What about worship

August 25, 2009

One of the very first things I wanted to know about heaven was worship. One sermon I’d heard in the past said that we will worship God 24-7, meaning all the time. Somehow when I heard that, I wasn’t sure that meant what the preacher thought it meant. He seemed to think it meant sitting in a church service, singing hymns or choruses or other religious songs.

But God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have a definite idea of what worship is, and that’s not it. As I meditated on the question, what is worship like in heaven, here’s what they told me.

Worship comes from an Old English word meaning “worth-ship.”  The worth of someone. Worth what? Money? Respect? Power? Position? Fear? Treat that person accordingly.

In the New Testament, however, one primary word translated worship means to be in submission; to serve as a slave serves his master.

The Greek word “proskuneo” is translated worship in John chapter 4, throughout the section where Jesus talks to the woman at the well. Strong’s Concordance defines proskuneo as kissing the hand, but in practical daily use the word meant much,  much more. It meant kneeling as a slave in submission, respecting the position and authority of the master, waiting for instructions before rising to perform those instructions.

We get a better idea of God’s idea of worship by substituting the concept of  submission for the word worship in these verses:  “But an hour is coming and now is, when those who show true submission will show submission to the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is also seeking such ones who are showing submission to him. God is spirit, and those who are showing submission must show submission in spirit and in truth.”

This is not just serving like a waitress serves a cup of coffee. It’s the service of a slave, taking instructions and orders for the day, doing what you’re told, when and where and how you’re told. Not planning your own agenda and carrying it out, but receiving your master’s agenda and carrying that out.

So God’s idea of me worshiping him means me waiting for his instructions and doing them. All the time. Come here, go there, do that. If that’s singing, then singing is worship. If that’s writing, then writing is worship. If it’s researching the physics property of carrier waves (that was one of my assignments a couple of months ago), then that’s worship.

Obedience is worship; it’s recognizing who and what Father God is and acting accordingly. That is why heaven is such a busy place, not just a church service with singing.

Oh, there is plenty of singing, praising, joy, playing music on many types of instruments, by all ages of heaven’s citizens. Lots of places for it, too, indoors and outdoors. Great cathedrals, small chapels, massive amphitheaters, mountain tops. At all times of the day, somewhere, some group small or large is gathering to praise God with old and new compositions.

I’ll try to describe some of those another time. That was truly fascinating, and fulfilling. But the lesson I am still absorbing is, worship means obedience.

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Speaking of heaven.

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