Slow music... Dimmed lights... Just the right amount of fog…
If we’re honest, these are a few things that come to mind when we think of worship today.
But what if I told you worship was created to be SO much more? Not just a place to be, but a state of being?
“All places are a place of worship to a Christian. Wherever he is, he ought to be in a worshipping frame of mind.” [Charles Spurgeon]
Music or no music, worship is a way of life. It’s an act and an attitude.
So why is worship important for a college student? Well, the importance is found in the very essence of its meaning.
According to Webster, Worship is “excessive admiration for someone; the act of expressing such reverence/respect.”
There are multiple ways to express such admiration for God. It could be through song, as it commonly is, or it could simply be by giving God praise, honor, and glory for every good thing in your life through your daily words and actions.
Worship has always been important to me, but it was at the age of 17 that I discovered what true worship was. It was during a Sunday morning service, at a time in worship when the instruments began playing a little harder, the congregation began to sing a little louder, and the presence of God was evident. As the music began to build, with a microphone in hand, I looked down at the front row from the stage. All of a sudden, I couldn’t get a single word to come out of my mouth. I was speechless at what I saw.
There in the front row was a man standing with his arms stretched high, as if He were trying to touch Heaven. He was singing the words to the song with such passion in his face… and he couldn’t hear a single note being sung or a chord being played because he was deaf.
It was then that God dealt with me about true worship. To this man, the music didn’t matter; all that mattered was God, and giving Him the admiration He deserves. In that moment of worship, he simply offered himself. And that’s what worship should be; an act of surrendering yourself out of trust in who God is and His will for your life.
It’s the art of knowing that in every situation life throws your way, God’s got you.
It’s living beautifully abandoned, in awe of the One who sacrificed His only Son to save you, because He loves you that much.
Being able to lift God up out of revelation of who He is… that’s beautiful. And that’s worship.
A matter of the heart.
John 4:23-24 – “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The man I talked about in the previous point, to me, is a visual representation of the worshipper God is referring to in this passage. Worshipping God “in spirit and truth” has to do with the heart.
It has to be more than a song; it has to be an internal attitude before it can be an external act, and that begins with time in prayer and in God’s word.
“I believe worship is an expression of honesty between our hearts and God’s. It’s an exchange of pure love. We receive and experience His love for us and cannot help but give it back to Him.” [Kari Jobe]
Worship is rooted in the knowledge of God and His love. When you begin to realize who He is and reflect on all that He has done for you, it’s hard NOT to be in awe and express love towards Him through worship.
How easy is it to worry about things in college? REALLY EASY!
But fact: You can’t worry and worship at the same time.
Worry is failing to trust who God is and what He has promised.
Worship is acting out of an attitude of knowing and believing in who God is and what He has promised.
Between exams, papers, clubs, and group projects, college can take a toll. That’s not including work and everything else life entails. It can be really easy to worry about these things and allow them to take hold of your thoughts.
As a senior, this is something I struggle with daily. I mean, if I had a dime for every time someone’s asked me if I’ve got my future figured out yet, I would’ve had my student loans paid off three months ago (not really, but pretty close).
It’s easy to allow the unknown of tomorrow to weigh on your mind, but you have to rest in God and take Him at His word. You have to take the time to meditate on His promises and remind yourself of them daily; especially when you start to worry.
Matthew 6:34 -- “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
This is why worship is important for a college student. It is the act of surrendering your heart, mind, troubles, and future plans to God; acknowledging that He knows best. Worship welcomes the presence of God into our lives, and there is no peace like being in His presence. All the cares of this world don’t seem like such a big deal when you live your life in the presence of the One who created it.
So my challenge to you…
Dedicate time to spend in worship. Talk to God and allow Him to talk back. It may seem hard to find time in your busy schedule, but trust me; you don’t have time to NOT spend time with God.
He’s worthy of the admiration.
Taylor Sidwell, Student in Impact at IUPUI/Worship Team Member