As human beings—every single one of us—are wired for worship. We can’t help it. But we are the ones who decide what or Who our worship will be directed towards. And since worship is an integral aspect of our nature, it’s important to stop and think about what constitutes true worship.
I know it’s so easy to just think of praise as the fast or loud songs in church, while worship is the slow ballads. But there’s a real defining difference: “praise” is a reaction to what God has done, whereas “worship” is a reaction to a REVELATION of who He is.
Anyone, even those who choose not to follow Jesus, can praise God when they see something He has accomplished. The only way to really worship is for Him to reveal an aspect of Himself to you, to work that out in your life.
So the key to true worship is to get a vision of who Jesus really is, which will inspire us to victory in our lives. It’s not a passive process; it’s one that involves our whole selves.
I hope you, like me, will challenge yourself to expand your horizons in worship. Let us not be afraid to pour ourselves out – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually—in adoration of the One who gave everything for us. He did not hold back in displaying His love for us, so be free to love Him back.
And do you know what’s so encouraging? When we do posture our lives in worship, we get to encounter the Living God and be transformed into the glorious image of His Son. As we see in the story of Jehoshaphat, God will fight on our behalf.
2 Chronicles 20:1-23
After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said:
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
- When faced with a challenge, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord
- He proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
- The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord.
- Declared: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
- Recognized: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. “
- Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. – Each person present worshipped in the way that they were moved. It was a symbol of submission for the king to bow before the Lord and a position of authority for the worshippers to shout in the face of threats against them.
- As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men – As we worship, we can’t forget the warfare that can follow.
Let us not wait for a different season.
May we choose to truly worship Him today—whether we are standing in faith of His promises, in the midst of the crisis, or we have seen Him bring us through the battle into victory.
Let’s worship Him because if He never did another thing for us, He is still holy and marvelous and worthy of all of our adoration.