Today is the final segment in our series of the 3 Worthy Pursuits…Prayer – Word – Worship. We first introduced these pursuits in the post ★ “Back to the Basics” – Never-Ending Pursuit ★ in which we saw through the life of Jonah that God will go to great lengths to re-direct us from our disobedience. The first Pursuit of our series was called ★ “Back to the Basics” – Pursuit #1 – Opening the Pipeline ★ in which we saw how critical prayer is through the Prayer of Jabez from 1 Chronicles 4:10. In the second post ★ “Back to the Basics” – Pursuit #2 – What Are You Feeding On? ★, we covered the importance of reading God’s Word, the Holy Bible. In today’s post we will unpack the final Pursuit…Worship.
Let’s start off with what Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary had this simple definition of worship as:
- the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god
- the act of worshipping God or a god
- excessive admiration for someone
Before we get too deep, too fast, I wanted to look at that last meaning…“excessive admiration for someone.” Another word for admiration is adoration which means deep love. My youngest daughter without a doubt has a deep love for Five Below. Any time she gets some money she wants to go shopping. I have to say I am a fan of the store myself because you can some pretty cool stuff for $5 or less. One visit, as we went through the aisles, I saw this mug which blew me away!
What a sign of the times! We live in such a self-indulgent culture that screams look at me, listen to what I have to say, it’s all about me. You don’t have to go too far down on your Twitter or Instagram feed before you see an example of person making that proclamation of “I love me” through their excessive selfies! I saw these alarming statistics on infogr.am site:
“1 million ‘Selfies’ taken globally each day!!!” Not that is a “whole lotta lovin” of oneself!! The Apostle Paul talked in 2 Timothy about the coming “Godlessness in the Last Days.” In verses 1-2 he said:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,”
And the list goes on, you can read the rest in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Doesn’t that sound very familiar to today’s culture? Now am I saying that taking a selfie = Godlessness? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have taken my fair share with the people in my life to capture a moment. But what I am saying is that we need to be very careful that being a “lover of self” is a slippery slope! We need to renew our mind each day and not follow whatever is trending on Twitter! See Romans 12:2.
In our last post called ★ Thought for the Day – Are You a Parasite? ★ we talked about how reading God’s Word, and “doing” what it says will move us from being babies in the faith to mature in our walk with God. The same is true for our worship. We need to not be so self-centered that everything has to be all about us and follow what 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT) says:
“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”
When we were babies it was true that the world did revolve around us but that was due to our helpless state but just like as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians, we need to put away childish behaviors and start adoring the One who truly matters! 1 Chronicles 29:11 (NLT) gives us another way to live…
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.”
Going back to Merriam-Webster’s definition…Worship is “the act of worshiping God or a god.” The strikethrough is based on what the Jesus said in Luke 4:8:
And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:13 from the Old Testament. So how do you Worship God? In how you treat others (see Luke 6:31-35, Mark 12:29-33), how we take care of people in need (see Matthew 25:31-46, James 1:27), and even how generous we are (see Matthew 6:19-21, 1 Timothy 5:8). Another way to Worship God is through music. David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, played the harp and loved to worship God through music. He wrote in Psalms 150:1-6 (NASB)
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
I love that declaration…”Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” What a call to action! This should be freeing to all of us because David said “Let everything,” not the talented or gifted, so if you are shy or feel like you do not have a good enough voice, memorize Psalms 150:6 and Worship the Lord whether in your home, car or church! We live in such an incredible time period where there are some many different genres and styles of worship, from classic hymns to modern praise and worship. How doesn’t matter as long as you do!
I love what worship leader John David Hessler said…
“Songs become like a diving board to get us back in to the deep water of the Lord’s heart. I love how a song can somehow contain an eternal moment inside of it.”
I cannot agree more with that! I love music of all kinds but especially worship music. I always have music playing whether it be in the house, car or wherever I go with my iPhone. But I think that my favorite times of listening to worship music is when I am in church because as I am experiencing “an eternal moment” along with others which users in Holy Spirit’s presence because God inhabits the praises of his people, see Psalms 22:3-4. Referred to as “Worship Service” or “Corporate Worship,” the gathering together of other believers in Christ to sing praises to God leads us into the final definition that I would like to delve into…Worship is…“the act of showing respect and love for a God especially by praying with other people who believe in the same God.” The strikethrough and capitalization of “God” is based on 1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV) says:
“yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”
God is worthy of our worship and is just waiting for us to turn from our wicked ways, see 2 Chronicles 7:14…The question is will you worship Him? Will you give up on focusing just on what you want and what make you happy? Will you look for opportunities to help others, to look out for the overwhelmed, under resourced and people far away?
Though we examined each PURSUIT separately, they are intrinsically linked…at some point you need to realize your brokenness and need of a change in your life, resulting in a PRAYER to God to accept Jesus as your Savior. In response to that prayer, you start developing a relationship with God through reading His WORD. And the outcome of gaining knowledge of God and His Son, your love and adoration deepens which leads to WORSHIP. This is a picture of what happens during a church service, whether you attend on Saturday or Sunday. Regardless of what denomination or congregation you belong to, if it is a Bible preaching church, each PURSUIT is represented during the corporate time of honoring God.
I will close with this last thought that I think encapsulates the truest sense of Worship…
And how could I talk about worship and not give you a song too? Here is an incredible song called “Simplicity” by Rend Collective. Let this just fill your spirit!
Here are a couple of lyrics…
I come with my broken soul
To you the perfect one
To worship you in spirit and truth
Give me a childlike heart
Lead me to where you are
Cause I’m coming back to my first love
You’re the reason I sing
The reason I sing
I pray that today you would focus on Adoration That Matters and live your life worshiping the One true God and give your heart to His Son Jesus Christ!
If you would like to read more on this, check out the post ★ Thought for the Day – Sweetly Broken ★