Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Jeff Price0
So, What Exactly Is Praise And Worship???
Praise: something done or given in acknowledgment or consideration of the worth of another
Worship: a show of devotion stemming from a feeling of profound love and admiration of another
Most of us have heard the story of the man who climbs to the top of a mountain in hopes of gaining enlightenment from some guru. And what is the question he is said to ask the guru? He asks the one question that everyone has wondered at least once in his or her lifetime – what is the meaning of life? Most of the time, the guru’s answer would usually involve some elaborate metaphysical mumbo-jumbo based on a pebble in a stream or some other philosophical nonsense.
But, suppose for a moment that the guru at the top of the mountain were God. His answer would be far simpler. He would tell us we were created to worship (Exodus 20:3-6, Isaiah 43:7, Hebrews 13:15). He wants us to acknowledge Him; His honor, glory and power both here and in heaven.
Granted, there are other very important purposes to life including coming to a knowledge and understanding of God – and ourselves in relation to God and learning to be like our Holy Father. But, you see, when a person finally realizes the truth in all these – once “true enlightenment is attained” as our guru friend might put it – praise and worship is a natural, logical and inevitable end result.
To some, however, desiring constant praise may seem a bit conceited on God’s part – especially given our human way of thinking. We were raised to believe that anyone who constantly seeks admiration is an egotistical glory hound. In most cases this is true. But, I’m sure we can agree that there are cases where desiring praise from others is not a self-serving inclination. For example, a marital relationship is one instance where praise should be both given and expected. Praise from one’s spouse lets us know that we are not only wanted but needed; that we are not only loved but appreciated.
Now, consider this: The Bible tells us that Christians as a whole are considered by God to be His bride. As Christians, we are in a covenant relationship with God that is much like a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. He tells us this many times in His word: Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 11, Romans 7, Revelations 21.
And God’s love for us is as epic and wondrous as any romance ever penned by man. Much like Romeo and Juliet, He died for us and we die for Him – all in the name of love. This marital-type relationship with us is in and of its self more than enough reason to give God praise. But the reasons certainly do not stop there.
Think for a minute of all the reasons that we give praise to others. We praise and honor individuals for their creativity, for their wisdom, their kindness, their sacrifice, their power, their graceful disposition and for the love they show to others. If we do this for individuals who display some of these traits, how much more should we praise God – not only for displaying all of these traits, but to an extent that far exceeds that of anyone who has ever walked the face of the earth.
So you see, God does not desire praise due to some egocentric motives. He desires praise because He wants the ones He loves so deeply to acknowledge His love – He wants His bride to love Him back!
Consider how it would make you feel if you were to give your love a box of chocolates only to have him or her give you a half-hearted smile, say, “that’s nice” and go about his or her business. You would be thinking that you deserved a little better response than that from someone who is supposed to love you, right? Certainly you would. The fact is, such an unenthusiastic response would hurt a bit. Not so much because your lover didn’t appreciate your box of chocolates, but because he or she did not appreciate the fact that you were thinking of him or her – that you wanted to do something that would bring them joy and that you took the time and effort to do something just for them. It would be enough to ruin the rest of your day – and all over a box of chocolates.
Now, compare that box of chocolates to the many wonderful gifts God has given us through His creativity, wisdom, power, kindness, love, grace and sacrifice and we can see why God not only wants but deserves praise – not a half-hearted, “that’s nice” type of praise, but a joyous, exuberant type of praise – not only now but forever, which is why we should approach worship far more seriously than we do. Praise and worship is a high priority with the Lord, so we should treat it as such because God’s love and blessings are certainly of far greater worth than a guru’s advice or box of chocolates.
It is good to praise You, Lord and make music to your name, Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, oh Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. PSALM 92: 1-4
Dear Lord, let us truly be enlightened:
Open our eyes to your wondrousness
May our minds comprehend your majesty
Saturate our spirits with your love
And with the culmination of these things – grant a worshipful heart to all of us.