Posted on Mon, Apr 5, 2010
When many of us think of worship, we think about a slow praise song, or waving our hands in the air during church service. But true worship starts on the inside of you. The Greek word for worship is proskyneo which means "prostrating, bowing to and laying aside our own self and our own life." To worship God is to bow your desires down before Him, and let His will be done in your life; it is an inward state of being that continually honors and reverences God.
In Matthew 4:10, Jesus demonstrates the manner in which we should always be willing to lay down our lives and our bodies as a living sacrifice, even during temptation. In this scripture, Satan was tempting Jesus by offering Him the world and the very kingdoms that Jesus had come to take back from him if He would bow down and worship him instead of God. In the face of this test, Jesus responded by saying, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord they God, and Him only shalt thou serve." Jesus laid down the temptation to yield to His flesh in order to accomplish a greater mission. So likewise, you have to be willing to put God before everything else in your life.
Can God trust that He can work out his plans and purposes through you? A perfect example of this is in Genesis chapters 42–46, when Jacob thought he had lost his beloved son Joseph forever. Through God's mighty hand, however, he reunited Joseph with his father Jacob and his brothers.
Joseph was Jacob's favorite son, and his older brothers envied him because of this. They sold him into slavery, and tricked Jacob into believing that his son had been fatally attacked in the wilderness. God was with Joseph, however, which gave him the power to prosper everywhere he went. He was thrown in prison after being falsely accused of rape, but he prospered even behind bars, and was promoted. Joseph eventually became Pharaoh's highest ranking official after he interpreted a mind–boggling dream for the ruler.
Years later, during a severe famine, Jacob's family came to Pharaoh for food. As the chief official, Joseph was the man who was responsible for supplying their need. When Jacob's older sons came to him to buy food, they did not recognize Joseph, and he used it to his advantage to see his younger brother Benjamin and request him to return to see him after their first trip to Egypt. Jacob feared the possibility of losing another son, but he submitted to what was being asked of him. As a result of his being obedient to Joseph's orders, and the will of God by releasing Benjamin to Joseph once more, the Lord was able to reunite this family, and restore what Jacob thought had been lost. Not only did Joseph reveal his true identity to his father and brothers, but God also used him as an avenue through which He could funnel his provision to them during their time of need.
Jacob operated in true worship in the face of fear, and losing something that was dear to him—his youngest son Benjamin. Are you willing to do the same? This is what worship is all about; a sacrifice must be given before the God–kind of abundance is released. What is God trying to get you to give up for His plans? It may simply be a good deed, money or clothing. Whatever it is, if you are holding something you treasure from God, you are keeping your Benjamin. You have to trust God, that he will bless you because of your sacrifice, and heart of worship toward Him. You cannot see it as a loss, but as a spiritual gain. When you lay your desires and your plans aside for God, He sees it as true worship.