by Shannon Caughey
What comes to mind when you hear the word “worship”? Perhaps you think of a Sunday morning service at your church: singing songs, reciting liturgy, praying prayers, and listening to a sermon. These are all forms of worship, but what is worship? And what does worship have to do with coaching?
In this series of devotions, we’re exploring Psalm 100’s invitation to come to God. Our goal is to respond to this invitation and experience a deepening of our hearts for the Lord during the holiday season. In the last devotion, we saw that Psalm 100:1 encourages us to come to God with joy. Moving now to v. 2, the psalmist instructs us to come to God in worship. This is how the psalmist puts it: “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
What does it look like to respond to the invitation of Psalm 100:2? First, we need to define “worship.” Worship is the act of praising, adoring, and giving our devotion to someone or something. To “worship the Lord” is to recognize his worthiness to be exalted and honored above all else. We praise and adore him for who he is and all he’s done, including his love for us and his gracious work for our salvation. We give him our undivided devotion as our God and King.
Second, Psalm 100:2 directs us to a particular disposition as we worship God: “with gladness” and “with joyful songs.” This is very different than an “out of duty” or a “because I think this will appease God” outlook on worship. The awesome God of the universe was under no obligation to make himself known to us. Nor did this holy God need to make a way for sinful, rebellious people (all of us!) to be reconciled to him and draw near to him. Yet the awesome, holy God did this—definitively through his Son Jesus Christ. As we recognize what the Lord did and why he did it, our hearts are filled with gratitude and joy. We worship him with gladness!
Third, the psalmist instructs us to take deliberate action to worship God: “come before him with joyful songs.” Worship is not a spectator sport. It involves intentional, active engagement. We carry out worship through a wide variety of means (e.g., singing to God, praying, obeying his Word, serving him). All of this is done out of desire to exalt him and live for his glory. And we engage in worshiping the Lord throughout the week, not just on Sundays.
What does worshiping God have to do with coaching? When you regularly and intentionally come to the Lord in worship, it puts coaching in its proper place. You can resist the pressures to make sport the god of your life because your devotion is first and foremost to the Lord. As you worship with joy, recognizing all the Lord has done and is doing for you, then you can resist the temptation to allow your wellbeing to be determined by coaching success or failure. Instead, how you approach coaching now becomes an act of worshiping the Lord. You desire to coach in a way that honors Christ and displays your commitment to doing all things for his glory.
This holiday season, come to God in worship. Praise him with gladness and joy. Actively engage in expressing your adoration and devotion to him. As you do so, you’ll experience how the Lord deepens your heart for him.
For reflection: Take a few minutes to worship the Lord. Joyfully praise him for who he is and what he’s done, using whatever means you feel led to do: singing, praying, etc.