This is a topic that I have always wished there was more teaching on, but I’ve learned that the truth is all very simple. I believe worship has a variety of manifestations, so long as the worshiper is seeking to glorify and extol the living God. True worship, in my mind, is any good thing that is given unto God from His children, whether it be thanksgiving, or praise, or love, or adoration, or glory and honor, even our minds and hearts that are fixed on Jehovah God (the Father), Jesus Christ (the Son) and the Holy Ghost at all times. The opposite of true worship is called “idolatry”. Any adoration or praise that is not actually given to God Himself, can be perceived, as scriptures say, as “things sacrificed unto idols” (1 Corinthians 8, Revelation 2:20). That is essentially what the Apostle Paul is preaching in Romans chapter 1:20-32. He is saying that worshipping God is the true way of life designed by God, and worshipping and serving the creature is called “the lie” which is the device of the devil. In another sense, it is what we center our lives around, what we give our thoughts to, and Who we give ultimate thanks to. Christians ought to be occupied with the Everlasting God and Father, and knowing His Word, praying always in the Secret Place, and seeking the rest and peace found only in Him by faith. Jesus said these words unto His Father, “And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You sent” (John 17:3). So here you have two opposing forces, God and idols (also the devils who are behind idolatry). Anything that opposes God in our heart is an idol by default. Paul knew this well, and that is why he references immoral sex, uncleanness and covetousness as common idolatrous behaviors that a Christian can be tempted by (Ephesians 5:3). Jesus knew this in reference to men’s attitude toward money and material wealth, He said, “you can’t serve two masters…God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). The obvious virtue that is needed in regard to the temptation of idolatry (or excessive indulgence in earthly things) is temperance and moderation, also faith and knowledge, which if people seek Him daily, the Holy Spirit will provide in due time. As Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 8, just knowing that there is one God, who is the Creator, and one Lord Jesus Christ, is enough to avoid the stumbling block of idolatry. If I eat and drink, and enjoy myself on earth among the Gentiles, and give thanks to the one God of grace, then it is not idolatry, it is me living my faith. As Paul taught, “whatever you eat that is not by faith, it is sin” (Romans 14:23). In other words, make sure your conscience agrees with the things you partake of, lest the soul be afflicted unnecessarily. If I watch my favorite movie or read a good novel, and enjoy the talents and the artistic work of other people, and give thanks to God and Jesus Christ as the Creator, then I am in an act of wonder and worship toward God and not idolatry. There are some weaker Christians, who are called babes, who do yet not know this, so they may still feel like they are sinning or committing idolatry when their conscience speaks to them about the content or of their current level of the knowledge of good and evil. Paul even warns mature Christians not to cause weak ones to stumble through their liberty, or knowledge, or grace (1 Corinthians 8:9). But as Paul taught, knowing that there is only one God and one Lord Jesus Christ, who made all food and drink on earth to be pure and acceptable, is sufficient knowledge to avoid the sin of idolatry. The question of true worship is answered in whether we keep God and Jesus Christ as our first Love, if He truly is the center of our lives, if we spend sufficient time in devotion, worship, and meditation, with a desire for Him and the vast wealth of the Kingdom. God is not deceived or mocked as to whether we truly fulfill the commandment of Matthew 6:33, which says “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”. He knows if we are in the will of God or not. Paul also mentioned “uncleanness” as a thing that could cause trouble. I believe Paul is referring to uncleanness as a matter of the conscience…that the person has been doing things that their conscience does not agree with, and thus their conscience has become “defiled”. One of my favorite scriptures is Titus 1:15, which says “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but even their mind and conscience are defiled”. Maintaining a pure heart and mind is a thing that requires devotion and growing in faith and stature, by eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood, thus maintaining a holy life, as Jesus said was necessary to have life (John 6:53). The reward of such devotion is a soul and mind that is virtuous and able to enjoy abundant life and an enriching and often intoxicating love relationship and experience with the Living God. Righteousness that we receive from God also brings with it a divine protection from harm, such as was the case with Daniel and the lion’s den (Daniel 6:22).