 20 that we are not to make any graven likeness He meant that if we use anything visual from the sun, stars, or figures such as a cross or a person’s likeness to point to Him we would be diverting ourselves from Him as a spirit that cannot be seen. That includes representations of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise made visible.
True Worship is God centered as we find King David did when he worshiped God. In Psalms 95:6 we find recorded “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” And in Hebrews 13:15 it states… “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
We need to understand that the blessings we receive come’s in the worship of God as we come in private and give homage to the Holy Father and Jesus the Messiah.
Where is the correct place of our worship? Remember Jesus stated that we should go to a place and pray to the Holy Father in private and He would reward openly. In Acts 17:24-25 we find this statement…"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.”
You see Jesus revealed to the Samaritan woman that the temple was no longer the place for worship as we read in John 4:20-21 "Our fathers worshiped on this Mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this Mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father."
In antiquity they used the Temples as a place where the god dwelt and people had to go to the temple to contact the god. This was true in the Hebrew religion as well however after the New Covenant was established by the shed blood of the Messiah the priesthood was done away with and the Church era began which is a group of people called out of this world by the Holy Father and brought into the body of the Messiah who is the ONLY head of the assembly. Many people think of the Church as the building they go to, however it is just a building, and the true assembly are those called and chosen.
Worship in a real way:
I would like for you to consider this question...Do you believe that if you could come into the direct presents of God you would become healed, and even forgiven of all your sins so you could be perfect before Him? What would you truly do if an angel came to you one night and said that he was sent from God to bring you before Him? Would you come to the Most Holy Father half- asleep, or smacking on some gum? Would you come with thoughts of what else you could be doing instead of having to be there? Would you come as if you were bored to the point you could not wait till you could leave, or would you be in great awe? Would you feel reverence, and admiration mixed with fear? Would you connect with God in such a way that you would feel His great power and Holy Character? Would you understand your frailty in His great presents? Would you understand your great weakness and ignoble character in the presents of such strength and Nobility? Would you know you were in the presents of GREATNESS, and the very one that created the universe? The very one that holds life in His hands with the great wisdom and love that makes up all that is fantastic. The God of god's, the Lord of lord's, the King of all kings!
The question we all must ask ourselves is do we truly worship God? The word worship also means to reverence, or to adore. Think about what it truly means to adore, and do you truly adore God? Do you admire Him? Many people say they do, but in reality they only want Him in their lives on the day they attend church. Many professing Christians will not even bring up the subject unless someone else does. Many do not dwell or meditate on the wonderful things of God during the day. When we worship God we need to even feel the reverence that should come from within. We should sense all His goodness, love He has for not only us but also all His creation. We should be able to take time out every day to look around and appreciate all He has given in true love. The fresh air, the cool breeze on a hot day, a cool drink of water on a hot day, the sight of a great snow capped mountain, the site of the Grand Canyon, the vastness of the night sky, the taste of our favorite food, the smell of a rose, or the smile of the ones we love when they see us coming to them. How His creation works together and how God created all out of a great love and concern for us. Yes! God has given us much to appreciate and to be able to see His mind and heart through.
When a man comes to love a woman does he just ask her to come over for supper because that is the thing to do, or is it because he feels the need to be close to her, and she feels a desire to be close to him? When two people are in love they feel a need to spend time together, and to get to know each other more intimately. There is a desire to do this and if we truly love God and have come to see Him we will feel a need to be with Him, and a desire to know everything we can about Him. When we do come to know Him and get into His mind, we then desire to be like Him just like a child desires to become like the person they admire. Do you as a Christian admire God? Do you know Him?
Is He your friend, or do you seek Him only when you want or need something? Some people use God as a genie but He is not, nor does He want to be, a genie that comes out when we call so we can ask for some gift, or to get us out of trouble. The important point to understand is that God wants a relationship with those that will come to Him. But we must never lose site of Who God is. We must never take Him for granted or come to think of Him on the same level as we are. God is as stated above The KING of all kings.
Why is it that even many that profess to be a Christian does not worship God in the way they should? The reason is because many churches have lost the true worship and zeal for God because the ministers themselves have lost their zeal and love of God. Ministers can't preach what they don't understand. They can't preach what they don't feel if they haven't been meditating on God like we covered before. Colleges of so-called theology can teach their brand of doctrine, weather it's Baptist, or Catholic, or whatever it is, but they can't teach a relationship with God! That must come from God and we must be willing to receive it, and if God truly has called a person they will reject the theology of men and embrace the love of God at all cost. They will seek the truth of God and come to worship Him the way they should even keeping the commands of God. When the elders accept God the way we have discussed here, and quit exercising rank over the brethren in these hierarchical churches begging for money and start accepting, and teaching the truth of God, many will come to understand to worship God is done in private and Church is for teaching and fellowship. Many will began to understanding that God hates all these pagan things that people use in His Name and with this understanding then maybe, just maybe, many will start truly finding God to be their friend!
You also might want to read "The Master Potter"
Timothy M. Youngblood