Yesterday I preached on the 5th of the six purposes I see for the church--worship. When most people think of worship, they think of singing, prayer, giving and preaching. These are a PART of worship, but these actions miss the essence of what worship truly is.
Worship starts when we put God before all the other gods in our lives. You say you have no other gods? Well, for some, it may be money, for others it may be TV, work, golf, kids, or cars. You name it, if it takes precedence over time with God, you have made it a god in your life. We can even get so busy working "for" God, that we fail to worship Him!
The intent of worship is to magnify God. That is why worship can not happen in a life that has not fully surrendered to God. We either magnify God or we magnify ourselves in the way we live our lives. We have to forget what other people think about us and worry more about bringing glory, honor, and praise to Jesus!
We life in a WIIFM (what's in it for me) society. So, with worship, WIIFM? One benefit is that the church of Jesus grows stronger through worship. Another is that worship gives us power to live on in times of struggle and strife. Worship also looks to the future to inspire us to live better lives and do better things for others. Finally, worship allows us to experience fulfillment. When we truly worship God, He is satisfied and we are fulfilled. We were made to worship God, so when we actually let down our guard and open up our hearts to Him, we are complete--we accomplish what we were made to do and be.
Worship has become so watered down in some places that is is almost invisible! Oh, there is singing and praying and preaching, but there is no POWER. Let us all begin to worship God as we were meant to do and help those around us to worship Him as well!