Is worship simply the awed response of God’s creation to the saving acts and praiseworthy character of the Almighty? Some theological works and books might hold to and defend that general definition. Yet, is that all there is to worship? Not by a long shot. Now, truth be told, there may have been many times in my faith journey and crazy awesome adventure with God, where I have believed that definition to not only be true, but complete. Hey, smarter people than me told me so. However, over the years my understanding of worship has not only deepened, but become more biblically balanced and deeply personal. This is my desire for every loyal follower of Jesus. I pray that we would all know a real worship that is experienced and seen in everything we do, and yes, even when we are singing.
Our worship of God, which is both personal and corporate, should be relationally transformational in our community and as individual believers. Hey, standing before the Almighty God of the universe should affect us in real ways. Being born again is not some hypothetical ideal. Salvation from sin and a redeemed life is our tangible reality. Our life of worship should reflect that fact. For the closer we move towards God, the more we become like Him. We start to take on more of His majestic character and gladly expel the old life we no longer need or desire, as we stand reborn in the light of His glorious grace. (See 1 John 1:7-9; Ephesians 4:20-24) Who God is, is greater than self. Our worship should reflect that reality.
Transformation worship will be deeply intimate. It will be authentic, intentional, and laser focused on Jesus and His work of the Cross. Our worship, be it in the community of faith or alone in the quiet, must be far richer and greater in scope than music alone. Living for Jesus is worship in its greatest from. But more on that next week!
Last time, we ended with talking about worship that is transformational. The worship of God is far more than the songs we sing week in and week out. Our genuine devotion to the Almighty should be just that, full send fidelity to the Almighty! Undoubtedly, our worship should be grand and thoroughly excellent in its scope. Why? Because, we are worshiping Divinity. God is worthy of our strength and diligence in His adoration. Yet, we should also humbly seek to make our personal and corporate worship deeply intimate with God, our Maker. It should be authentic, intentional, and laser-focused on the redemptive kingdom of Jesus, His sacrificial work of the Cross, and His present and future reign.
Authentic transformational worship is way more than a guy or gal with a guitar and hip hook that catches the attention of our modern ears. Although exemplary musicianship and writing, those things do not make music worship; that is simply the art of music. Worship is the explosive power of humble gratitude and inexpressible joy, bursting forth in the human expression of words and music, from loud shouts and soft prayers, in adoration for the forever victorious King of kings. All because of abundant grace of God for the undeserving soul.
We have sadly, over the years, slowly relegated our understanding of worship from how we choose to live in every moment to how and when we sing before the pastor brings to us the Word of God. Not that corporate worship is terrible as some suggest. However, to do this is a tragic error for many in our faith communities today. Authentic and God-honoring worship is far more about the life well lived for His glory than a song well sung in church. Let us not forget that, in Jesus, we find our fullness of life and purpose, “…for in Him we live, move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) As we talk about worship over the next several weeks, let us seek to make our worship “…more than a song.”