“Cultivating A Lifestyle Of Worship”
I once had a very difficult encounter with a ministry colleague many years ago in South Carolina that ended in this person yelling and saying some terribly hurtful things to me. I was so astounded at this person’s response to me that I literally could not speak. I left their home with a toxic mixture of hurt, anger, confusion, and a lot of other emotions I’d rather not admit to! With all of that bubbling up in me, I quickly said to myself – “what am I going to do with all of this ‘stuff’ right now?” I believe God prompted my thoughts at that moment, and I immediately drove to the church, pulled out a worship CD, played it at full volume and I spent the next 30-45 minutes singing to God with a full voice. It was exhausting, but at the conclusion of that 30 minutes, all of that toxic mess inside of me was gone! I had peace, serenity, and most importantly, I could think clearly on what I should do from that point on.
I tell you this story because it revealed to me something I hope you can testify to, and that is that worship should not be a “Sunday thing”, but an “always” thing. The fact is, we need to worship God a whole lot more than God needs us to worship Him. When we worship Him by praying, singing, mediating on His word, sitting quietly with our hands raised to Him, or listening to a devotion, our perspective about our life changes. Mountains become mole hills, and impossible situations can find a peaceful solution. God gave us worship so we could plug into the “God socket” – the power outlet for our lives. When we see His great power and authority over all the earth, we can’t help but allow Him to help us. The words of Psalm 95 paint this vivid picture of worship for us:
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” Psalm 95:1-7
When you think about how the God who created the heavens and the earth, does it cross your mind that He can’t handle your problems? This is why it is not only imperative for us, but more importantly, God’s specific plan for us to have a lifestyle of worship. So, how do we begin?
Begin at the beginning of your day. Recognize that God created that new day, so give Him credit for it by thanking Him for it as you make your coffee or eat your breakfast. Not because He needs to hear you give Him credit for the day, but WE need to recognize who the author of the day is. Say this Psalm as you begin the new day:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3
As you head off to work or chores and errands, instead of listening to the depressing news on the car radio, put in a CD with worship music and sing yourself to work or through your work. You’ll be amazed at how God will transform a 20 minute car ride that could be frustrating with traffic, crazy drivers, and bad weather into a time of solitude with your loving God. You’ll arrive to work with a song in your heart – because you’ve just been singing!
As troubles come (and they most certainly will!), take some time to worship for the purpose of turning that problem over to God. Close the door to the office, take a moment to get away for even 10 minutes to pray and ask God for His help. But do so proclaiming His power and magnificence, not because He needs to hear it, but WE need to be reminded of it.
“With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them.” Psalm 109:30-31
And finally, as you conclude your day, in quietness of your final waking moments, give God thanks and praise for the unique and remarkable day He created for you. As you lie in the quietness of your bed before falling asleep, recognize His love and care for you throughout this day. We do this because we were designed to praise Him – our bodies and our mind. Romans 12 says it best
“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
Cultivating a lifestyle of worship will serve to transform our circumstances, invigorate our lives, and put us on the path to doing His perfect will. Doesn’t that sound good?