Worship at His Feet – God has created us to worship. We have worshipper’s hearts by nature. The question arises for each one us, “Who or what are we worshipping?” Worship starts at the level of the heart and pours forth from within. David is a great example of what a true worshipper looks like.
No other man in history is said to be “a man after God’s own heart.” What a claim! To be a man (or woman) after God’s own heart should be every Christian’s endeavor in life. If we could find ourselves as people after God’s own heart, we would find ourselves as true worshippers of God. As a result, an honest inquiry of what a true worshipper of God would look like must include an examination of David’s life and the Psalms.
1) David sang to the Lord
David was a man that loved to sing to and praise the Lord. Many of the psalms (a collection of songs and praises to God) are written by David. Scripture says, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (English Standard Version, Ps. 34:1). Songs poured forth from David’s heart. Not only does singing to the Lord pour forth from the heart, but it also changes the heart. Here the man after God’s own heart clearly shows us that developing a lifestyle of singing to and praising God is crucial in being a worshipper of God.
A great way to implement this in your own life may be to purchase a hymn book and include singing in your daily devotional life. Martin Luther talked of times when he found himself unable to pray, so he would sing. Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, was a man that would bring his Bible with him wherever he went but also found the hymn book a wonderful companion (Taylor, 1990). Singing to Lord is important; we give Him the honor due His name when we do. Even if you do not know the actual tunes of hymns in the book, singing the words with any tune you make up will be fairly easy.
2) David turned to the Lord
Throughout David’s life, he experienced great trial. He was looked down on and despised as young, small, and a shepherd; his son was taken from him; his family turned on him; his countrymen turned on him; and some even tried to kill him. Throughout it all, David is seen as continually turning to the Lord in the midst of his circumstances.
True worship consists of a continual turning to the Lord despite the circumstances. Scripture says, “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord… and am saved from my enemies” (Ps. 18:1-3). Turning to the Lord can be very easy during times of health and gain. However, situations arise in this fallen world that bring about what the Bible refers to as affliction. During times of affliction, the true worshipper of the Lord will turn to the Lord as his refuge like David did.
3) David thirsted for the Lord
A deep yearning to be with God and spend time with God will be found in the true worshipper of God. David said, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1). Longing to be with God from the depths of the heart marks a heart of worship.
4) David trusted in God’s guidance and care
Throughout life, challenges will arise that will test the believer. As we looked at already, David was not a stranger to the trials of life. Rather, he may have experienced more than most of us. Although there were times of great trial for David, he continually trusted in God’s guidance and care. He felt so assured of God’s leading that he wrote the famous words, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Ps. 23:1, 2, 4a, 6a). Here we see a man who was able to see God through and in all his circumstances and trust Him every step of the way.
5) David was obedient
Finally, David was an obedient man. I would imagine that as I write this someone may be remembering the sin that he committed. Often when David is talked about, his sin is compared in some way to ours in an attempt to note the similarities between us. While he did commit sin (and in some ways we can find encouragement in the fact that he too was a sinner), let us not forget his life. Scripture says, “because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kin. 15:5). David was a man that lived for the Lord in all he did. His life was marked by obedience.
If you want to worship God properly, developing a lifestyle of obedience will be important. God has laid out in His Word what proper worship looks like to Him. It is our duty to obey.
6) David confessed his sin
While David was an obedient man, he was still a man. As a man affected by the fall, he found himself falling short of God’s standard like the rest of us. David said, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long… I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not cover my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Ps. 32:3, 5). Humble confession as seen here is a proper component of true worship.
After reading a list like this, I am aware that it could either motivate or discourage. David was a great man, and we may see how we fall short of proper worship. If you see your shortcomings, confess your sin in worship, and worship Jesus for what He has done so you can be forgiven and be in God’s presence.
Father, I recognize that You have called me to worship. I pray that You would help me to worship You in a way that is pleasing in Your sight. I need Your help and am willing for You to assist me in worshipping You. Open my eyes to see how I can do this better. Thank You for Your grace in this area of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.