I thought I’d go through my journal and messages I had written in the past and start blogging them. This message was for our youth group July 29, 2009.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. -John 4:24
I am by no means a worship leader like up there on the stage! But God has given me such a passion for it. Even in youth, I loved worship! I just love being able to connect to God in that way. I had always kinda questioned the Lord as to why have this passion for worship but wasn’t blessed with an amazing voice (at all). One time, when I asked Him why and told him, I could be up there with my husband leading worship, I felt like he said to me, “I want you to do that down here” meaning, He wants me to be a worship leader amidst the worshipers! How many of you know it’s easier to be freer in worship when people around you are really worshiping? We all need to be worship leaders right? I believe if we all really grasp the revelation of worship, and breakthrough in our worship, we can come Sunday morning and really impact our corporate worship! We can be the worship leaders amidst the worshipers!
Why do we worship?
1. Because He is good! He is God and He is worthy, sovereign, and just.
Should we only praise Him if we feel like it? If the music is loud enough or fast enough or entertaining enough? Of course not! In the midst of your circumstances, whatever has happened to you during the week, whatever is on your mind, lay that down and worship Him!
It doesn’t matter our situation, if we don’t feel like worshiping, if you’re just in a funk or whatever? because God does not change IN our circumstances. He is always good and always deserves praise! When we’re in trouble, we take refuge in Him. When we focus on Him, not our situation, breakthrough is possible!
David is a great example of a worshiper. He wrote 70-80 of the 150 Psalms and if you read them, you start wondering if He’s kinda schizophrenic or bipolar right? He’ll be like, “God where are you? I’m oppressed and afflicted and then a few verses later say, “But God! You are a stronghold, You are gracious, You are good.” (my paraphrase) Like Psalm 31 — I love this. The NASB titles it “A Psalm of Complaint and Praise” See, David knew that: 1) he could be honest with God and 2) that no matter his situation God is God and deserved worship. He GOT it. He worshipped in the midst of trouble and rejoiced in the times of blessing.
2. Because of all He has done for us!
Psalm 98:1 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things!” Are you thankful for what He’s given you? What has God done for you, what has He given you that you can thank Him for?
3. Because of His great love for us!
Matt Redman writes in his book?The Unquenchable Worshiper, ‘Our heavenly Father loves us with an extravagant abandon. Passionate, undignified worship is our only reasonable response.’
He LOVES YOU! I know we always hear, “Jesus loves you” but seriously – think of that song Oh How He Loves. He is jealous for me? Do you know what that means? This confuses a lot of people, but it’s not like Oprah says, “God is jealous of me?!” NO! God is jealous FOR you!!! He doesn’t want anyone else to have you! He wants you! He loves you!
4. Because He chose you even before the foundations of this world!
Ephesians 1:3-4 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Before anything was created, he said, I want you! He knows the number of hairs on your head. He formed you in the womb (Jeremiah 29:11). He chose you before you or anything else existed, then he created you and formed you in the womb. We should worship Him because He chose us and created us. He is our creator, we wouldn?t exist, nothing would exist without Him.
5. Because He saved us!
John 3:16 16″For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Isn’t that worth our energy? If you’re a believer, He has saved you from hell and death and an eternity of darkness and called you into His Marvelous Light and when we come to church or wherever for worship, we just stand there and give him nothing? We need to tell Him how much we love Him and thank Him for how he has saved us!
David worshipped God even when he is pleading with God for help and complaining about his circumstance. He worships because as verse 2&3 says, “God is a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me?” He is our Rock and Stronghold. We worship.
It doesn’t matter our situation, if we don’t feel like worshiping, if you’re just in a funk or whatever, because God does not change in our circumstances. He is always good and always deserves praise!
When we’re in trouble we take refuge in Him. When we focus on Him, not our situation, breakthrough is possible!
In everything we do, we are worshiping. Or as John Piper says, “We are created worshiping.” We are worshipers and if we are not worshiping Him first, then something has taken His place and we’ve created an idol. Psalm 100 calls us to worship. John 4:23&24 says God is spirit, so we worship in spirit.
How do we worship?
We can worship in celebration.
The Psalms tell us to shout, lift up our voice and dance!
