For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves … For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
~ Leviticus 11:44-45 ~
… true and perfect worship consists in following in the steps of the Son of God; it consists in keeping the commandments and obeying the will of the Father to that degree that we advance from grace to grace until we are glorified in Christ as he is in his Father. It is far more than prayer and sermon and song. It is living and doing and obeying. It is emulating the life of the great Exemplar.
~ Bruce R. McConkie – How to Worship – October 1971 General Conference ~
Our Heavenly Father seeks those who are engaged in meaningful worship that focuses on God’s presence and nature – not on humanity. Meaningful worship is when we understand and know who he is, not what we desire, not what we like, and not what others may say. We worship our Heavenly Father because he is holy. We worship our Heavenly Father because we are called to partake in his holiness. And it is one that ought not to be taken lightly. For in that covenant, we agree upon – has serious consequences if it is not honored (Joshua 24:14-25).
Meaningful and mindful worship also recognizes the scriptural truth where our Heavenly Father is called Jealous. There is a reason he is a jealous God. This is because it is a healthy sign of God’s love toward us and his desire for a unique relationship with us. Unlike any other gods – our Heavenly Father is unique and different from what others may have attempted to describe. He is separate and above all things. And since there are many distractions in our lives today – we must never put them on the same level as our dedication to our Heavenly Father. This is because our covenants and relationship with Heavenly Father go much deeper than those allegiance and commitments we may have in everyday life.
Meaningful and mindful worship is also our response to our Heavenly Father’s steadfast love (Exodus 34:6-7 and Numbers 14:18-19). This steadfast love of our Heavenly Father is the reason for the infinite atonement. It is the reason for the plan of salvation whereby we come to fulfill His glory and purpose. It is a covenant he makes with each one of us to fulfill his promises – if we only honor and keep our promise and covenants we have made with him.
Finally, true meaningful worship acknowledges what our Heavenly Father has done and accomplished in our lives. Not only in our lives – what he has done in the lives of those who came before us. When we come to study the Old Testament, we are studying a heritage that focuses on worshiping God that is powerful, motivating, unique, and vibrant. We also come to see the failings of humanity when they have turned away from true meaningful worship. The cost of rebellion and disobedience that plagued them. Yet, each time, our Heavenly Father’s steadfast love is calling all of us back into relationship with him. He desires we traverse the road of repentance and seek forgiveness for those things we have done.
Different Ways we Engage in Meaningful and Mindful Worship
First type of meaningful worship is through lament. It is something that is much more than mere sorrow, being mournful, and intense despair. Through lament – we are able to worship our Heavenly Father by expressing our confidence in God despite any sorrow, trouble, or despair we are experiencing. More importantly, such worship focuses on our confidence in Heavenly Father to deliver us from our troubles.
Scripture teaches that we are to cast all our cares onto him (1 Peter 5:7). This does not mean that our Heavenly Father will fix whatever is weighing upon our hearts and minds. It also does not mean he will remove those challenges from our lives. All it teaches us is the assurance in knowing He deeply cares for us. We place our confidence and trust in him so that we are able to find a way through those difficulties we are facing. Even the Savior taught that when we come to him and cast all our burdens onto him – we shall find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30).
Our lamentations reflect where we truly live – in sorrow, dealing with hardship, grief, stress, worry, anxiety, shame, guilt, disappointments, betrayal, sense of loss, concern for others and their well-being. It is a way for us to worship God by expressing our sorrow and to begin a process of healing and restoration we desperately seek in life. And it is this very commitment and covenant we make to where we mourn with those who mourn (Mosiah 18:9). This goes to the heart of ministering to others. Our covenant includes comforting those who are distressed as much as we are in distressed. We join in their grief, share in their sorrow, and worship in lamenting – knowing that Our Heavenly Father is bringing sweet comfort to their souls and weighted hearts.
A second form of meaningful worship is based on our trust and confidence in our Heavenly Father. Confidence in his power, authority, and in who he is. Not in our own understanding, our own desires, and our own ways of seeing things. We worship because we know God is God and there is none like him. We worship knowing that we are saved by the power and authority of the infinite atonement.
Third, our worship we make our petitions known unto the father. We petition for healing, for guidance, for wisdom, for direction. We even petition the Lord to guide us toward truth. Here, when we engage in petitioning as a form of meaningful worship – we shall receive personal revelation for that which we are seeking. And sometimes it is not what we thought we’d receive. It is also to petition and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for those things we have already received – the blessings he has bestowed upon us.
We Worship in Spirit and Truth
When Christ revealed to the Samaritan woman at the well that God seeks and desires true worshippers, he was teaching that our attitude toward God is one of reverence and worth. It is our response to who God is. It is an attitude reflective of our Heavenly Father’s nature and character. And when we worship in spirit – we are to do so that stems from the core of who we are: Sons and daughters of the Highest.
Therefore, meaningful and mindful worship is declaring that our Heavenly Father is worthy of our reverence. We engage in meaningful and mindful worship because at the core of who we are is reflective of who he is. It is to put first those things of Gods kingdom into our lives, to live by every word that proceeds forth from Him, and to center our hearts upon Christ and the infinite atonement whereby we receive salvation. Meaningful and mindful worship means we are willing to walk in the light as Christ is the light so that we are able to do those things he wants us to accomplish. To worship means we are willing to take up our cross every day, to walk in spirit and truth, rising above any vain imagination and carnal passions so that we are able to overcome.
Meaningful and mindful worship begins when we are authentic and accurate in our attitude toward Heavenly Father. He is pleased by our thoughtfulness toward Him. Reflecting on his nature, desiring to become more like Christ, sanctified and holy. We are called to be holy as he is holy, perfect as he is perfect, and through Christ, we are perfected unto God.
Meditate and Ponder
The call for us to go forward with faith and purpose means we are willing to give all ourselves over to God so that we are able to be made perfect in Christ. To become holy as God is holy. Only our Heavenly Father is worthy of our devotion and reverence. What blessings may come into your life when you give over to true, meaningful, authentic worship? How will this impact your faith in God? In your commitment to come unto Christ and follow him? What worries, anxieties, cares have you been burdened with that need to be cast onto Christ so that you are able to find peace and rest?