Worship – Giving God Space

by Rebecca Ulbrich, Director CBN Prayer Hotline 

Worship is not just singing beautiful songs. Worship is an alignment with God, a “giving him space” and acknowledging who he is!  

This acknowledgment can be expressed by singing, but also by speaking, whispering or simply being still before him. It is not primarily about acknowledging what he does or what he can give us, but it is about him as a person, about who he is and how he is.  

God wants to have fellowship with us. Just like a good friend, or a loved one, he doesn’t just want to be sought out by us when we want something or are in need. He wants to be loved and sought out for His own sake. 

Johannes Hartl once said in a lecture, “Worship is the voluntary giving of space to the ego before one who is infinitely greater. Worship is the voluntary laying down of my own preoccupation with myself – for the sake of a greater.” In worship, then, we seek Him without purpose; we seek His face, not His hand. He is to become greater and greater in us, in our thoughts, understanding and knowledge of Him, and to gain space. According to the principle of John 3:30: “Let Christ become more and more important, and let me fade more and more into the background.” 

When Jesus is tempted by the devil in the desert, the last temptation is also about worship. The devil wants the worship of Jesus at all costs. Jesus, however, resists and replies: “Worship God your Lord alone and serve him only!” (Mt 4:10) 

This shows that it is possible to worship something other than God. In this case, the devil directly. But now, if worship means giving space and special recognition to someone or something, all kinds of things can be worshipped: Relationships, money, power, digital media, or other desires of the heart….  

So the following question is worth asking: Who or what do we give the most space to in our lives? What do we spend our time with? What do our thoughts and words revolve around? Who or what do we inwardly worship?  

I believe that in everyday life it happens quickly that we lose focus and only focus around ourselves – or around what is important to us at the moment. It takes a conscious decision and an active action to turn our attention away from ourselves and to God: to look at Him, to give Him our time, to let Him work and speak, and in the end: to worship Him.

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