What does “a life of worship” look like?
We are called to worship. We are created to worship. We are designed to live a life of worship for the display of His glory and splendor. In the world, a painting or work of art brings glory to the artist. A song brings glory to the writer. A building brings glory to the architect. The created thing brings glory to its Creator. Creation itself testifies of the glory of God. We are the only created beings that can have intimacy with the Creator. We can know Him. The trees, the mountains, the oceans, and the sky can all bring glory to their Creator, but they cannot know Him. They cannot have intimacy with Him. They simply exist to bring glory to Him. They have no choice. We have a choice. That is what worship is. Worship is a choice. Worship is not a feeling. Worship may involve and evoke a vast array of feelings, but it is not a feeling. It is a choice. Every moment of every day we have a choice. In each moment, in every action, in every circumstance, we can choose to worship and bring glory to Him or we can choose to not. The devil seeks to rob God of His glory and receive worship unto himself.
I love to play the piano, but I’ve never seen myself as a musician. Music is a gateway. Music is an instrument. Music is a conductor. Worship isn’t just something I do. Worship is a part of who I am. It’s all I’ve ever known. I exist to bring glory to Him. The glory belongs to Him. Why would I want to try to take what is His? The glory belongs to Him.
God can make anyone into a worshipper! I’ve seen musicians and non-musicians become worshippers. I’ve seen singers and non-singers become worshippers. The tragedy is I’ve also seen worshippers become simply musicians or worshippers become just singers. Many have limited worship to music, as if somehow, worship equals music, or worse, music equals worship. We’ve been taught that in order to worship we must have music. Worse yet, some have come to believe that if there is a band on stage in church playing music that worship is happening. While that may or may not be true, it does not mean that God is the one receiving worship.
Worship means to “ascribe worth to.” To who or what do we ascribe “worth?” Worth can be measured in time, energy, money, resources, devotion, focus. Whatever you focus on gets bigger, or gets magnified. What are you focusing on? I often find myself focusing on my circumstances and my problems. God showed me that, in essence, I am worshipping my circumstances rather than worshipping the God of my circumstances. He is bigger than any circumstance in my life! I just need to focus on and magnify Him, and not my problems, otherwise my problems can become bigger than my God or can even become my god.
Do you worship worship? So often we get caught up in the music, or we get caught up in the song. What we need to do is get caught up in the One that the music is for, and get caught up in the One that the song is about! The music should not distract us from Him. It should point us to Him. When the artist, the music, the song, or the musician, starts to become the focus, we are missing the point. Mankind is so eager to idolize the seen that we miss the unseen. So often, we’ve made man the focus. We’ve made music the focus. We’ve made an idol out of the very thing that was created to bring glory to Him.
“We’ve made an idol out of the very thing that was created to bring glory to Him.”
The devil knows we won’t worship him if he says, “Hey, come worship me.” He is much more subtle that that. So often the devil will use the very things of God to distract us from God. That’s why the devil tries to twist and distort God’s very own words. The devil is an imposter and an imitator, not a creator.
We are such an entertainment society. We say; “Entertain me. Amuse me. Impress me. Wow me. Delight me.” We have taken the divine and made it common. Some have taken worship and reduced it to mere entertainment. We come expecting to be entertained, to receive, rather than come expecting to give. Worship must be given. How is it that we’ve confused times of worship with a concert? They are complete opposites. How is this possible? Perhaps it is because we have worked so hard to make worship look like a concert, that people don’t know the difference. When we begin to worship the donkey that Jesus rode in on, instead of Jesus Himself, there is a problem!
“When we begin to worship the donkey that Jesus rode in on, instead of Jesus Himself, there is a problem!”
This is a profound statement. Just as when Jesus was born, there was “no room” for Him in the inn; So too, there seems to be “no room” for Him in many churches today. We must make room for Him in our hearts and our lives, and our churches. He is enthroned on the praises of His people. As we worship, we build a throne. We create an atmosphere, a place for Him to dwell.
Some will say worship is not about us, it’s about Him. This is true to an extent. While I believe we should not be the focus of worship, worship is about us and Him. Worship is about us connecting with Him and bringing glory to Him. He should be the goal. He should be the focus. When worship becomes solely about us, we have missed it altogether.
Worship is so much more than music, however, music is very powerful. Why is music so powerful? What’s in a song? What is it about music and melodies that connects with something so deep inside of every person? Music is an expression of what is inside… Worship begins in our heart. Out of the abundance (or overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks. I say, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth sings! Worship is an expression of the love and adoration from our hearts. With our mouths and our lives we are to glorify God. We must use our words and our actions to bring Him glory. I’ve heard it said that you can’t do on Sunday morning what you don’t do the rest of the week! This is so true.
A Worship Team should be a team of worshippers, not a band.
Worship practice should be the practice of worship, not just band practice.
If the team of worshippers happen to play instruments and sing, this is good, however, we must not lose focus.
Worship can be prayer, adoration, and exaltation, put to song, or put to music. Take away the instruments, and begin to worship God. Could we do it? Or would we be lost and uncomfortable? Try it!
We are to be worshippers first, musicians second; worshippers first, singers second; worshippers first, everything else second.
A flute without breath is simply a vessel, a piece of metal. Have a skilled flutist breathe into it and it will produce a beautiful sound. So too, we are His instruments. We must allow Him to breathe His life into us to produce what He desires. It is the response of God’s Spirit in us to that Spirit in Him, whereby we cry out “Abba, Father,” deep calling unto deep.
Consider this: Music is all about timing. God created time. God exists outside of time. In heaven there is no time…No beginning, no end. There is eternity. How do you have music without time? What does it sound like? Can you imagine? No beginning. No end. John was caught up into heaven and experienced this sound. He was unable to use words to describe it. The angels, the living creatures, the elders around His throne never stop singing, worshipping, and praising God. They never stop crying out Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. “But for how long?” we ask. There is no time. No beginning, no end. Crazy!
We are told to bring to God a “sacrifice of praise.” Some say this means praising and worshipping God when we don’t want to or don’t feel like it. While this is true, it means so much more. What sacrifices does God ask of us? This is what He asks of us; a broken spirit, a contrite heart, and to offer your body, your whole being as a living sacrifice. He wants our bodies, our hearts, and our spirits. No longer are we to lay animals on the altar to be slain. We are to lay ourselves on the altar to be consumed by His presence in worship to Him!
God let my actions line up with my words. I surrender my body, soul, & spirit to you in worship. Let my life be an expression of worship to You. Let my life-song bring Glory to You!