Fellership Blog

for those wondering >>>and wandering

Door #5 Worship and soaking in God’s nature

Is there a difference in worship and praise?

I used to wonder about this question a lot.  I wasn’t really sure there was a difference.  What difference would it make anyway?  We often hear the phrase “praise and worship?”  Why use two terms for the same thing?  Hmmm, maybe there is a difference.

I think I can answer those questions now (at least for me).  I do believe there are several differences. 


(1) Praise is specific.  We praise God for various reasons, but songs/hymns/psalms are written to magnify a certain aspect of God or His interaction with us.  It is a recognition and appreciation of God/Jesus Christ for what they are, have done, or shall do.  Thanksgiving is a part of praise, but thanksgiving is also specific. 

(2) Praise is presented with gladness and joy.

(3) Praise is most often a group dynamic and is often accompanied with music, players and encourages participation of others (unless one is praising alone).

(4) Praise is an offering, like a free will offering.  Praise is something we initiate.

(5) Since praise is intiated by us, it often begins with/in our souls and eventually (hopefully) moves into our spirit and visa versa.  A few examples: “bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me…”  Another example:  “My soul magnifies/exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced…”  One more:  “I will pray with the/my spirit and I shall pray with the/my mind also.”  “I will sing with the/my spirit and I shall sing with the/my mind also.”

I know that some may think I’m streeetching this a bit too far, but just wait and hear me out :).  There may be more aspects of praise and we would welcome further input.  Now let us look more closely at worship.

WORSHIP (must be in spirit)

(1) Worship is recognized and accepted by God ONLY when done in spirit and truth/reality (that is a MUST)…not so with praise.

(2) Worship can be done anywhere, anytime, any place, but more readily done outside the constraints of time and place and for varying degrees of duration (from milli-seconds to hours).

(3) Worship is not dependent upon emotion.  It can be expressed in weeping, laughing, or utter silence and stillness.

(4) Worship can be alone (often is) or with others, but worship is directed to God alone.  Worship, whether in a group or alone, is still one-on-one.  There may be 1,000 people praising God, but only 3 worshipping God, or 997 worshipping.  It depends on who is in spirit during the praising, praying, speaking or listening.

(5) Worship happens.  It is NOT dependent upon us intiating it.  We may begin to praise the Lord, but until a spiritural connection is made, worship has not happened.  True/real worship does not begin until God is manifested in some way.  In fact, it is the manifestation of God – the actual “seeing” God (spiritually) that triggers worship.


Worship is initiated by God.  He is seeking true worshippers.  God desires worshippers because they “see” Him.  All creation manifests God, but when we “see” spiritually God in His creation, it spontaneously brings out worship.  Here’s an example of someone seeing God and spontaneously worshipping.  This may come to you as a shock.  It’s found in Mk. 5:6.  This man had many demons, yet when he saw Jesus, he also “saw” something spiritual and this man RAN and bowed down at Jesus feet.  This word bowed (in Greek) is also translated “to worship.”  Seeing God brings about worship, because God is the initiator and He is letting us see Him (with spiritual eyes) for a purpose.

When we are worshipping, it means the spirit connection is made.  That’s the time to take advantage of the opportunity and soak it all in.  God and man in communion.  All that God is and wants to reveal to us can happen when we are linked up in worship.  That’s when God wants to show us Himself.  God initiated this “worship moment” so He could infuse us with His nature.  He wants us to know Him intimately.  He wants us to take on His character, His divine nature (II Pet. 1:4).  God has given us some precious promises and He wants us to act upon and live in them, “…all things pertaining to life and godliness.”

As we take advantage of these “God moments” presented to us by the Creator Himself we are beholding His glory.  Maybe a leaf just drifted down in your lap, but at that moment, God was there in that moment with you.  Now’s your chance, linger, abide, draw closer.  Soak it all in.  As we behold, we also will reflect or shine out.  We shine out what He shines in, His divine nature.

Mary sat at Jesus feet taking it all in.  She recognized the moment and soaked it in.  Martha missed that same moment.  I bet the part that was not recorded ended up with both Mary and Martha serving others.  How many “God moments of worship” do you reckon we miss everyday?

Learning to watch, wait and anticipate

God is seeking worshippers.  You become a worshipper when you see God in spirit, that is true worship and God has set it up for us.  That’s how much He is longing to reveal something fresh of Himself to us.  He wants to bring many sons to glory, like Father, like son.  The prayer Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemene was that the Father would give that same glory He gave the Son to others.  That glory was the oneness (Jn. 17:22).  God’s Spirit in us has provided the oneness in spirit.  We need to be watching and expecting God to reveal Himself, then wait and linger, take it all in while you can.  It’s a lot harder for us to initiate that intimacy with God, than it is to be watching, anticipating and longing for Him to show up in some unexpected way and time.  When He does, dwell there and take it all in while you can.


I used to try so hard to please Abba.  Try as I may, I kept failing.  I tried to get up early, read my Bible, I tried hard to pray and keep my mind focused, but it never lasted for me.  I think it’s a lot easier to let God pick the time and place and we just need to “see” and soak in those times for all they are worth.  When we “see” God, worship happens.  God is seeking many worshippers.

Now here’s another benefit that comes with that.  We get His nature infused into us.  What does that mean?  To me it has come to mean that as I spend more intimate moments and recognize opportunities more, those times in His presence allow that oneness to work into us His nature so that we:

begin to think like God (see situations and people from God’s perspective).  Our mind dwells more on whatsoever is pure, just, lovely, etc.

we feel like God (have compassion, joy, hurt).

we speak like God (with authority, boldness, gentleness)

we act like God (reflect God’s nature in how we treat others).

If you take the fruit of the Spirit in Gal.5, mix it with the famous “love” chapter in I Cor. 13 and add in the beatitudes in Matt 5, you can get a pretty good idea of what God’s nature is, OR just take a look at Jesus.  That’s how He wants us to be toward others.  That’s the beholding, reflecting, transforming life He wants us to live.

Which is better, gut it out, try harder or watch for those God moments (which bring about worship) that He sets up for us and soak it up?  God’s way is the way of life, the way of the Spirit.



September 13, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments