Reverence in Worship

by Gene Taylor

Of the many problems that plague the church, a lack of reverence in worship is a particularly irritating one to those who desire to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). It is extremely offensive to them because there should be no reason for anyone, especially one who claims to be a child of God, to have an irreverent attitude when the saints assemble to worship God. Yet, no matter what congregation you assemble with, irreverent attitudes and actions are displayed over and over by a few. It should not be so! Just keeping a few facts in mind should help in the solution to this problem.

Reverence is honor or respect felt or shown. In worship that reverence is to be directed toward God. To Him belongs honor, because all honor and glory is due Him (1 Tim. 1:17; Rom. 15:6). Respect is due Him because of His love (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8) and His wrath (Hebrews 12:28–29).

Acting in an irreverent manner puts these people in the same dilemma in which Ananias and Sapphira found themselves (Acts 5:1–11). Even though they thought they were only lying to men, the apostle Peter told them that, in reality, they were lying to God. When people act up in or disrupt worship today, they are not just being disrespectful to those people around them, they are being disrespectful to God, an act just as evil as that of Ananias and Sapphira.

The reverence that is necessary for proper worship is not based on externals such as dimmed lights, etc. The proper reverent attitude that is to characterize every worshiper of God comes from within the individual. A person will only be reverent when he realizes the love of God is upon the obedient but that the wrath of God is upon the disobedient. While this attitude must come from the heart of each person there are a few things that would aid worship and help develop the reverence needed. Here are a few suggestions to help us improve in our worship:

First, prepare your mind mentally for worship. Know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Read a passage from the Bible, look over some of the songs that are to be sung or pray a silent prayer for strength and focus.

Second, keep the use of the rest rooms by yourself and your children to a minimum prior to, but especially during, the worship period.

Third, be aware of toddlers to teens. They are never too young or too old to worship. Remember, attitudes learned while one is a youth are carried into adulthood.

Fourth, be as well-rested as possible. You will then be physically and mentally alert.

Fifth, concentrate on what is going on. Put all other things out of your mind.

Many other things could be suggested but if we use these guidelines and determine in our heart to offer worship that is well-pleasing to God, it will reap great benefits for us in this life and the life to come. Let us all learn to truly serve our merciful Father in spirit and in truth.