When an important decision is in the works, we all wish we could hear a voice from heaven or have some solid assurance that we are doing the right thing. Sometimes our confirmation that we are on the right track comes in an overwhelming sense of peace. At other times, we may have friends and family who encourage us that we are headed in the right direction. Rarely, but definitely, there are times that God speaks to our heart in a way that we know only He can do.
In the church world it is like that about spiritual matters. It seems that when God is speaking understanding or revelation about ideas, concepts, world affairs, or even personal dilemmas, we will hear the same message, the same phrase, or the same thoughts from a variety of sources.
Most recently, I have had this happen regarding the importance of praising and worshipping God. I can’t go back to the beginning of this lesson and contain it all in one newspaper column, but I can share the highlights of what I know God is trying to teach or reveal to the modern day church. For me, the power of praise is a lesson I have been trying to embrace for many years.
I tend to pray and worry my way through things instead of celebrating ahead of time that God has heard my prayers and the answer is already on the way. I truly imagine that I am not the only one who has developed this bad habit.
Worship is a powerful tool in the lives of churches and individuals. Many of us go to God for our “Wish List,” or our string of needs that we want Him to take care of. Others only go to God when they’ve made a mess, gotten in trouble, and want Him to clean it up and rescue them. Worship is not any of those things.
The God of the Universe, Creator of heaven and earth, who breathed life into humankind and put a spark of Himself each one of us should be acknowledged for Who He is, thanked for His many blessings, and loved because He first loved us. Worship is about coming into a mindset of recognizing who God is and paying homage to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the Old Testament, there were those specifically designated to be worshippers and sing praises unto God, and who went out ahead of the armies. They set the stage for victory. Knowing that God was with them was a huge part of their victory. Praise and worship changes our attitudes, and alters the atmosphere around us. It clears our hearts of selfish motives for communicating with God and opens the lines of true relationship with Him.
Singers and musicians worship God through music and song. Writers worship God through poetry. There are many examples of how to worship God in the Bible.
To some, this may all sound silly, but imagine attending your favorite sporting event. The cheers that go up, the attitude of the fans and the way they adore and support their team is an easy image to pull up. If we can put our energy and behavior into cheering on a team, surely we can put the same amount of energy into letting God know that we adore Him.
Worship isn’t just a pleasant thing to God. Worship changes us and the way we look at things. It gives us hope and peace. It brings out the good in us. Worship is an essential part of having a relationship with God.