If you ask most people in churches today, their answer will be something like, “Oh, that’s when the band plays at the beginning of church services.” The Church has neutralized the true power of worship by lumping it into the phrase “Praise & Worship” and limiting the meaning just to music. Worship and praise are actually two very different actions that play distinctly different roles in our lives.
The word for worship in the Hebrew is shachah and in Latin it’s proskyneo. Both words mean to bow down and prostrate one’s self in reverence: to physically lower yourself as an admission of your own lowliness in the presence of One So Holy. Another definition is “to kiss the hand as a dog licks its master’s hand” as a show of respect. Another is to perform obeisance, which is the word for when a servant bows or curtseys before a superior.
The thing is, we Charismatics get all caught up in praise and forget about the worship. We love to shout and sing and dance and clap. We love to celebrate our victory. More than likely, half the people reading this article could probably tell me the Seven Ways to Praise right now. We know all about using praise to help our faith through trials and tests. We know all about the time Paul and Silas got thrown in jail and, at midnight, started to sing, pray and praise God until an earthquake literally set them free. Just makes you want to shout, “Hallelujah!” doesn’t it? We love to hear those stories of breakthrough praise!
But what we don’t really know much about, what we don’t have very much teaching on or experience with, is the breakthrough that comes in worship. The number one thing that stops most of us from being all that God has called us to be and fulfilling all of the call of God on our lives, is our unwillingness to admit that we can’t do it by ourselves. We are incapable of doing anything good apart from God’s grace, mercy and anointing. When we worship, we remind ourselves of our inequity and of God’s perfection. In worship, we admit our inabilities and our need for God’s power. Through worship, we see very clearly how small we are and how great He is.
In the year King Uzziah died, the prophet Isaiah received a glimpse into what worship looks like in Heaven when he saw and heard the seraphim calling, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa 6:3 NIV). Isaiah immediately recognized his unworthiness and cried out, “Woe is me!” True worship is all about humility, focusing on the greatness and holiness of God rather than fixating on our problems or making excuses for ourselves. When we worship and really focus on who God is, we automatically realize just how in need of a Savior we are.
When we worship, we see God for who He is, and the sight of Him always marks us. It shames us. It scares us. It overwhelms us. But then He gives grace to the humble and He exalts us in due time. So when it’s all said and done, worship enables us to breakthrough our pride, self-sufficiency and fear and helps us boldly say, “Here am I: send me.”
Most of us already know that we aren’t capable of doing what God called us to do, but we still try to wear our façades in front of people and soldier along doing the best we can. Our façades, however, cannot stand up in the presence of God. True worship requires us to tear down those false images of ourselves and learn to rely on Him for everything. This is what Paul was talking about in 2 Cor 12:9 when he said “[God’s] strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Do you need a breakthrough in your life? Press into times of worship and allow God to reveal His greatness. He is truly all you need.
~by Anessa Back