[Part of the Experiencing Remarkable Worship devotional series]
God desires our worship, but what about the location? In this post we explore what the Bible says about how to worship where you are.
When I was in my sophomore year of high school (I won’t say how long ago), I couldn’t turn a corner without finding Justin reliably at my elbow. (We have a 10 year history before we became hitched.) Although he was a senior, our classes were near enough that he was a dependable escort between each and every class…except one. My earth science class was too far away from the class he had at that simultaneous time slot so that was the one time of day I walked alone. One particular day I was about to step into the door of my earth science class and to my surprise he popped up at his usual place by my elbow. I said, “What are you doing here?” But what I thought was, You’re like God! 😉
God is omnipresent. He makes Himself so readily available to us. We don’t have to seek very long before we will find Him.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! Psalm 139:7-8 ESV
That tells me that He wants me to connect with Him, and what better way to connect with Him than in worship? Why? Because He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).
Worship Locations in the Bible
In the Bible, God’s people worshipped Him in various places. Wherever they happened to be. When they were about to face the enemy, they set the praisers out front (2 Chronicles 20:1-26). When they defeated the enemy, they glorified God (Psalm 18:1). When Jesus was making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, they shouted hosanna and declared Him as King (Matthew 21:8-9).
Whenever Moses went into the tabernacle to seek God the people took notice. They stopped what they were doing and got into position (each stood in his tent door). When Moses went in, God descended in the cloud, and all the people worshipped right then and there. Exodus 33:7-11.
Does the Place Matter?
Coming together in God’s House or wherever His people are gathered is good. The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to not forsake meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). Psalms reminds us to praise in the congregation.
I will praise You in the great congregation; I will exalt You among many people. Psalm 35:18 HCSB
Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Psalm 111:1 ESV
David was anointed before he played for Saul (1Samuel 16:13). He played for Saul under this anointing and three things happened. Notice the bolded words:
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. 1Samuel 16:23 KJV
God anoints worship leaders, and when we are under that anointing we are also able to receive refreshing, healing, and deliverance.
On the other hand, where we worship God doesn’t matter. God wants you to experience His presence no matter where you are! Even if it’s simply in your heart.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19 KJV
So what do I do now?
- Read. Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:23-24 ESV
- Reflect. Think about it: God is omnipresent!
- Pray. Thank You, God, that no matter where I go I can find You. Because of Jesus, I am made righteous and have free access into Your most holy place. Help me to realize that I can connect with You in worship anywhere.
- Worship. One of the places we can worship God is in our heart (Colossians 3:16). So now with your heart (or with your mouth), lift up a heart of worship and honor your King right where you are!
I thought it would be fun for you to tell me in the comments: 1)Where are you worshipping God now? In your car? At work? At home?
2)Where is your favorite place to worship God?