Jump directly to the Content

How God Evaluates Worship

To please God, worship must do these four things.
How God Evaluates Worship
Image: Greg Rakozy

In my experience, theological discussions about worship tend to focus on the cerebral, not the visceral—on the mind, not the heart. "True" worship, we are often taught, is more about the mind thinking right about God (using theologically correct language and liturgy), rather than the heart's hunger for him.

But the words of our Savior resound the undeniable call to worship that transcends the intellect: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).

We've been inclined to conclude that mind is the proper synonym for spirit here, but the Bible shows that heart is a better candidate. "In truth" certainly suggests participation of the intellect in worship, but it is inescapably second—and dependent upon the heart's fullest release first.

This priority is usually held suspect. The heart is said to be governed by affections and thus is more vulnerable to deception than is the intellect. But to base ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Ur Video: Skye Jethani on Treasuring God
Ur Video: Skye Jethani on Treasuring God
What is the difference between living over, under, from, for, and with God?
From the Magazine
The Secret Sin of ‘Mommy Juice’
The Secret Sin of ‘Mommy Juice’
Alcoholism among women is rising. Can the church help?
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.