See if you identify with this scenario: You go to church and sing the songs, but you aren’t really paying attention to the words or their meaning. The pastor stands up to pray, and your mind begins to wander. During the sermon, you become distracted and miss a large part of the message.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It’s a common experience and has been for a long time: Isaiah denounced the Israelites for honoring the Lord with their lips while their hearts were far from Him (Isa. 29:13). As children of God, we must take this seriously and consider whether we are actually worshipping the Lord or just going through the motions.
To truly worship, we must do more than mouth words of praise and look attentive. Our minds should be set on the Lord, not lesser things. Like the psalmist, our entire inner being should be engaged in both exaltation of the Lord and humble submission to Him as our Maker and Shepherd.
Genuine worship also requires a heart of faith and a disposition of obedience to God. It would be difficult for unbelievers to worship the Lord, because they don’t have the Holy Spirit and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Nor does God find worship acceptable from believers who cling unrepentantly to sin (Ps. 66:18). Drawing near to Him requires clean hands and a pure heart, which is possible only through Jesus Christ (Ps. 24:3-4).
The goal of worship is to glorify God, and it begins with our attitude. We must come into His presence with a repentant and humble heart, a mind focused on Him, and a life that demonstrates obedience.