In the devotional “Revelation in the Raw”, we looked at Psalm 57 and studied the way David handled the attack of the Enemy. We saw how David used worship wisely reminding himself who God was and the content of His character. We saw that while there is no ritual to prayer, there is a way to overcome through prayer and worship. Worship is one of many arrows in the quiver we hold along with prayer. When we cry out to God in various ways, we are seeking His heart, reminding Him of His promises, and reminding ourselves of the Goodness of God.
When we hear the word “worship”, we think of Sunday morning praise at our churches. While that may be true, it is too simplistic a description because worship isn’t just about singing. It’s about welcoming the presence of Holy Spirit into the atmosphere. Worship is a language all its own. It is showing reverence, adoration, and honor for the Living God. We can live a life of perpetual worship, changing our attitudes, breaking down strongholds, and overcoming circumstances. There is warfare in worship when we choose to use our voice to sing the Almighty’s praises rather than to complain about our complicated circumstances. This is because worship is no longer about what we are doing but where we are resting. There is a frequency in sound. God used His voice to birth and create the universe. The mere sound of His voice created something that had not existed beforehand. When we engage in worship, we too are shifting paradigms through a victim mentality to a victor stance. In doing so, the spiritual atmosphere around us shifts as well, and then miracles happen.
Here is why there is wisdom in worship:
1.Worship creates intimacy with the Trinity
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21-24
As a mother, one of my favorite memories is when Christian was a baby and would hold out his arms excitedly for me. He could not speak yet, but his entire being spoke for him. The outstretched arms, the expectant look, the movement of his body as he saw me approach. My little boy yearned for me to pick him up. When I finally did pick him up, he would just wrap his little arms around me and squeeze. If this is the bond between a parent and a child, then how much more between the Father of Heaven and us? Worship creates an atmosphere for intimacy to occur. It is the yearning of our spirit that catches the Father’s attention. True worshipers want to see the Father, all of Him, in Spirit and truth. This not a ritual to be performed, but a connection. It is an act of release, where the Spirit is free to carry you to the heart of the Father. As you seek the Father, He seeks you! In this passage, Jesus is explaining to the Samaritan woman what a true relationship with God the Father and His Spirit look like. He was saying that true worship happens with the right spirit, not with rituals, objects, and symbols. He was also making clear the object of worship is God the Father, and the heart of the worshiper must be genuine and sincere. There is no proper place to worship. Worship can take place in the church and outside of it. Many times I worship in my kitchen. My kitchen is where I sing His praises, lifting my hands, crying out to Him, interceding for others and feeling His presence. Other times, I am cleaning and listening to worship music, and something just strikes my Spirit, and there I go. It’s normal for my family to hear me cooking dinner with praise and worship music on. They have grown accustomed to me shouting praises while stirring dinner. Yes, wherever and whenever intimacy can occur, I grab it. Worship is a large part of my quiet time with Holy Spirit, but it’s also a part of my everyday activity, even driving. There is wisdom in allowing His Spirit to infiltrate the atmosphere.
2. Worship is Transforming
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
There is something about a transformation that drives us. We love seeing the before and after, but we don’t care for the middle. The middle is where all the work takes place, so naturally, it’s no one’s favorite. The concept of transformation is way more appealing than the act itself. Worship is also transforming. When we bring all of us to God as a living sacrifice, it’s real worship. Worship is the only way to be transformed, but to receive the benefits, we must do the work. The work is in offering our bodies as a living sacrifice. Think about what a living sacrifice is for a moment. Think about what it looks like. When sacrifices were given in the Old Testament, the animal was slain and offered to God. However, after the sacrifice, the carcass was to be disposed of. The animal was of no more use as it was dead. To be a living sacrifice is to be in perpetual state of sacrifice. This means we dedicate all of our energies, talents, thoughts, and devotion to God. In doing so, we are transformed. Is it work? Yes! We cannot be transformed unless we say to God, “Here I am. Use me”, and then release ourselves into the hands of the Master Potter. Transformation requires a teachable spirit, and in offering ourselves as living sacrifices, we are worshiping God. This is not based on feelings, but on obedience.Transformation also occurs when we worship God through praises. I am a big fan of just breaking out in worship in my car, my home, church, anywhere really. When I am worshiping Him and being filled by His Spirit, I am transformed. For me, it’s an instant attitude adjuster. It changes my filter and the lens through which I view life. I am no longer focused on myself in those moments, but engaged in a connection with His presence. Our lives are a form of worship every time we choose His will over our own. When we understand that we are designed for His purpose and seek what our purpose is wholeheartedly, we are using all of ourselves as an act of worship.
3. Worship is Revelatory
Worship reveals the intent of the heart. It is entirely possible to outwardly worship God with your lips while your heart is far away. I remember when I was in middle school at a Christian school we had chapel. I remember I used to close my eyes when the music came on, just pondering and meditating on the beautiful words. All of a sudden I was harshly tapped on my shoulder. I looked to see, and our teacher pulled me aside to tell me to pay attention like the other students. I looked around at students who were singing, some hands raised and one eye open to see if the teacher was looking. Others were mouthing the words to be sure they looked as if they were singing. We were kids! Still, though, I refused to “fake it.” When I was called into the office, I shared the sentiment that I was communing with God my way and did not care to look proper while doing so. After that, I was left alone to worship God the way my heart desired to. The Pharisees and Sadducees were no different. There was ritual and rule to the way they worshiped God, but it was not based on intimacy or truth. It was based on what they were taught. Each person has their unique way of worshipping the Lord, and when we fear judgment choosing to look like everyone else, it reveals that we place other’s opinions on the throne where God should be sitting.
“The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13
When we know who God is and we know who we are in Him, worship becomes a place of revelation and reminding. We begin to remind ourselves who our God is, and in doing so, we become increasingly confident in our identity in Him. Our Faith begins to grow by leaps and bounds despite our circumstances, and our worship becomes prophetic in nature, revealing what God wants to do through us and in us. David again exemplifies this is Psalm 29 says,
“Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
How is your walk with worship today? Do you find yourself shying away from worship? I encourage you today to start your day with worship before reading the Word. Sit at the feet of Jesus and sing His praises. One of my favorite songs to worship to in this season is “Resurrecting” by Elevation Worship. Another favorite is “Forever” by Kari Jobe, and “It is Well” by Bethel. There is wisdom in the willingness to worship.
Prayer Starter: Lord, I come before You today grateful for all You have done and will continue to do. I worship You, Lord for who You are. For You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. You are the Great I am who can do all things. Open my heart and my spirit to worship, Lord God. Let me meet You there in that place of praise. Let me be renewed, transformed through intimacy formed with You in worship. In Your Name, Amen.