(Thank you Frances Chan for making that very evident in Crazy Love.)
With that being said I want us to think about your most favorite person on earth. You know what I mean don’t you…the one you long to be with, can’t get enough time with and can’t wait until the next time! Well now let’s make that person our Lord. Let’s base this whole worship concept on who it is that we adore.
This is a fascinating definition of worship by apologist, Ravi Zacharias:
“is the submission of all of our nature to God,
it’s the quickening of conscience by His holiness,
nourishment of mind by His truth,
purifying of imagination by His beauty,
opening of the heart to His love,
submission of will to His purpose,
All this gathered up in adoration…is the greatest of human expressions.”
Love it, an intellectual defining of worship as only Ravi can define! But we aren’t all there with the lofty understanding and sometimes need a down to earth picture of what this worship is all about.
As you can see from Ravi’s point, this is a something you do or we can say that the out-flow from us makes this worship a verb form of the word. Or I like to think of it as a ‘response’ to the Father’s love. The more I get to know Him, the more I want to worship Him in everything I do.
But what about the musical aspect of worship? Oh I love my worship music! After all I host a radio program for two hours every weekday filled with music that points to the King! That brings Him glory and expresses my love for Him.
Now here’s the thing, music is something I can do a lot of the time because I sing all day long. I wake up with a song in my heart. But I want to say that how I live my life for Him, every moment of every day is really my expression of love for Father!
Pouring my heart out before Him as I express my hearts desire to know Him more!
Singing along and worshiping with this great group of ‘worshipers’ is one amazing event! I love the element of deep focus on the Lord that musical worship brings into my heart. Oh how I look forward to a day when this is what we will be doing forever, gathered with the Saints in worship before the throne of God!!!
I don’t know about you but, I think we need to practice the worship thing while we are on this side of eternity! So let me ask you…
When do you know you are worshiping God? Does it feel like a result to doing something, like warm fuzzies?
How can you practice, this in your everyday living? Careful, I’m not talking about a works based thing here.
Remember, worship is a state of the heart. Go back and read Ravi’s description before you move on.
The result of a changed heart from experiencing His presence when we draw near to Him with an adoring heart creates an out-flowing love for others. It brings us to that place called ministry, called caring without thinking about it. Worship is my time with God in whatever form that takes in our individual lives. And on this side of the journey, I am always thrilled when I can pull a bit closer knowing it is transforming me to be more like Jesus.
And another aspect you may want to investigate is that Worship is a Tool! And in the Bible there were the worshipers who went before the soldiers to accomplish a certain task before the battle would take place. Quite fascinating especially how we can apply that to our services today that open and close with worship.
Will you let the Lord pull you a bit closer by opening your heart to His? He wants to reveal more of who He is to you and as you draw near He does just This is the stuff that changes us from the inside out, friend!
“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:28 (NASB)
Kimberly serves in ministry at Psalm FM Radio in the “Icebox of the Nation” where she hosts a daily music program,”Vertical Connection”
Living northward with her husband, mom, dog and cat is a must while indulging her grandsons with lots of woods to venture in when they visit.
Kimberly loves to encourage and challenge through her words and whether speaking or writing her love for Jesus is evident.
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much;” Luke 7:47a
From Matt Redman’s book “The Unquenchable Worshipper – Coming Back to the Heart of Worship” (published by Regal Books Copywrite @2001 Matt Redman)
This afternoon I played Matt Redman’s song “Undignified.” It is a captivating song that gets right to the heart of King David, you know, the king who danced with all his might when he brought the the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem.
Have you ever been so overjoyed that you hooted and hollered and expressed your joy at something without looking around to see who was looking? I know I have! David was so exuberant with his worship that he became unrestricted just to dance with “all his might.” It was a public display that showed a heart that was passionate about his God.
However, can we imagine the embarrassment that welled up in David’s wife Michal, so much that their relationship would never the same. For she came to despise David for his unruly public display of worship.
