Understanding True Worship

I am so passionate about what God wants to do in the lives of youth. I believe with a deep passion that God is raising a generation of true worshippers. I get the opportunity to lead youth in worship at Fusion each week–something I feel incredibly blessed to do. The Lord captured my heart during a powerful worship service, and I believe He wants to do that for every youth who comes through the doors at Fusion on Wednesday nights.

When Youth Engage in True Worship

One of the coolest things to witness is a room full of middle and high school students singing and loudly lifting up the name of Jesus. What’s even cooler (maybe the coolest) is when they understand the “why” behind worship. 

When we understand that acts of worship such as raising hands and dancing aren’t just done for the sake of doing what everyone else is doing or out of obligation, our worship becomes heartfelt and genuine. 

I’ve thought about what it looks like to be a true worshiper. What speaks to the Lord’s heart, and what is His desire? I believe we think far too often about what makes us comfortable versus uncomfortable rather than pursuing what the Lord desires from us.  

What Does True Worship Look Like?

We get a picture of what true worship looks like in 2 Samuel 6. David and the people of Israel are bringing the Ark of the Lord into the city of Jerusalem, which is to become the central place of worship for Israel. In 2 Samuel 6:13-15, the ark is successfully brought into Jerusalem, and a worship party breaks out: “And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.” 

David danced before the Lord with all his might, and there were shouts of joy and singing amongst the Lord’s people. Their worship was undignified and exuberant, and it pleased the Lord. Later on, when David faced judgment for his extravagant act of worship, he responded, “And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight” (2 Samuel 6:22). He truly did not care about the opinion of others and continued to worship the Lord out of a joyful and genuine heart. That is what the Lord desires of us today.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around understanding true worship… 

  • How can worship come from a genuine place if my emotions are out of whack and can’t be trusted? 
  • How can my worship be genuine if I’m not “feeling it?” 

The key to this is getting to know the Lord for myself; by reading the Bible for myself, and by talking to God daily. David had an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord. He wrote a large portion of the Psalms. In Psalm 119:160, he wrote, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” 

David constantly communicated with the Lord and thrived in getting to know him. This is why David’s worship flowed so naturally and freely at the Ark of the Lord. He knew his Savior intimately, and his worship was an outpouring of his thriving relationship with the Lord.

Woman listening to the church band in awe.

Keep in Mind…

That is not to say that when we are pursuing the Lord, we will always feel an overwhelming sense of His presence. It is to say that when I got to know the Lord for myself, He became an anchor in my life. Even if I don’t experience a “spiritual high” during a particular season of my life, I can still engage in true worship from a genuine place. I know that even though my emotions constantly change, the Lord never does. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Genuine true worship is when we choose to worship Him despite ourselves, whether we feel it or not. 

We sing a song at Fusion called Heaven Invade by Kari Jobe. This is the bridge… 

  • “My heart starts to race, and I can’t contain the feeling of joy; of being in your presence. I can’t help but dance and can’t help but sing, and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks.” 

That is my prayer for our youth ministry…

  • That their worship would flow freely from a place of knowing our Savior intimately, as our Father and our closest friend
  • They worship weekly and daily, not driven by what others think but that it would be a gift to God alone.
  • That they would not just jump, dance, and sing for the sake of it, but that it would come from a genuine place of knowing God and believing He is worthy of all of our true worship

The Key Takeaway

I’ll say it again and pray it soaks into your soul… Genuine true worship is when we choose to worship God despite ourselves, whether we feel it or not. May your relationship with God continue to thrive as you come to know Him more.