I'm going to be honest in this post. I will try to use my words carefully as I approach a topic that has been written about many times, and has been participated in by billions of people all across this world.
A world, I might add, that has been created by the uncreated one. In the next couple paragraphs, I will try and position my heart (and hopefully yours) in a way that can be moulded and shaped by the words you read. My hope and prayer is that you come away thinking about how worship can effect your whole life and not be put inside a box of 20 min on a Sunday morning.
I'm not even talking about how your whole life should be worship, although I agree that it should be. I'm specifically talking about the singing and prayer that happens during those 3-5 songs at church and how those moments can impact the rest of your week.
I want you to think about your definition of the word worship. Don't worry about what everyone else thinks or the technical definition in the dictionary. What do you believe, deep down inside of you, about what worship is. What does worship mean to you?
I assume there would be a bunch of different definitions and even different levels of importance that you ascribe to a concept that was created by the only one worth worshipping.
Your worship depends on who God is
I believe there are a couple reasons why worship is important to some, while for others, the sermon that follows has more meaning. I want to propose to you that worship is of vital importance for every person, whether you are a "feeler" or not. You know who I'm talking about...
The people that have emotions running through them, the ones that experience God and lift their hands during worship every single time. While others are wondering why they aren't feeling or experiencing God the same way. Okay, here's the honesty part, you knew it was coming: I don't care if you're a "feeler" or if you don't have any emotional experience when the music starts.
Your worship should never be dependent on what you are feeling. Your worship depends on who God is, PERIOD. It doesn't matter what has happened in your week, or if your alarm didn't go off that morning or your kids woke up in a bad mood. We, as children of God, look at truth. And the truth is, God is great, merciful, full of love, joy, peace and every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James chapter 1 verse 17). He is worthy.
In every article, I give a small challenge to the reader and myself. In my first article, I said "next time you enter into a worship time, give it all you have. Reach down to the depths of who you are and give God praise, don't hold back, He's so worth it." I believe this is what worship should look like. It's in this place, when we make our hearts soft, when we don't hold back and we start to give God what He made us for, that He starts to move and work.
We come into worship to give God ourselves, to give Him what He deserves: the best and the "worst" (which, by the way, is our own judgement of ourselves) of who we are.
Perspective and Truth
I submit to you the idea that these moments in our local congregation, when we come together to give God the praise that He is due, can shape our week. First, it gives us perspective of who God is. It raises His name above ALL names. We get the chance to take all of our stuff, and say: "God you are greater." You are greater than our circumstances, you are greater than our thoughts, our unbelief, the people around us, our future and even the problems in this world.
We have the opportunity to say, "I will not allow those things to become greater than you, I put you in your rightful place as Lord and King."
Secondly, it gives us the opportunity to declare to God who He is and the promises He has given to us. To say, "even if I don't believe this in my heart, I know it's true, because you have said it's true". God loves to hear from us, He actually loves when we speak (or sing) to Him.
If we look at the Psalms, they are declarations of who God is. Declaring His goodness and faithfulness, His provision and mercy. Just listen to David as he reaches down into the depths of who he is and declares truth:
Psalm chapter 2 verses 7 and 8 says - I will proclaim theLord's decree: He said to me, "You are my son;today I have become your father. Ask me,and I will make the nationsyour inheritance,the ends of the earthyour possession.
Psalm chapter 9 verses 9 and 10 says - TheLordis a refugefor the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your nametrust in you,for you,Lord, have never forsakenthose who seek you.
Singing or praying truth is powerful. It doesn't matter what we see or our circumstances, we stand on truth. We stand on what God has said about Himself. This worship time allows us to declare these truths.
Let's allow worship to be something more than we thought it could be. Let's dare to believe that God can work through our corporate worship times in powerful ways. And, like I challenged us in the past, let's give God the praise and glory He deserves by not holding back.
Take to God what He deserves and what He is waiting for: all of you.
Jason LaLone is on staff at YWAM Brisbane. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus's command to make disciples of all nations as a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and use to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone's previous articles might be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jason-lalone.html