Worship is not about feeling all gooey and giddy. It's not even about a temporary rush of emotional endorphins.
So many people think they need to be lifted to the rafters and then the clouds to know they have truly worshiped God.
It's not about what we "feel" that produces worship. Feelings do not produce worship.
Elizabeth Elliott wrote: “Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship ''in spirit and in truth.'' Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.”
Sometimes when I am at my very lowest, God speaks with a simple phrase, "I am with you." He touches the core of my being. He cuts into the depth of my pain and reminds me of when He gave His Son for me, and I am grateful for His presence, His promises. Spirit to Spirit and truth to Truth... that's worship. Not some manufactured feeling geared towards an emotional feast. If worship was about feeling good and mountain-top happiness, then we'd all be satisfied with back-rubs, ski-trips and birthday celebrations as worship. And when you think about it, aren't those things all about us and nothing about God to Whom our worship should be directed?
Our Creator deserves more from us than expectations of His constant pleasure pampering. Even the dullest sermon can produce a nugget of gold to enrich our lives for an entire week. But the greatest worship is when we are grateful for that nugget and give honor and glory and praise to our Lord for all He is. Whether we "feel" Him or not, we "know" Him and we trust Him. And obey Him. Our obedience is worship. Each time we say "yes" to a directive: be kind to someone who is not kind to us, show mercy to someone who has no mercy, love another who is resentful toward us, we are worshiping God. And no... I am not talking about being a doormat to the abuse of people who are mean to us.
I am talking about being Jesus to those who treat us with hatred and disdain. I am talking about being generous because God wants us to be generous. Not because we seek anything from another person. Our righteousness is His, not ours. When we think of ourselves less, it doesn't mean we are less, it means we love God more than ourselves. And we want to exhibit that love so others might see Jesus in us.
Yes, Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well:
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:23-24
They worship the Father. They do not gauge worship by how they feel or what they experience as a result of worship, prayer and praise. Despite common arguments among pew-people today, the choice of music is not the criteria for worship. His will is our will. His pleasure is our pleasure. His joy is our joy. His truth is our truth. That is worship.
The ultimate worship event was at Calvary, when Jesus, in complete obedience to the Father, gave His all-- (his comfort, his desires, his pleasures, his opinions, his carnality)-- to provide a way for us to know Him forever. Sacrifice. Surrender. Worship.