And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying (Revelation 4:9–10 KJV)
If you want to touch God’s heart, learn to worship. And if you want your worship to touch God’s heart, worship Him the way He wants—speak His love language, not yours. In this devotional, I briefly summarize Deshen Live Bible study from last week on worshipping God with our whole being.
The term holistic is used in medicine to refer to treating the whole person: their body and mind. Beyond the body and mind, some groups, especially faith-based institutions, recognize the spirit. Holistic medicine acknowledges that a human being consists of more than their body; therefore, the only way to care for a person entirely is to care for their whole being—body, mind, and spirit.
I use holistic worship to refer to worship with our whole being, like holistic medicine. In holistic worship, we worship God fully with our body, soul (emotions, thoughts, desires), and spirit. When Jesus called John to come up into the worship setting of heaven, where the angels worship God, John saw what angels do when they worship God. In Rev. 4:9-10 above, these angels fall before God and speak words of adoration to Him.
Although God has the perfect angelic worship in heaven, Jesus reveals that the Father is seeking human beings to worship Him (John 4:23). Contrary to our classic spirit-soul-body understanding, the most distinguishing characteristic of a human being is not their spirit but their body. Like David now in heaven, a disembodied spirit is like the angels. Still, God’s pleasure is not what these bodiless human beings in an intermediary state have to offer Him in worship. Above all else, God delighted in what the living David had to offer when he was alive in the body, dancing before the Lord, pouring his heart out to Him, and offering his whole being to worship God.
True human worship offers our bodies as living sacrifices—not just our spirits. As I have taught repeatedly, living in the spirit or worshipping God in the spirit is NOT an out-of-body or out-of-mind experience. “Using your spirit” to worship God does not mean freezing your body or suppressing your emotions or thoughts. On the contrary, it means total immersion before God when the Spirit carries us in our souls and bodies. God longs for you to pour out your affections and love on Him. Do not eradicate your feelings—allow the Spirit to lift them to the Father in true worship.
Besides our emotions, we also must use our bodies in worship. Did you read what the angels did before God in Rev. 4:9-10 above? We will do well to worship on earth as it is in heaven. I believe our modern culture, especially western culture, has robbed us of the physicality of worship. Some believe even find it offensive to lift up their hands, bow down or even fall prostrate before God, yet those bodily expressions of worship are an integral part of worshipping God as a human being.
God seeks worship from his people, and He wants all of our being to worship Him (spirit, soul, and body). When the Holy Spirit lifts up our spirit, thoughts, emotions, desires, and body before the Father in adoration, He presents to the Father through Jesus worship from the earth that the Father cannot receive from heaven: human beings pouring out their emotions of adoration, lifting up of hands, bowing, kneeling, falling down, etc., before Him.
I attempted to summarize Deshen Live Bible Study from last week in this devotional. Please take a moment and watch this sermon.
What is worship?
Apply the Word
Do you still think God does not care what you think or how you feel about how you worship (the soul)? Or that the postures of the body “do not matter”? Let this truth transform your worship: David in heaven (disembodied) cannot touch God’s heart with his worship as he did when he was alive in the body—with feelings, thoughts, desires, and a physical body. David knew how to worship God with his whole being. But some (his wife Michal) detested seeing David dance before God, and she was barren her entire life; that implies God was not happy with her. She attempted to make David stop doing something God delighted in! Release yourself into a total, holistic worship of God.
Ask the Father to help us understand how to give Him the worship He desires.