I’ve heard this question asked and answered more times than I care to remember. What’s even more troubling to me is that it continues to be asked. The importance of worship cannot be overstated. It’s huge because it matters to the Lord, and it matters for us.
Far too often we allow personal distractions to get in the way of our worship. We go to church and sometimes we still don’t worship the Lord. We sing the songs, listen to the sermon, take communion, put a little money in the collection, and still don’t worship. Don’t over the fact that these are elements of worship, but they are not worshipping. In and of themselves, these elements are important, but you can do them and still not worship. If your purpose isn’t worshipping the Lord then they are nothing more than empty rituals that have no power.
Worship is about the Lord, and it requires our entire being to be successful. If our focus isn’t on the Lord and praising him, them we can go through the motions but it doesn’t move us or the Lord. Worship is so much more than an intentional act at an intentional time. It’s also a lifestyle, an expression of our daily lives in which we commit ourselves to exalting the Lord.
Worship is surrender (Heb. 12:1). If you daily life is not fully surrendered to the Lord, worship allows you the opportunity to surrender and get your focus back on him.
Worship is putting our entire focus on the Lord. It is based in the desire to honor and exalt the Lord. It is not based on my comfort, likes or dislikes. It is all about him.
Worship is about getting out of our own way. In worship, we learn to trust in the Lord, trust in his promises, and let go of our fears, worries, opinions, and questions. When we hold onto these things we are allowing ourselves to become the stumbling block in our worship and the worship of others. It is learning to fear and honor him more than us.
Worship is personal sacrifice. Sure, worship is easier when things are going our way and we’re winning at life. It’s when life is constant struggle and hardships that worship becomes something more. It’s when it costs us something, when we have to put aside our own feelings and fears that it truly exalts our Lord (Heb. 13:5). King David demonstrates worship in the midst of loss and pain in 2 Sam. 12:20. After fasting and prayer, the child dies and instead of getting angry with God, he gets up, cleans himself up, and goes to the tabernacle to worship. Worship should move us closer to the Lord and further from us.
Worship is celebrating who our Lord is and what he has done for his people. It is filled with love and praise that is inspired by the little victories of everyday life.
So, does worship matter? I would contend that nothing matters more in the lives of the Lord’s people.