We can shout without restraint, shout, dance make a joyful noise.
Let’s go back to David – our example of a true worshipper.
Let’s look at 2 Samuel 6.The Ark of the Lord was being brought back into Jerusalem, and King David was pretty excited about it. Actually, King David was so excited that he rushed out into a crowd of people in the middle of the street and danced like a fool in front everyone! Verse 14 “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.” An ephod is a kind of a robe worn for priestly duties, but his robe was linen, which is what those who were not priests wore. So he puts on this linen robe (Matthew Henry’s commentary says because it was light and thin and easy to dance in) probably has a gap on the sides, exposing himself which just appalled his wife and when she confronted King David about it, he responded with this:
It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel. I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. -2 Samuel 6:21-22
At that moment he danced, he put down his purple royal robes and put on his linen ephod so he could dance unashamedly, uninhibitedly, he was not King of Israel at that moment, he was a child of God.
We all have our own silly embarrassing moments but worshiping God should not be one of them. We should not be concerned about what people think of us. If anything, what is concerning is when we are NOT worshiping.
We can worship with intimacy.
John 4:24 says God is Spirit and we worship God in Spirit and Truth. We connect with God in Spirit. The Holy Spirit allows us to commune with God. Intimate worship allows us to seek Him in such a way that we hear His voice, minister to the Lord and others. These are the times when we quiet and still our soul before him, embrace His sweet presence and we’re just in awe of Him.
We are not worshiping in Spirit if your mind is here on the flesh and you’re concerned about what other people are thinking. AND it’s NOT in truth if you’re worried about what others are thinking you’re more like “I worship you in secret” or “I pretend to not worship you” ? If you’re not worshipping how you really feel and you’re letting things stop you, that’s not honest.
It’s not just about singing songs. We are able to have intimacy with our Heavenly Father, our Maker, our Savior! That’s really awesome! Intimate worship sometimes requires you to still your soul, lift your hands, lay or kneel in His presence.
We all love when the Lord graciously pours out His Spirit in such a tangible way during worship, right? Well, what about the times, you just can’t “get into it”? We’ve all been there right? You look around and notice everyone around you is really not the worship but you’re just not “feeling it”? When I find myself in that position, I know I have to really press in because I don’t want to miss the Lord’s presence!
I so urge you not to just let worship go by don’t miss Him!
So, how can we push past our flesh and worship in spirit?
- Stop just singing! If you find yourself just singing the words on the wall, stop singing and start really mediating on them in your heart. Focus on the Lord. Sometimes it’s ok not to sing.
- Sing the words as a declaration, pray them into your life
- Speak OUT LOUD! Pray the words of the song to the Lord. Again, sometimes it’s ok not to sing! Stop and pray. “Yes Lord, you are holy,” or “There is no sweeter name than Your name, Lord”. Praying aloud helps me to focus on Him and keep my mind from wandering.
- Ask Him if there is something in your life keeping you from entering that place of worship. You may have to repent to break through.
- Lift your hands, be free to dance, jump, shout, whatever. It bothers me sometimes, although I appreciate and understand where they are coming from, when people say “worship how you are comfortable” because sometimes the Holy Spirit likes to get us out of our comfort zone. That’s how we grow. Eventually that comfort zone grows too!
- Go to the Word. Open your Bible and go to the Psalms and pray the Word.
Just like in our relationships, we have to take the time to connect with one another. If I’m not giving time to worship and prayer, earnestly seeking Him and listening to His voice, then there is a lack of intimacy. Not spending time within my week to hear Him and then coming to church and expecting to have this amazing worship time, receive word sand revelation is not only very difficult, on my part it’s kind of foolish. Expecting God to speak to me and grace me with His presence when I can’t give Him my time, that’s not right. It’s very hard to try press into His presence when that path hasn’t been cleared in a while – it’s like I’m going to come here and try to squeeze within the 2 hours of worship everything that I should have been dealing with the week before, repent and get that out of the way, break down all the walls that were built up over the week so I can finally get to that place to hear Him. That’s very hard and doesn’t really work.
We need to diligently seek Him during our week so that we are ready to worship and be the worship leaders among the worshippers!