A Life Of Worship
Dictators may demand worship or praise, but benevolent overseers inspire praise and thanksgiving. Those who are in positions of influence and use their power for good we naturally respond to with honour and respect. The same is true of extremely talented people; when we see them performing we are wowed and in awe which results in praise and ascribing worth to them.
The origin of the English word WORSHIP comes from the Anglo Saxon ‘weorthscipe’ which meant to “ascribe worth, to pay homage, to reverence or venerate”. In time the word was modified to ‘worthship’ and then to what we use today, worship. The word worthship was often used to address or describe someone of importance, someone worthy of honour or respect. What a person values (or places a high worth upon) is what will be worshiped.
This past Sunday we kicked off a five week preaching series on WORSHIP. As an introduction to the theme we examined the Bible and saw that worship matters to God. Everyday. If you do a word study of worship in the Bible you will see that worship honours God, is directed toward God, requires involvement on the part of the worshiper, and is available only through Jesus Christ (Tom Kraeuter in his book Becoming a True Worshiper).
How do we become true and natural worshipers? We need to be reminded of who God is and what He has done for us! Like those that draw natural praise out of us because of their incredible talents, so when we recognize God for who He is we will be compelled to worship Him-to ascribe ultimate worth to Him!
In 1 Corinthians 14:25 Paul says that if unbelievers enter our gatherings and experience the power of God at work among us, their natural response will be to fall down and worship God. If that is true of an unbeliever, how true should it be of us! The fact that I don’t often have such involuntary experiences of worship convicts me of the fact that I don’t often enough fully experience or enter into the presence of God. I have lots of room to grow here!
Worship is both an individual and a group activity. If I want to become more engaged in the worship of the gathering Body of Christ instead of only being half present and distracted by others around me or what time it is, then I need to take the time to prepare myself both the night before and the morning of a gathering. But more on that in a future post.
If worship matters to God everyday, and I am not gathering with the Family of God everyday, then growing as a worshiper needs to begin as a personal matter. So how can I grow to become a better worshiper of the God who is worthy of so much more from me? I believe a big piece of the puzzle is time. There are things that I can do to prepare myself and set the tone for entering into a new day with the mindset of being aware of His presence with me. If I am aware of His presence with me then there is greater chance that I will hear Him and see Him as I go about my day. And as I experience Him my knowledge of Him and my love for Him will increase. As that increases my heart will change.
What are some of those practices and rhythms that I can develop in my life to build an attitude of worship? Reading the Bible and listening to worship music will fill my mind with truths about God. Praying and being still to listen will facilitate my spirit connecting with His. Getting out and functioning in the way God has wired me will help me to experience His presence and joy. Gary Thomas has written a book titled Sacred Pathways. which can be a helpful tool to discover how you can best experience God. Is it acts of service? Is it being out in nature? Is it reading the Word? Knowing how you are wired will make things a lot easier in this quest to become a better worshiper.