May 25, 2016
Worship. It’s an awesome word that we throw around freely in Christian circles. Although I heard that word a lot in my youth, its meaning was vague and out of reach. Understanding worship can be a bit difficult. So hear is a big tip: Overcoming life’s distractions and focusing on God is easier when our highest priority is worshiping and praising Him. Easy enough, but what is worship? And how do we worship God?
Worship can occur in song, in prayer, in actions such as tithing and fasting, as well as in all the decisions we make every day. People worship in different ways. But the essence of worship is perceiving (seeing and interpreting) God accurately and responding appropriately to what we perceive. Not coincidentally, Perceive and Respond are two of the six essential steps in all decisions.
When we perceive God accurately, for who He really is (the all-knowing, all-powerful but loving Ruler and Creator of everything) and recognize who we are, our natural response should be praising, loving, thanking, and adoring Him. This adoration can be expressed in many ways. Some people honor Him with words. Some sing. Some raise their hands. Some kneel. Some remain quiet before Him, just basking in His presence. Some dance or play instruments.
But more important than an hour-long church service each week is the way you respond to God in every area of your life outside the “worship time” of the church service or when you hear a “praise and worship song.” Anybody can sing in church. But are you putting God first in all the activities and the areas of temptation in your life? As we see regularly in the news, some will perform the ultimate act of worship, martyrdom, and sacrifice their lives for proclaiming Jesus as the only way. Are you ready to worship your Savior that faithfully? The rest of us have many important daily decisions about how we will worship God during life’s distractions, adversities, temptations, and relationships.
Paul writes in Romans 12, offering our bodies as living sacrifices is our spiritual act of worship. Our bodies are what act out and execute our decisions, so Paul is enlightening us regarding our decisions being our ultimate act of worship. So what kind of worship, that is decisions, do you want to offer to God? This is one reason why I pursued decision-making sciences as it is where the rubber meets the road in our relationship with God.
Worship that perceives and responds is the key to experiencing an encounter with God and growing in the knowledge of God. It is the means to a closer and deeper personal relationship with Him. Praise is a declaration of who God is. Worship is an encounter with who God is. God makes Himself known to worshiping people. He calls us to worship Him alone. For only He is holy and can restore us from being broken to being cured in Him.
Today, learn to seek Him and to worship Him … with passion. Just as you express your love to your spouse, parents or children in many different ways, be determined to discover the freedom of worshiping and loving God in different ways. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. There is no right or wrong method … it is the love in your heart and your willingness to respond in all areas of your life that is true worship. Godly decision-making is how you offer up your body as a living sacrifice, and that is your spiritual act of worship. Whether you choose to worship God with good decisions, or you worship something of lesser power and authority with bad choices is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I do love You and adore You. I praise You for who You are and for all that You have done for me. You are my Father, Daddy, Savior and Deliverer. You are my Comforter, Teacher, Guide, and Protector. I praise You for Your love, Your power, Your goodness and Your grace. Strengthen me so I can worship You 7 days a week, not just on Sunday mornings. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who showed the ultimate spiritual act of worship with His obedience unto death for me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. Deuteronomy 30:16-18
That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. John 4:23-24
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2