“O Worship the King, all glorious above. And gratefully sing His wonderful love. Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days. Pavilioned and splendor and girded with praise.

That old hymn we have been singing since the early 1800’s. And if we are to sing with understanding, there is a lot to unpack here, but we will cover that another time. This older hymn is a beautiful song of worship, and it has a comparable, modern counterpart written by Tim Hughes in 1999. We sing,

…here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that you’re my God. You’re all together lovely, all together worthy, all together wonderful to me.”

As we proclaim our desire to ‘worship the King’ and announce that we are coming before Him to worship, perhaps we should first ask ourselves, “What IS worship?” As Christians, that’s what we are called to do. Read as Paul wrote in Romans 12, verse 1,

“I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

That is what we are called to do every first day of the week, every Sunday morning! Worship has been defined as a mental and physical act, both internal and external. Ultimately, we understand that our worship must be done in spirit and truth (John 4), with a sense of awe and reverence in the presence of the divine.

But Merriam-Webster would define worship as; “reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; an act of expressing such reverence….”

The Greek word for worship implies “throwing oneself on the ground to show respect and awe.” It is NOT an experience we have in the presence of God, but the act of offering God our best when we are in HIS presence.

On Sunday morning, when we meet with the saints and come to worship, are we showing our God respect, reverence, and awe? Do we, as Moses told Aaron, “…treat Him as holy? Too often, we cheapen our understanding of that simple word ‘awe,’ failing to appreciate that it is a descriptive term for our Creator. We need to keep this word in reserve. We must use this description to describe our God and His wonderful acts: “Our God is an awesome God!”

Stop using ‘awe’ to describe the football game, movie, or your new ride. How can we compare the Maker of Heaven and Earth to a man-made performance or production? Sing with understanding and look for other descriptive terms to explain your feelings about the game.

As you consider your worship time on Sunday morning, what is your mind focused on…what do you think about? How have you prepared yourself for this time in the presence of God? Some say they worship ‘all the time,’ an idea embraced by those who consider all of life to be worship to God. Certainly, we need to humble ourselves daily and bow before God with respect and awe.

However, we must understand that worship is an intentional act. That is what we must do, how we prepare ourselves for the hour of worship. We should never enter worship, be it Sunday or any day you bow your knee to glorify God, with a less than honorable heart. We must ‘treat Him as holy’ lest we risk simply going through the motions.

Christ should ALWAYS reside within our hearts! We are called to

“…walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,” I John 1:7.

Even the devotional song, “Poured Out Like Wine,” exemplifies the idea that we are to be the Light of Christ, Matthew 5:14. Remember the affirmation as we sing…

“Yes, I’ll be life and light and love Thy (God’s) Word fulfill.”

We worship consistently! That’s why Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica admonishing them to ‘pray without ceasing’ I Thess. 5:17. Though there are times when we pray, and there are times when our minds are not focused specifically on prayer in Christ; we will always have a prayerful heart. In the same way, we live our lives in reverence for God. We work in this world, but this world is not our home. We are in the world, but we are not OF the world. Our lives reflect submission to Him 24/7, even though we may not be physically ‘bowing in worship.’

Let me encourage you to consider this idea of worship by pointing out three basic tenets of our worship.

  1. Worship is internal; it comes from the heart. Do we worship externally? Yes, but we cannot properly worship God externally without first worshiping Him internally. That comes in how we set our priorities. We must be careful how we walk, “…not as unwise men but as wise.” (Ephesians 5:15)
  2. Worship is intentional. We can’t come to God and worship Him accidentally. Remember God’s warning in Matthew 15, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” What are we thinking about when we come into His presence to worship? If God is not our priority, the world will be!
  3. Worship is vertical. We know that during our times of worship, we encourage the church family around us. We sing to admonish one another. But perhaps we ought to consider Wayne & Cathy Perrin’s song from 1980 when I Look into Your Holiness. This captures the idea of vertical worship, “…when all things that surround become shadows in the light of You, I worship You!”

Next time we ‘come to worship’, remember that we are to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4). Let’s come before Him and worship in reverence and in awe. That is why we sing,

“Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that You are my God…”

Myron Bruce
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Myron Bruce and his wife Vicki were married in 1989, and for 14 years, he served as a classroom teacher and administrator at both the elementary and secondary levels. In 2003, they moved their family from Greeley, Colorado, to Richardson, Texas, where Myron began serving in the ministry. After 20 years in the ministry, working in Texas and Oklahoma, Myron and Vicki have three grown children with their own families. They also have been blessed with three (soon to be four) grandchildren.

Myron has been active in the Lord’s church from an early age. Blessed to work ‘in the vineyard of the Lord,’ perhaps the most gratifying area of service has been in song leading. Therefore, in 2011, his deepest aspiration reached a milestone as he began the development of the seminar, “Singing with the Spirit.” A seminar where churches are taught how better to understand the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Myron’s objective in these sessions is to bring individual worshippers closer to the throne of God.