what is true worship?

What Is True Worship? Ritual Or Lifestyle?

Is Worship An Obsession Satisfied?

Oddly enough, the definition of worship could be best understood from the nature of obsession. Perhaps more so than from what is frequently seen at the church.

Indeed, the event that takes place solely on Sunday is a far cry from worship in “spirit and in truth.” Of course, I am not denying that true worship does take place. However, without the proper positioning of the heart, it is more reminiscent of the Israelites pilgrimage to the Temple – something set apart from the ins and outs of everyday life, as if worship were merely localized in Jerusalem. Or better yet, at the Church.

Admittedly, the general public patently views worship as an event i.e. music, singing, dancing etc. However, it begs the question. If this is not true worship, then what is?

Is The Locality Of Obsession Also The Locality Of Truth?

To answer this question, I will first consider the definition of obsession:

A compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

  • Is this not simply worship gone awry?
  • Is not obsession purely the name we give worship when the object is void of reasonable worth?

Understandably, absent of rational value the pursuit thus becomes an endeavor to infuse the object with worth – a futile and hopeless undertaking.

Nonetheless, this is the essence of obsession – the relentless venture to find rest in an object that offers none.

Moreover, obsession is NEVER compartmentalized. It is all-consuming. If we follow the logic, would not obsession directed at the proper object be the same?

Should it not be all consuming?

Therefore, obsession becomes worship only when it meets the right object, namely, God; indeed, for only the Source can satisfy and give rest. Hence, an obsession satisfied is appropriately called worship.

Let’s Attempt A Workable Definition

Thus, worship, when contrasted with obsession, can be defined as:

An irresistibly passionate preoccupation with the glory of God through inspiration and revelation and always accompanied by manifestations of rest and satisfaction.

Cambridge Dictionary describes preoccupation as “the thing you think about the most.” Can the thing that holds the center of one’s attention be compartmentalized?


Why? Because if it can then it ceases to be preoccupation and thus, per the above definition, ceases to be worship.

A Little Concluding Food For Thought

In other words, if worship does not exceed the singing within the church walls then it remains worship no longer. It can be nothing short of a mode of living, a way of life as it were.

Oswald Chambers notes, “There are not three levels of spiritual life— worship, waiting, and work.” Impossible. The latter two would be merely saturated by the former; influencing them, molding them, infusing them and injecting them with substance and meaning. Perhaps, notes Chambers in his startling simplicity, “worship is giving God the best that He has given you.”

For further reading on the subject of worship – specifically how it pertains to addiction – Ed Welch authored a masterpiece titled A Banquet In The Grave…What’s his diagnosis of addiction? It’s a worship disorder…


Timmy G (2020)

what is worship