Authentic Worship | Life Group Series 4/8
The word “worship” derives from the Old English word “woerthship.” It means proclaiming something, or rather someone’s, worth. To authentically worship God then, it’s essential that we understand His worth, that is, what He’s like.
AW Tozer, a man considered by some to be one of the most influential American evangelists of the twentieth century, boldly wrote in his inspiring classic work, The Knowledge of the Holy (1961), that “[w]hat comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” He continues:
“A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well. It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.”
With popular celebrities wearing ‘Jesus is my homeboy’ t-shirts, and others treating Him like a genie in a lamp they can control and manipulate as they please, people’s perceptions of God, particularly when it comes to His holiness, have become distorted. They stumble over His displays of divine justice, calling God “vindictive” and “bloodthirsty” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion) or deny penal substitution and refer to the cross as “cosmic child abuse” (Steve Chalke, The Lost Message of Jesus). But God cannot be worshipped authentically unless we understand the necessity of His holy and just wrath against sin; and the eternal punishment from which we have been saved by the gracious provision of a substitute, Jesus Christ.
In 2 Samuel 6, in the events surrounding Uzzah’s dramatic death, David teaches that real worship comes in response to a revelation of the relationship between God’s justice and mercy. He cautions us to be obedient and reverent in worship, to get over ourselves, our wrong thoughts about God and towards others, that can hold us back from praising our Lord.
In this study we learn how what starts off as Christian karaoke worship can become authentic, heartfelt and reverent worship before an awesome God.
Is your worship authentic?