Scripture to reflect upon for Truth Tuesday: John 4:23-24 (The Message)
“Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.”
What is your worship life like? Do you even have a worship life? “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God,” Jesus said prior to this scripture.
In pursuit of God’s truth, we must worship Him always. Last week I told you about all the questions that were swimming around in my head, and how instead of focusing on those, I chose to worship God because…well, He’s God. When I chose to do that, God revealed His answers. In my pursuit of truth: 1. I worshiped; and 2. God answered. Whoa. Pretty simple stuff. God doesn’t make it complicated, we do!
I won’t lie, when I’m at church on Sundays and the music is cranking and good, my hands are high in the sky, my eyes lifted towards the heaven, and there are times I cry out to God in praise. This isn’t for show, because sometimes I’m nervous to actually show my affection and admiration in this way. My husband and his family are not used to that type of worship; in fact, it makes my father-in-law incredibly uncomfortable, so much so that he refuses to be even in the church during worship. So there are times when I’m conscious that my worship makes them uncomfortable. However, I also realize I’m not there for them. I’m there to praise and worship my God.
The truth is I also do these things in my private time with God. I sing, dance, lift my hands, shout for joy and bow down when no one else but God is watching. And when I do, I’m overwhelmed by His presence and absolute love for me. When I’m loving God through worship—engaged in my spirit—His love amazes me. I’ve overcome with great joy and reverence. There’s nothing like it.
So then, how does God desire us to worship and/or praise Him?
§ In pursuit of truth
§ Engaged in our spirit
§ Bowing down (Genesis 24)
§ Loving Him with all your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37)
§ Through thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4)
§ Singing and dancing (Exodus 15:20)
§ Clapping and shouting with joyful praises (Psalm 47:1)
§ Kneeling before Him (Psalm 95:6)
§ “With holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy” (1 Timothy 2:8)
§ Through offerings (1 Chronicles 16:29)
§ Living a good life (Deuteronomy 10:13)
§ Living in His presence (Deuteronomy 12:12)
A few weeks ago at church they had an entire service dedicated to praise and worship and it was designed for families to participate together. So some of the kids and one of the children’s ministry leaders got up on stage and showed us how the children worship. We were then asked to do the same movements as the children. It was utterly amazing to see the whole church (all but a select few—you know who you are!) doing these fun, child-like dances. But let me tell you something honestly: IT WAS SO FREEING!! It felt so awesome to release all my inhibitions and concerns about what other people thought, and just praise God the way He deserves!! Try it sometime. I sang so loud and felt so happy, and boy did I laugh!
Everybody should worship with that kind of joy and excitement. Everyone should worship like children: with innocence and pure trust! Trust me, if you don’t do it now, you WILL be doing it in heaven, just as we do at our church. You won’t get to pick and choose your music in heaven, either. God doesn’t have a worship jukebox. You will be bowing down, you will be dancing, you will be lifting your hands, you will be banging on tambourines, right along with the angels of heaven. So why deny yourself the pleasure now? Get used to it if you plan on going to heaven. That is what it will be like…like it or not (sorry, Da, I love you, but it’s a fact).
NOTE TO SELF: If you follow the ways God asks to be worshiped, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Through your praise and worship, heaven and earth will be moved for you! And quite honestly…God is WORTHY and DESERVING of your worship both at church and privately. You will miss out on a lot of blessings when you deny yourself and God the worship He so deserves.
“He’s your praise! He’s your God!” (Deuteronomy 10:21)