Jonah 1:8,9--Then they said to him, “Tell us who is to blame for this trouble we’re in. What is your business and where are you from? What is your country and what people are you from?” He answered them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship Yahweh, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.”
Jonah was in trouble! He was running from God’s assignment but his Father in heaven could not be outrun and sent a storm to swamp the boat he had boarded as a passenger. The boat handlers knew by the severity of the storm that something supernatural was happening. When they confronted Jonah at least he admitted his responsibility. Then, he let them know that he worshiped God. But what is worship? What does it mean to follow the Creator?
At its core, worship is devotion to the triune God. Devotion indicates that one’s life in terms of will and identification with the world is surrendered completely to Him. The aim of devotion is to glorify God. Jonah had forgotten that in his distaste for God’s assignment. That aim is predicated by gratitude for one’s salvation experience. We are supposed to worship Him considering all He has done for us. His glory, love and grace demand and deserve devotion.
Worship is belief—as one believes so he worships.  F.M. Segler noted that absent theology, worship is feebly sentimental and theology absent worship is deadly cold and ultimately false and harmful. If it is not built in the knowledge and love of God it cannot be truly worship. If God, and not power, money, prestige or possessions is trusted, then those who worship are set up for success.
Worship is affirmation. God as our Creator is worthy of praise. As K.O. Gangel attests, believers recognize that when God reveals Himself in His Son Jesus Christ, the appropriate response is praise. They affirm their belonging and that He is their Father. They look above. Thomas Aquinas once concluded that affirming worship is not for God's sake but for the sake of believers.
Worship is Christologically based and fundamentally celebrates Christ. Without Christ life would be hopeless and the ravages of sin would destroy adoration. Christ’s role as the Messiah creates the fragrance of hallelujahs. Jonah did not have Christ as we do.
Worship is the fellowship of God with His people. It is conscious communion with Him because he is a personal God. In many ways it defies definition in that it must and can only be experienced. With communion comes revelation and mystery.
Worship is service. Gangel notes it is the application of spiritual gifts and talents by believers who by fulfilling their roles in Christ’s body bring Him honor—Romans 12:6-8. Service lends a sweet aroma of doing that complements being. When Jonah got serious about worshiping, God was able to use him to save the city of Nineveh! He wants to use us too—are we worshiping?
An underlying issue that must ultimately be resolved is the widespread ignorance among born-again adults regarding the meaning of worship.—George Barna in Growing True Disciples
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
 Law, W. (1898). A Serious Call To A Devout & Holy Life. Macmillan and Co., 1, 7, 144.
 Segler, F.M. (1996). Christian Worship. Second Edition. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 5.
 Gangel, K.O. (1985). Reexamining Biblical Worship. Bibliotheca Sacra. April-June, 165-169.
 Webber, R.E. (1992). Worship is a Verb. Hendrickson Publishers, 209-212.
 Segler, F.M.