The Heart of Worship

Matt Redman, the author of the song heart of worship provides an interesting view on what worship really is. The story behind the song is fascinating. Matt attended a church in England that had seemingly lost her way. The pastor of the church decided to do away with all musical instruments for season in order to refocus the church on Jesus and on true worship. It was during this time that Matt Redman wrote these words:

When the music fades All is stripped away And I simply come Longing just to bring Something that’s of worth That will bless Your heart

I’ll bring You more than a song For a song in itself Is not what You have required You search much deeper within Through the way things appear You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth No one could express How much you deserve Though I’m weak and poor All I have is Yours Every single breath!

I’ll bring You more than a song For a song in itself Is not what You have required You search much deeper within Through the way things appear You’re looking into my heart

Matt Redman hit the nail on the head. The heart of worship is not found in a song, it is found in Jesus. It’s all about Him. Jesus is the heart of worship. As we consider the heart of worship, let us look at what the scripture says about the heart and having a true heart.

The Heart. The Bible says a lot about the heart. However, in most cases, the scripture is not speaking of the muscle that is in your chest pumping blood throughout your body. So, what is meant when we refer to the heart? Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness……” You and I were created in the image of God. To be created in the image of God means that our very being, who we are, is different than the rest of creation. We are God’s special creation, created in His image. Being created in His image has to do with the heart that we have been given by God. Notice three references to the heart in scripture.

First of all, we see that the heart refers to our intellect. Genesis 6:5 says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Different than the rest of creation, we have been given intellect like God. We are intelligent beings. However, because of our sin nature, our heart is corrupt. We have set our minds on that which is evil. Man’s thoughts does not have to be continually evil, we can be set free from the curse of sin by the blood of Jesus. The point here, however, is that when we speak of the heart, we are speaking of our intellect.

Secondly, the heart refers to our emotions. Genesis 6:6 says, “And it repented the Lord that He has made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.” God was grieved over what man had become. Grief is an emotion. All throughout scripture we see God expressing emotion. Being created in the image of God, we also have emotions. The heart is a reference to our emotions.

A third and final reference to the heart in scriptures is that the heart refers to our will. Genesis 8:21 says, “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake.” Here we see God making a decision. He sets His will to give man grace. He makes a choice. You and I are also given a will. We have the ability to choose, to make conscious decisions. We have a will. When we speak of the heart we are also speaking of our will.

The heart is who we are. It is the center. We are created in the image of God with an intellect, emotions, and a will. This is who we are. This is our heart.

A True Heart. We cannot truly worship God unless we have a true heart. Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart…….” Joseph S. Carroll says, “Unless we understand this condition and meet it, we cannot approach God; and we will not experience true worship.”[1] To have a true heart, means to have a pure heart. It is to have the right motive. A true heart is one that seeks after God with the mind, emotions, and the will. Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” This is true worship. To worship God with everything that is about you. Do you worship God with your mind? Is your mind set on the things of God? Is your mind preoccupied with the things of God or the things of this world? What about your emotions? Does sin grieve you? Do you feel the joy of the Lord? Are you passionate about the things of God? What about your will? Do you choose to worship Him? Do you discipline yourself? Have you made a decision? Are you determined to worship Him? Joseph S. Carroll writes, “If you seek for a true heart with all your heart, you will receive it. It is entirely your decision, for God’s callings are His enablings. He lives in you by His Spirit to meet His own demands. Most certainly, without the enabling Spirit, such a heart is impossible; but with the Spirit controlling, it is the very life into which He will lead you.”[2] The question is, Are you allowing the Spirit to control you? Are you living a Spirit-filled life? Are you yielding to Him daily? As you yield to the Spirit He will purify you and give you a heart for worship.

Do you have a true heart? Without it, you cannot worship Him. Your worship will be just a mechanical routine with no real meaning. To really worship you must give your mind, emotions, and will over to Him. You must be the person that God created you to be; a person created to worship.

[1] Carroll, Joseph S. How to Worship Jesus Christ.

[2] Carroll, Joseph S. How to Worship Jesus Christ.

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