In the book Matt says:
“One of the Hebrew words for praise, hallal, means to be clamorously foolish or mad before the Lord. (That’s where we get our word “hallelujah.”) In a “reasons to be passionate” competition, the church of God should come an easy first; yet too often we find ourselves lagging way behind in this area. Isn’t it time we saw a bit more holy mayhem in our worship?”
I am in agreement with Matt’s opinion that we don’t give all the honor and praise that is due our King. We can rant and rave at sporting events and our kids games, but turn around and remain solemn before our glorious King? Heaven’s no! Let me be a fool for Christ’s sake and let my praise simply magnify my adoration for all He is and all He has done!
Maybe your heart bubbles up and down when you worship the king, an expression that comes simply from your love for Him. I can only say that I hope so! I dare not judge one’s heart toward the Lord, but how exciting it would be for God to see our hearts filled with joy just to be standing in His presence and expressing our commitment and love for Him! Get engaged and give Him all you’ve got!
Lord, my heart’s desire is to give you everything in my expression of worshiping you for who You are and praising You for all you’ve done and will continue to do. Let my praise be a delight to Your ears. I will be undignified for you Lord, as I worship You with all my might!
“You’ve got to be kidding; worship when I feel the way I do?”
Have you ever been at that place where you were devastated by a situation, at the height of frustration and wondering how will you ever get turned around from thinking there is no hope, and will the end of a situation ever come? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like conflict and I don’t like when things get messy because I can’t see the way out while being in the thick of it.
When I’m frustrated and put out, my first response has been to build a wall and gather my defenses. But God has shown me over the past few years that it is out of my insecurities that I respond that way when hurt or devastated. After all, who wants to admit that “I” am wrong when it’s easier to say “they” are wrong? I don’t want to admit that I am insecure.
God began to gently show me a few things about myself a few years back that He has used to teach me and grow me up a bit. But I had to get to that place where I was willing to look inwardly at the messy stuff in my heart. When we give ourselves over to His redeeming work, He then has permission to start messing with and exposing things that are deficits and have taken up residence for far too long in our hearts.
Worship has been a tremendous tool that God has used in my life over the past several years. As I would draw closer to Him with the desire to get to know Him more, I began to see myself for who I really was. As I pulled in closer to God, I saw His majesty and my yucky, messy self–just like that passage I love in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah gets the vision of God seated on the throne. Isaiah saw how unclean and sinful he really was.
Isaiah 6:5 (The Message paraphrase) reads, “I said, ‘Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted–blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King!’”
It was a rude awakening, for sure, and that gentle revealing helped me see that the root of insecurity came from not really understanding the holiness of the God I chose to serve or my identity in Jesus Christ. You cannot walk a certain way if you do not understand or know that way. Those were some tough realizations. But then I began to sense a shift taking place in my heart as I saw myself for who I really was and then understood that Christ came to change all of the old into the new. We can have a whole lot of knowledge but never apply it. A lot of good that does! I could see how I had become one of those weak women that Timothy talks about in 2 Timothy 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” To put it mildly, I didn’t like what I saw but was now ready to do something about it.
Sacrifice –– it is a big word with a meaning that is sometimes glossed over. It is the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable. So is it possible that relinquishing my old behavior in exchange for His peace could be seen as my sacrifice of praise? Would I be willing to lay down my old self and offer up that praise offering, even my old, comfortable self?
Hebrews 13:15 says “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
Is there anything stirring within your heart that needs a readjustment? If you sense discontentment then it is time to draw near to the heart of the Perfect One who will show you what needs to be offered up in exchange for something so much better!
It only takes a glimpse of the Holy One to see yourself as you really are, desperately in need of a Savior. As I glance back at that time in my life, I can surely praise His name for allowing me to be uncovered to discover that I had to let go of who I was and embrace Christ in me, the hope of glory. The “new” that is growing in me helps me to see just how great He really is. With excitement I can sing, “To God be the glory, great things He has done.” (and continues to do!)