Oh come, let us adore Him; Oh come, let us adore Him; Oh come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
Ok, now I’ve got music in your head – right? We sing this song over and over every Christmas, but do we pay attention to what it means? Do we accept the invitation it presents?
How about this one: Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee op’ning to the sun of above.
Like most songs that we repeat throughout the years, I think it’s easy for all of us to say these words without much thought. But we really can’t afford to miss out on what’s called for here – adoration – for it’s one of the foundational elements of worship.
Adoration happens when we get beyond just saying the great words and actually let our “hearts unfold like flowers before” our God in response to all He is. What a beautiful picture!
Here are some interesting thoughts on adoration from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:
“Though [adoration] never occurs in English versions, it represents aspects of worship which are very prominent in the Bible. The word is derived from Latin adorare = “to do homage or to worship”; from the Latin, os (oris), mouth. Some have supposed that the root os points to the Roman practice of applying the hand to the mouth, i.e. kissing the hand to (a person or thing), as a token of homage.”
I love that image – placing the hand on the mouth to express a kiss toward God in complete adoration. But why is adoration something that so many of us struggle to actually do?
A kiss is an empty action unless it originates in the heart. In Luke 6:45, Jesus says that the “mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” So to engage in true worship, we must first have hearts that are full of love and adoration for our God. Of course, this only happens, as in any relationship, by spending time with Him – communing with Him, asking Him to reveal Himself to us, and filling our minds with His truth. Then we’ll be so full of love for Him that we won’t merely lift our voices and hands in worship, but we’ll first lift our hearts.
“Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly” (Psalm 111:1 NIV).
I know this can be a confusing or even frustrating topic – when it might seem like we’re just trying to add emotions to worship. I know some people reveal little to no emotion during worship, while others seem to be over the top with it. And there are times you may feel it strongly, while other times – not so much.
But this has nothing to do with emotions for the sake of emotions, and everything to do with hearts responding fully to the God who first poured out His heart for us.
Because Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:36-37 NIV).
You know what? God totally loves prayers like this:
God, help me to respond to You in worship with all I am. Help me to get past the distractions and noise to see You, know You, and adore You. Help me to guard my heart so it’s completely Yours. For You are oh so worthy of all my heart could ever offer You.
“Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever” (Psalm 86:11-12 NASB).
“I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. . . I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise” (Psalm 119:10, 58 NIV).
“I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done” (Psalm 9:1 NLT).
So come, let us adore Him! With all our heart – for He alone is worthy! Jesus Christ the Lord!
How do you picture adoration in regards to worship?
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