Worship is an expression of devotion and adoration. It is the release of loving abandonment, a showering of affection and gratitude.
Worship is an opportunity to tell the one you love just how you feel about them.
Worship has been described as an act of the spirit of man in sincerity.
Whilst praise is primarily about thanking God for what He has done, worship focuses on who He is.
Psalm 69:9 instructs us to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Isaiah goes further in chapter 61:3 by stating that God gives beauty for ashes for those who mourn in Zion.
Just what is this ‘beauty’ that both these verses highlight? What does the ‘beauty of holiness’ mean?
To worship in the beauty of holiness is not a place we go to. Worship is not about a time or a place, Jesus made that clear to the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. In John 4:23 24 Jesus informs the woman that this is the time now to worship God in spirit and in truth because that is what the Father is seeking. In fact, Jesus affirms the statement that true worshippers MUST worship in spirit and truth.
This must be achievable otherwise Jesus would not have instructed us to do so. Paul helps us in our understanding by informing us that if we are ‘In Christ’ we are a new creation. He goes on to say that ‘old things have passed away and to behold what is made new.’ 2 Cor 5:17.
So, here is the key to understanding the term ‘beauty of holiness’. It is a state of being given to us once we believe in Jesus and He enters our life through faith in Him. This new nature that Paul speaks of is the ‘beauty of holiness’ spoken of in Psalms 96:9 and Isaiah 61:3. To truly worship in spirit is to sing and adore God from this new creation that is given to us when we are born again. This is acceptable to the Father and He will receive your worship as if it was Jesus Himself singing to His Father in heaven.
This is critical to our understanding and wonderful to release worship from our heart (Beauty of Holiness). Wholeheartedness is the second key that Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan women who, by the way, legend records, became a mighty woman of faith. To worship in truth is to be a real person of the heart before God without pretending to be holy and acceptable. If you know you are acceptable to Him you can relax and with confidence release what is in your heart. He is seeking this!
People who struggle with mistrust also struggle to worship God. They tend to be the ones sitting down whilst others sing.
It comes from a heart hurt by betrayal, rejection, disappointment, abuse and wounding. Sadly these ones struggle to worship because they feel separated and do not enjoy closeness with Him. A locked-up heart cannot communicate true feelings. A void is created and is eventually filled by a spirit of mistrust and if not overcome can lead to bitterness. Good ministry can break this bondage and release healing if it is accompanied with forgiveness and repentance.
Another group of people who struggle with worship are what I call the ‘pretenders.’ They can sing and worship with everyone else but their hearts are far from God. They are worshipping something else. They have a form of godliness but are in fact bound by a religious spirit that forces them to praise and worship. Religion like this is a counterfeit of the real and many people are troubled by it. They can also be released in the same manner as those bound in mistrust.
Be free to worship the Lord from that beautiful holy place in your heart knowing that God loves it and loves to receive it and even invades it himself or by sending angels to you.