In my years of study on this subject, I have discovered three frequencies of expression toward God. As with many things in scripture, there are gateways into the realm of truth. Thanksgiving is always the gateway into to praise. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Ps. 100:4) The three frequencies of expression are praise, worship and tehillah. Neither one of these expressions are determined by the speed or mood of the expression, but rather by the level of abandonment. These levels of abandonment are categorized in Ezequiel's vision of the river that flowed from the heavenly tabernacle- H20 to walk in, H20 to pray in, H20 to produce in and finally H20 to completely surrender in. I have a lot more information on this in my six-part series titled, "The River of God". By the way, there are other gateways. For example, the book of Jude is the gateway to the Revelation and The Beatitudes are the gateway to power...
The way you express yourself is just as important as who you express (worship) yourself too. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. These are not just names, titles or designations for Christ. It is a formula to reach him in worship and to have Him respond. If you do not worship and live in His way, then you are not in truth and you have no life.
Two of the best definitions of expression toward God we have encountered, are from William Temple and Louie Giglio: Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose--and all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
You, my friend...are a worshiper! Everyday, all day long, everywhere you go, you worship. It's what you do. It's who you are. We all are worshipers, created to bring pleasure and glory to the God who made us. I don't know whether or not you consider yourself a "worshiping" kind of person, but you cannot help but worship-something. It's what you were made to do. Should you for some reason choose not to give God what He desires, you'll still worship something-exchanging the Creator for something He has created.
The ark was a form of "God Management". Now, that statement will cause some theologians some issues. I am simply trying to make a point here, so give me some grace. Uzzah tried to take care of and manage God. This is what many people try to do with church and worship. We try to do stuff for God so that He may do stuff for us. God does not need us to do anything. We cannot add or subtract from God. When the man-made systems we use to bring order, cause the glory to shift, we can't try to fix the problem by adjusting the glory container. We need to get rid of the out-of-order apparatus that is trying to bring God back to his rightful place. It's the method that's the problem not the messenger. Sadly, good people die when man-made systems are established to help God instead of God's order being in place to help us.
Gordon MacDonald provides a definition of worship: Worship is happening when a person or a people take time to reflect upon and honor the nature and the actions of God by offering him praise, thanksgiving, confession, offerings and a submissive heart and mind. This can be done through the medium of song, silent meditation, speech, sacramental activity, and other forms of artistic expression. Preaching may be a part of these functions, but not necessarily the most important part. MacDonald also lists a number of outcomes that should be evident where true worship has taken place: Worship should draw a sharp contrast between the kingdom of this world and the ..:namespace prefix = u1 />..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Kingdom of Heaven. Worship should focus on the living God and his revelation of himself as the Father... Worship is not about us! It's not about our bands, back up singers, amazing leaders, lights and crowds. God is not opposed to those things as long as they are not the focus of our affection. He desires to be the focus of our attention. It's all about Him!
You were created for greatness!
Pastor John Garcia