Man was created with the ability to worship the Lord God Almighty. This ability was cut off when Adam transgressed, but through redemption it has been restored.
Worship is more than reverential adulation. It is a life lived for God alone, rather than for self. Before the creation of man, Satan was cast from the presence of God because he desired the worship that was to be given to God alone.
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of
the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground,
which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said
in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God" Isa 14:12-13a.
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and
his angels were cast out with him" Rev 12:9.
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is
come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of
our God, and the power of his Christ: for the
accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused
them before our God day and night. And they overcame
him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of
their testimony; and they loved not their lives
unto the death" Rev 12:10-11.
Our worship of God is to affect principalities and powers in the heavenlies.
A true worshiper is one whose life has been totally surrendered to the Lord and whose heart desires have been purged, leaving only one desire, and that for the Lord Himself. This is worship in Spirit and in Truth - nothing of self, no other desires, intents, or motives, totally living for God in total dependence upon Him.
Worship on this level of commitment not only pleases the Lord, but it also affects the powers of darkness by displacing them from the position which they usurped in the heavens and forcing them down.
"To the intent that now unto the principalities
and powers in heavenly places might be known
by the the church the manifold wisdom of God,
according to the eternal purpose which He
purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" Eph 3:10-11.
We err when we limit worship to an outward expression of our devotion for the Lord. Also, we have defined our gatherings as worship services, which has caused many Christians to stumble in the way of true worship. Our worship is to be far more, although these may be a part of our worship, but not the whole.
Our worship then is an attitude of heart, which includes the total commitment of our lives to the Lord, and may be outwardly manifested in adoration to the Lord. This expression is the result of the commitment which is already in our heart. Any outward manifestation which seeks to create this attitude of heart is less than worship.
In other words, we do not worship to behold the Lord; worship is the result of having beheld the Lord. The worshipers which the Father seeks are those who in their hearts possess nothing but God. If we attempt worship with our lips, but do not have within us this spirit of worship, we are guilty of lip service.
"Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this
people draw near to me with their mouth, and
with their lips do honor me, but have removed
their heart far from me, and are taught the
precept of man" Isa 29:13
That which was lost in the transgression of the first Adam was true worship, which is living only for God. Self interest came into the picture and man began to live for self satisfaction. He lost the desire to please the heart of God, and sought rather to please himself.
Satan tempted Jesus by offering Him the kingdoms of this world if He would but worship him. Had Jesus said yes, His response would have resulted from a desire to satisfy Himself, rather than to please His Father. He would have received in a deceptive way that which would have been given to Him by the Father in His time and purpose. Jesus would then have bowed and worshiped Satan. To bow down is not necessarily an outward manifestation, but results from an inward self seeking.
We worship in Spirit and in Truth through a total surrender to God, by becoming dependent upon Him. The worship which is acceptable from above is that which flows out from this commitment.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by
the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your reasonable service"
"And be not conformed to this world: but be
ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God" Rom 12:1-2.
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the
true worshippers shall worship the Father
in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh
such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and
they that worship Him must worship in Spirit
and in Truth" John 4:23-24.