Head-Turning Worship

Worship by AW Tozer

Makeup reapplied after a day of missions service, she beamed as she stood at the front of the worship team, belting out the words in the mic. One arm was raised, the other thumped over her heart. Even her ponytail nodded along in agreement to the rhythm.

I watched from the camp’s sound booth, mesmerized. Then someone whispered to me, and I turned my head, confirming their story.

This teen stood at the front because she pushed her way there. Her hair shined from stealing ten minutes longer in the showers than anyone else got. That raised arm was winnowed down to one pointing finger, aimed at the one she beamed at: her boyfriend.

The lyrics about love and beauty and joy rang out as she worshipped, unashamed, a sweaty boy-man with his chest puffed out on the bleachers.

Most of the 300+ teens there that day thought her passionate praise was inspiring. They couldn’t see the actual object of her adoration from their seats.

I’ve often thought of this memory during music services. I wonder if, while the beat has our feet tapping and our lips obeying, we turned our heart-heads, we would see objects of worship besides God?

Worship, compiled by Moody Publishers, is a collection of insights by A.W. Tozer that reflect on the struggle we all face with authentic praise.

Key themes in Worship include:

  • The true purpose of the believer (to glorify and worship God)
  • How worship is easily made about us
  • Common fallacies of modern worship practices
  • God’s idea of worship

Simply a compilation of works by Tozer relating to worship, this book features short chapters. Each chapter can stand alone as a reflection on the topic.

If you’ve read Tozer before, you can expect his characteristic, straight-shooting tone and unique observations. For those who haven’t read Tozer’s work before, this short book would likely be a fair introduction.

We are saved to worship God - AW Tozer from a compilation of his works in a book called Worship

Some observations Tozer shares include:

  • “Perhaps we should confess that in many ‘good churches,’ we let the women do the praying and the men do the voting.”
  • “Because we are not truly worshippers, we spend a lot of time…just spinning our wheels, burning the gasoline, making a noise but not getting anywhere.”
  • “The presence of God in our midst- bringing a sense of godly fear and reverence- is largely missing today.”

Thought-provoking quotes include:

  • “Some mistake the music of religion as true worship because music elevates the mind…so it’s possible to fall into a happy and elevated state of mind with a vague notion about God and imagine we’re worshipping God when we’re doing nothing of the sort.”
  • “We are saved to worship God.”
  • “Science is great, philosophy is greater, theology is greater still, and worship is greatest of all. For worship goes back of where science can go, back of where human thought can penetrate, back of all the wordings of theology, and back to the reality.”

At the heart of his thoughts on Worship, it seems A.W. Tozer’s primary concern is that believers leave behind the notion of worship being something we “do” and embrace worship as “why we are.”

Praise is not something just for giving, but for living. Click To Tweet

For anyone who is sometimes startled that their worship easily devolves into serenading loves instead of revering Love Himself, Worship is a convicting and praise-inspiring read.

<I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.>


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4 Replies to “Head-Turning Worship

  1. What a convicting opening story! How we make worship into so many things that God never intended. I was just remembering how I sometimes would accidentally insert “me” instead of “you” into that Matt Redmond song: “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about ME!” I’d catch my mistake, but I’d wonder if somehow it reflected my true heart! Yikes!

    1. Oh Betsy, I hear you! That story-memory is one God convicts me with often! Your accidental insertion reflects my true heart sometimes for sure. I’m not great at recognizing lyrics fully, so I’m guilty of singing nonsensical worship lyrics based on my interpretation of the words…just because I don’t want to be seen not singing. Also NOT a pure motive!! Thankful the Lord convicts to correct and do so in perfect love!

  2. Hi there, mbethany! I’m Sheila and found your blog through the Recharge Wednesday link-up. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. But that’s just it – we must be truly worshiping him, focusing on him. And keeping watch on our motives. Worship is all about seeing how great and awesome he is! Glad to know you!

    1. Hi Sheila! So glad to meet you! And amen. That is our chief aim- and we so easily forget it or are distracted from Him. Great to know you and look to Him with you!
      -Bethany

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