Following Jesus – Making Disciples – Changing the World

Elements of Worship: Reverence

A few weeks ago I wrote about joy being essential to biblical worship. To understand the type of joy that true worship requires, one has to consider another essential element: reverence.

Dictionary.com defines reverence as “an attitude of deep respect tinged with awe.” The Bible tells us in several passages to show reverence in our worship (Hebrews 12:8; Psalm 5:7), but to me, what really sells the necessity of reverence are the places where we see reverence for God in action.

In “Worship Forever” we took a look at Revelation 4 and 5 and saw the deep and perpetual reverence that Heaven holds for both God the Father and the Son.  When we examine Isaiah’s reaction to the throne of God we see deep reverence and a desire for personal change. In Luke 5, Jesus calls Peter into service with a miracle that causes the disciple to fall at His knees and say, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”  Of course, Peter eventually gets up and follows Jesus, so, as we saw with Isaiah, truly “seeing the Lord” elicited deep reverence and a desire for personal change. Finally, in John 20, upon seeing the risen Christ and touching his wounds, Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” This is the moment when Thomas stops doubting and believes. He truly “sees the Lord,” he shows reverence and he changes.

Even a glimpse of a small portion of the power of God is enough to bring us to a position of reverence. It causes us to see ourselves for who we truly are. To then receive mercy from that power and to know that we’ve been set on the right path to change brings us to a position of joy.

Are you “seeing the Lord” when we worship? Jesus tells us that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” He is with us. Are you showing reverence? Are you joyful? Are you being lead to make a change?

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