The Human Factor in Worship

Although worship is simple, there are complexities to be considered, primarily when addressing the “human factor.”

According to Scripture, all humans were formed from the dust of the ground, and became living creatures when God shared His own breath with man—creating him in His image and likeness (Gen. 2:7).

In Rev. 4:9-11, we find that all humanity was created to worship God. By this purposeful effort, God gave mankind a material body (flesh) and an immaterial spirit. He also gave man free will, but God favors those who choose to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) while at the same time, presenting their bodies (flesh) as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God (Heb. 12:1). This worship— when offered in spirit and truth, while submitting our bodies—represents the unity of the human with the Divine.

Another important “human factor” of worship involves attributes or characteristics.

Many attributes of God are unique only to Him. For example, God is Eternal (Ps.90:2), Holy (Ps. 99:9) and Unchanging (Ps. 102:26). But let’s take a look at an attribute that is shared between God and mankind—jealousy.

God is a jealous God, Deuteronomy 6:15 confirms, “for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God.” This Godly attribute is also apparent in many humans! This suggests that all humans—although not “God”—have a propensity to desire attention, admiration and adoration. Therefore, we understand that worship is not just a spiritual activity; it is also a human
activity. It is a fact that all humanity has an innate need to worship something.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s 20th century ground-breaking theory titled, Hierarchy of Needs, lists the basic needs of all humans: selfactualization, growth, safety and security, love and belonging, self-esteem and physiological needs. According to Dr. Maslow, humans are highly motivated to fulfill their basic needs. In the context of worship, the “human factor” can result in an inability of a worshiper to balance their human needs in the presence of a holy God. This type of warfare in the body of Christ creates a great dilemma. Therefore, the choice every true worshiper must make is to
acknowledge and declare God’s worth and value; and show reverence and respect to God, as both sovereign and sacred.

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