Friday, June 17, 2011

What Does Worship Look Like?

I've been thinking about the different ways people think of "worship." Many automatically think to a certain "style" of meeting or song style, but true worship is not about a song tempo, lyrics or even style of service at all.
God has been teaching me a lot lately about a lifestyle of worship to Him alone. It's easy for people to get caught up in busyness and schedules and not take specific time for worship. I'm not talking about just prayer and time in The Word. Those should not be negotiable in the life of a Christian. A spiritual mentor of Andy's talked to him about a daily "3-prong approach" that needs to happen every day to stay in fellowship with Christ.
~Specific time in God's Word is so necessary and we often think of that as so elementary that everyone already knows that, but we need reminders of how important it is. Hebrews 4:12 says that "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." The Word is active, but it is the Holy Spirit inside believers that puts the edge on the Word of God. When people read the Bible but do not feel like they "got anything out of it", it may mean 2 things: that either the Holy Spirit is not inside them, breathing and piercing or that there may be some area of disobedience that has not yet been dealt with. God is not going to show new light when there is areas that have been illuminated that have been disregarded...which leads to the next of the 3-prong approach: prayer.
~Specific time in prayer is as vital to the Christian as breath to any living being! We of course, can pray anytime, anywhere, but when we get into a habit of "praying on the go", we convey the message that "I just don't have the time to get alone with you, God." Someone recently challenged me to even posture myself in prayer (kneeling). This again is something that I already knew, but did not always do. I can tell you it makes a big difference to posture yourself in prayer and leave the distractions behind. Ephesians 3:14 says that "I bow my knees before The Father." Philippians 2:10 says that "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow," so why not do it here on earth in our daily routine? I confess, there are days when prayer-time at the kitchen sink, in the car & in the shower is what happens, but I do cherish those days when daily distractions are stripped away, and it's just me and God, no dirty dishes or otherwise.
Something that we often pray is, "God, we want to know you more..." and that is good, because we do, but is very humbling and vulnerable to pray, "God, I want you to know me." Allowing God to shine His search light into the hidden crevices of our minds and hearts is as freeing as it is humbling. None of us, if honest with ourselves, would want the tape of our every thought played over a screen for all the world to see, but that will happen one day, and it would be much better to have an audience of One see it all now than everyone on judgment day. Pray daily for God to show you what you cannot see. You don't know what you don't know.
A tip to keep ourselves in healthy prayer is this acronym I came across: ACTS(S)
A-Adoration- Start prayer time with adoring God for WHO He is, not what He has done. In this time, we can pray to each person of the Trinity and adore Him for His holiness, love, justice, kindness, faithfulness, mercy & grace...
C-Confession- Be honest before God...He knows it all anyway. "God, I confess, I have not been consistent with my children, I have not shared your love with anyone this week...." etc.
T- Thanksgiving- Thanking God for all that He has done and will do. (this is different than adoration!)
S- Supplication- needs, requests
S-Silence- allowing the Holy Spirit to speak, guide, reveal etc.
I have found that this helps me to look past myself and my own little world to what is truly important in prayer.
~3rd approach to worship is worship itself. This can be done with wholesome worship music, but not necessarily music alone. Music is one way to get into the spirit of worship, but so can a walk through nature, taking the time to focus on God's handiwork.
A life of worship is a lifestyle. Have you even wondered when people say that something pertains to their "spiritual life"..., what other part of life do they have??? For the Christian, everything about life is our spiritual life. We have no other life to live. This is the one that must count for Christ. We were put on this earth for the sole purpose to glorify and worship the King of Kings. John 17:1-5

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