Recently my wife Nina retired after a 36.5 year career, and received a lot of accolades from co-workers celebrating her. Much of the celebration involved people publicly and privately proclaiming how she has helped them in their careers and personal lives. She has had a significant positive impact on them and they wanted her to know it. I’ve learned to keep a handkerchief with me these days because several times It made her shed tears of joy. While the gifts and flowers were meaningful, their impact paled in comparison to the impact of their personal statements of appreciation. She has been overwhelmed by so many people just showing up to the retirement parties and contacting her to wish her well.
Interestingly, she didn’t ask for these celebrations and she didn’t do all that she did in order to compel people to celebrate her. And I think that made it all the more meaningful.
As I consider these thoughtful gestures and how much my wife is glowing with happiness, it led me to think of worship. It’s not that all of these folks are worshiping Nina – and just to make sure, she has been swift to point out that the glory for her career accomplishments and impact belongs to God. But this is a small but powerful example of the power of Worship.
When we authentically worship God, it moves Him. And when we worship publicly it is a declaration to others how we feel about Him. You see, worship means to confess and attribute honor, reverence, or worth to that which is considered to be divine. It is much more than just thanking God – for life, health, etc. We have been taught to say thanks to people that we don’t even consider what they did significant or authentic. It’s just polite. Sometimes it can be insincere or even sarcastic. And it certainly doesn’t always mean that we think highly of the person we say it to. Thanksgiving can be a part of worship, but it is not necessarily an indication of honor and reverence.
True worship of God is an outward acknowledgment of His place in our life. And when we gather with other believers and sing songs of worship and adoration it is a declaration of not only His impact in our life but how much we appreciate Him. It is a public confession that Jesus is Lord of our lives. And just like those of us who are made in His image, when He is bombarded with worship, God is moved. His Spirit is full of joy. And the Bible says that His Spirit not only produces joy, but also love, peace, patience and all sorts of benefits. (Galatians 5:22) And because His Spirit lives within believers, we experience these spiritual benefits as well. The power of worshiping God is that the joy that it produces in Him overflows to us.