S188P2 – Acts of worship: the spoken bow of the heart

Lk. 4:5-8

Then the devil, taking [Jesus] up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”  And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

This is a rather interesting scene to imagine.  Satan is asking Jesus to worship him, and he promises great authority in exchange.  What is interesting is the idea of worship here.  What was Satan requesting of Jesus as his act of worship?  One conventional definition of worship is the singing of praise.  If I am invited to a worship service, I know that we will be singing songs of praise, but that does not seem to fit here.  I believe what Satan is asking for here is a confession of deity and allegiance.  If Jesus would only confess that Satan is his god and that his allegiance lies with him, then He would receive what He was offered.  It is a bowing not of the body but of the heart confirmed by words. 

One of the ways in which we worship God is by confessing that He is our Lord.  These confessions of faith are confessions of his deity and of submission.  They are proclamations that we believe He is the one true God.  These can be declarations we make to him when we are alone, or they can be our confessions before others.  When we declare our worship of him, we are indicating the direction of our hearts.  Every time we make these confessions is like a reinforced confirmation of our faith.  There is spiritual power behind the words which support what we believe; these are not empty words.  To believe that Jesus is our Savior is one thing, but to confess it with our mouths is another.  Those words are one way we take our stand in allegiance to God. 

This reminds me of the living creatures who confess the holiness of God in the throne room repeatedly and continuously. [Rev. 4]  Their vocabulary is very limited.  They do not sing songs or dance.  Their worship of God is nothing more than a true confession of his holiness over and over.  When Jesus taught others how to pray, his prayer began with a confession of the holiness of God’s name and a recognition of where He sits in the heavens because there is power in our recognizing these truths in audible words.  Never stop confessing in private and in public the name of the God you worship and serve because these confessions themselves are a powerful act of worship.  Father, remind us daily to worship You simply by recognizing your holiness, your majesty and your deity with our lips.