Worship is our response to God. Praise is our outpouring of recognition, thanks, and gratefulness to Him.
23 Those who are careful about what they say
keep themselves out of trouble.
Conversely, those who use their voices to praise the Lord place themselves in the center of His love and grace. We call those gatherings, “worship services.” What does that phrase mean? I’m sure that there are other definitions, but here’s mine:
A worship service is where the people of God
are called by the Holy Spirit to come together
with the express purpose of praising God.
It is a collective experience that only happens
when we are together.
Our obedience to the Spirit to come together is called, “corporate worship.” Individual worship differs from corporate worship in that individual worship happens when we hear personally from God during the worship service. We hear from God routinely throughout our day, but we purposely encounter Him during that time set aside with our brothers and sisters to praise Him.
King David was all about coming together to praise the Lord. Psalm 100 is noted for it. Here are two verses:
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come to him with songs of joy.
4 Give thanks as you enter the gates of his temple.
Give praise as you enter its courtyards.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
As we consider COVID and the saving grace of online worship during that time, we are thankful for the miracle of technology. At the same time, online worship is a lot like the old AT&T slogan, “It’s the next best thing to being there.” It has its place, but nothing beats being in the presence of the assembly and sensing the Lord’s manifest presence in that place. If we want supernatural proof of God, it can be found in the worship of His people.
So, why don’t we feel His presence more often in our services? That’s tomorrow’s topic. Today, let’s focus on our private worship so that when we get together this Sunday (or whenever your church meets), you will be ready to worship corporately with them.
Abba, You have assembled Your people together throughout history. I read about it in Exodus when You called the Israelites to assemble before You at Mount Sinai. I read about it when You poured out Your Spirit upon the assembly at Pentecost. I remember several times throughout my life when Your presence was so thick that we all went to our knees. I don’t need these experiences to believe in You, but they certainly bolster my faith that You are actively involved in our lives. May we come purposely before You every chance we get! Amen.