Worship Is A Response
Featuring John Chisum Posted on October 20, 2008
Whatever else our worship is, it is essentially a response to God's endless self-giving. Alan P. Ross wrote that worship “refers to the appropriate response to the revelation of the holy God of glory.”1 While we most often think of worship as something that man alone initiates, the perspective of Scripture is clearly that God has placed man in an atmosphere of constant worship, constant response to Himself as the Creator, an entire galaxy of worship that evermore responds to Him in praise.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands,” says Psalm 19, and man can do no less – we are literally geared from the Manufacturer to give forth His praises by our very existence on the planet, whether we understand it or not. Even those who despise, reject, or deny God cannot help but show forth His glory as human beings.
Irenaeus, as early as the 2nd Century A.D., said, “the glory of God is the living human being,”2 an echo of John, writing in his ecstasy, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11). God, by His very being and by His choice to reveal Himself through His creation, is the one who has initiated all that is worship in this closed eco-system.
Ask just about anyone what worship is and you’ll probably hear back the words "songs" or "singing." For many, this worship means proclamation only, singing of God’s glorious love or nature or power. Often it appears that we forget to whom we are proclaiming such wonderful things. Are we reminding God just who He is, in case He’s forgotten and we’re left down here on earth to fend for ourselves? Actually, the proclamation, the rehearsing again and again of God’s person and attributes, is for our sake – we are the ones who are affected by authentic worship – we are the ones who are being transformed “from glory to glory”3 as we behold Him in His exaltation. We are the beneficiaries of worship as our proclamation draws us into adoration, awe, and the sheer delight of God.
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