26 Jul Worship Distinctly
For this post I would like to get back to the topic of living distinctly with a focus on worship. When I sat down to work on this post, I recalled that I already wrote on a similar topic in my book, Woman of Honorable Distinction: Lessons from Lydia. So today I would like to do something a little different and share an excerpt from the book. Be blessed!
Excerpt from Woman of Honorable Distinction: Lessons from Lydia
Worship is probably one of the most accepted practices of Christianity but perhaps one of the most misunderstood. What is true worship? What does it look like? Feel like? Sound like? There are two distinct ways we can look at worship. First, there is the feeling of worship. When we think about God there should be a feeling of deep love, reverence, and a desire to glorify Him. Worship starts from deep within and by having a relationship with God. Scripture states that we should worship with gladness (Ps 100:2), that we should ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name and worship Him in the splendor of his holiness (Ps 29:2, I Chron 16:9). Worship is not an option. It is the only way to give God His proper respect. Second, there is the act of expressing worship. This may be singing worship music, giving an offering, lifting our hands or even prayer. However, these actions alone are not worship, but merely a way to demonstrate outwardly that we adore and love God. We do not need worship music to worship and our expression of worship may be in different forms. Also, it is important to note that it does not matter where we worship. Worship can happen anyplace and anytime. It is not limited to Sunday mornings within the four walls of the church.
True worship has been defined by none other than Jesus himself. When Jesus was speaking to the woman at the well, he told her that “true worshipers worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). This statement was in response to a question from the woman asking about the proper location of worship. Jesus’ response seems to imply that it is not about where you worship, but rather what your attitude is in worship. God knows our heart and the act of worship does not mean anything if our hearts and our spirits are not fully into it. Worship has to come from a place in which our spirit is in tune with the Spirit. The Message Bible states that true worship means that “it is who you are and the way you live that counts before God” and that “your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.” In other words, worship is not just what you do within the confines of corporate worship but how you live your life each and every day. Are you living in such a way as to bring glory to God?
Interestingly, during the discussion that Jesus had with the woman at the well he seems to imply that those who are engaging in true worship are not common and they may even be somewhat rare. He says that “the Father is looking for those that will worship Him that way.” He did not say that God likes true worshipers or that he thinks that all believers are true worshipers. He specifically states that He is “looking for” true worshipers. In other words, God is searching for, hunting for, and in pursuit of true worshipers. In the gospels, Jesus states that we should “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33); in the book of Jeremiah it says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13). When we worship we are, in essence, seeking God’s presence. We are reaching out to Him for a closer connection. God is seeking those that are seeking Him.
If you already read Woman of Honorable Distinction: Lessons from Lydia, thank you! I have a new study guide posted on the site. Feel free to download and work through it in your devotion time. If you haven’t read it yet, click here to watch the trailer and order your copy today.