The Way to Worship
Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
People worship God differently. Some are loud and expressive while others are quiet and contemplative. Some kneel, some raise hands, some bow heads. Some read their prayers and some say whatever comes to mind.
Recently I went to hear a speaker whose style of worship was quite different from my own. It was more passionate, more expressive, and more open. As I sat and listened to her, at first, I was sidetracked by her words and actions. But slowly God began to convict me to focus on her heart. I was moved by her sincere love for Christ. And I remembered how easy it is to be critical of the way another person worships.
Why do we think we have the only formula for how to worship God?
It reminded me of when the disciples watched Mary pour expensive oil on Jesus’ feet and wipe it off with her hair. They were appalled. To them it did not look like an act of worship. It seemed inappropriate, yet Jesus said, “Let her alone—she has done a good service for me” (Luke 7:36-48).
There is no single way to worship outwardly—but something is required inwardly.
John 4:23 says, “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” Worshipping in spirit simply means that your actions come from within and you’re not just going through the motions.
Worshipping in truth means you are worshipping the true God and not some idol you’ve created. You are declaring truth with your words, not trying to put on an act to impress others.
It’s easy to misread intent and question another’s motives when it comes to worship. That is God’s job. We are not qualified to judge. Why? Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
The heart that truly worships God has but one goal: to love Him and pour that love freely at His feet in adoration for His saving grace. That is the kind of heart I want. I may not literally fall to my knees, but as long as my heart dictates my actions, God receives my worship with open arms.
Dear Heavenly Father, Keep me from looking sideways at the ways others worship you and help me to focus on You alone! You are the only One who matters.