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I've been reading A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God, and so far it's been incredible. In my research of Tozer, I've learned that he spent the majority of his day worshipping God. He spent copious amounts of time in solitude so that he could hear the voice of God. His life was one of worship.
It got me thinking... what does worship look like in real life?
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
1. Worship is all about God
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7
Worship is so much more than singing songs on Sunday morning. It's a spirit of focusing on the goodness of God each and every day and responding to His call.
One of our readers summed up this idea well.
"WORSHIP...focusing on the character of God and responding - praise/prayer/songs/tears - wherever I am!" Billie
I love that the God of the universe wants a relationship with me... and you! We can come before Him right. where. we. are. We don't have to put on a mask or pretend. We can come with shouts of joy or tears of anguish. He just wants us to come.
2. Worship is Active
"Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me." Psalm 31:3
While we focus on God during worship, we must also be actively listening.
Another of our readers explained worship as,
"Worship to me is complete abandon. Forgetting self and letting God work through me in whatever way he sees fit. It may look different each day, but it will always involve being obedient in an area that I've not been before." Mandy
As we grow in our relationship with God, we have to move past knowing God to being changed by God. This requires our obedience to what He asks of us.
3. Worship at all Times
"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 42:11
Worship isn't just meant for when times are good. God wants our praise even when times or hard or things aren't going our way.
Another member of our Tribe defined worship as,
"Worship in everyday life to me means acknowledging God in all things that occur in my day, good or bad. Having open communication with God at all times throughout my day is my way of worshipping the King of the World!" Lauren
Worshipping during the storms of life shows we're growing. It shows we're moving past self-focus to God-focus.
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4. Worship can occur anywhere
Jesus brings up this idea of worship in John 4:6-30 while talking to the woman at the well.
The Samaritan woman got into a discussion with Jesus about which Temple was the best place to worship. Jesus replied to her,
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him” John 4:2
Once Jesus came, he broke all the barriers. There was no longer a central place of worship. Jesus provided equal access to God through His sacrifice. Through Jesus, worship became more about the internal rather than the external and can occur everywhere.
5. Worship is a matter of the head
Let's take another look at John 4:2 and focus on the truth part of the verse. Our worship must be grounded in the truth of Jesus. We must have head knowledge of Jesus.
With all the false teachings that plague our society, it's imperative that we know truth so that we can worship in truth.
However, and this is a big however, our worship cannot only be with head knowledge, or we risk a joyless, legalistic approach to worship.
6. Worship is a matter of the heart
Now let's explore John 4:2 with our emphasis on the spirit Jesus talked about in the verse. When we worship in spirit, we are worshipping with our whole heart. There must be a passion for God.
Our worship cannot just be emotional though. Worship is not just about our emotions, or as soon as the emotions subside, so does our worship.
Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century American pastor and theologian encapsulated true worship when he said, “I should think myself in the way of my duty to raise the affections [emotions] of my hearers as high as possibly I can, provided that they are affected with nothing but truth.”
7. Worship through Prayer
Prayer puts us in communion with God. Some of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible can be found in Psalms. We can worship by saying this prayer back to God. Psalm 103 is a great one to start with.
A psalm of David.
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord. (New Living Translation)
8. Worship through Song
Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. We can worship by singing songs of praise to God our Father.
"Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals." Psalm 150:3-5
Keeping it real here, I'm a terrible singer. That does not, however, keep me from singing loudly when I'm alone. Regardless of what's going on in my life, I always feel better after I've belted out an off-key tune.
9. Worship through Service
We worship God by serving others. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is a privilege God gives us. When we are serving those around us, we honor and worship God.
A song of ascents. Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. Psalm 134:1
10. Worship through Giving
Giving financially to our local church literally allows us to put our money where our mouth is. When we give, we show thanks for God's provision. Everything we have comes from God, and by tithing, our actions match our hearts on the matter.
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. Psalm 4:5
11. Worship through Living
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him." Romans 12:1
God wants our surrender. He wants us to walk out Romans 12:1.
I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees. Psalms 119:48
God wants us in right relationship with Him. Because of Jesus, we can worship God anywhere, anytime with our mind, body, and spirit.
Let's use this week to grow in our practice of everyday worship.
What are some ways you worship?