As I was listening to the online church service this week, I began to ponder the word, "Worship", and a couple thoughts came to mind. It is more than just singing a few nice songs. That is good, but it doesn't end with singing. It is more than just lifting our hands in surrender, although that is a good thing to do because it means we are ready to 'give it up' to him. It is more than getting down on our knees, but that isn't a bad posture for us to assume before the majesty of the Almighty God. The moment we really begin to 'worship' God is the moment we cross-over from being consumed with ourselves and just begin to bask in his presence. There is this emptying process that happens in order that we might be filled to overflowing. If you have ever wondered why you can become tearful in worship, it might just be this emptying process that is happening. You are beginning to experience God's touch in your life just where you needed it most. Worship is an experience, but it is also a lifestyle and we must never forget that!
Give to the Lord the honor that belongs to Him. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holy living. (Psalm 29:2)
As you can see from our passage today, WORSHIP is really 'lived out' in our living 'holy' lives. Holy lives are yielded lives - lives that are not determined to living according to our own agendas. They are lives that aren't consumed with the here and now, but are lived with an eye on eternity. Evidence of living holy lives comes in the form of obedient choices. Now, most of us don't consistently make the right choices and this worries some of us because we don't want to make the wrong choices, but they seem to 'suck us in' easier than we'd like. I am right there with you on that one because I get 'pulled in' from time to time, also. I think the thing we must keep in mind is that holy living isn't instant, nor is it ours by osmosis. It is 'lived out' in the choices each and every day. Those wrong choices aren't consistent in our lives - they come and go. Holiness is more consistent, isn't it? So, don't get down on yourself when you make an occasional wrong choice.
If you find you are making wrong choices easier and easier, with a greater consistency than the right ones, it is time to examine who you are living your life to please. It is likely you will find you are living to please self or others, not God. You have your focus turned to the wrong place and that affects all the choices you make in life. Worship actually begins to center our hearts, emotions, and minds once again. As we take our eyes off of ourselves and others long enough to really begin to focus on Jesus, we find that the things that 'pulled' at us begin to lose their appeal. The answer to being 'pulled in' is really to begin to spend a little more time 'worshiping' Jesus. A lot happens when we choose to just stop - stopping means we cease to move. Instead of spinning out of control, worship actually requires us to 'anchor' ourselves.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holy living - holy living requires us to stop, but it also requires us to start. Stop spinning and settle in. Stop responding to the pull of those emotions and begin to listen for the voice of the Lord in response to your emotional upheaval. Strongholds don't crumble because of some hopeful thought - they crumble because something stronger begins to break them down. To worship means we stop beating our heads against the walls of our strongholds and allow the Spirit of God to bring them down stone by stone until there is nothing left of the stronghold. Worshipful lives means we don't just 'settle in', but we allow the work of God to begin in those areas where there needs to be change. Just sayin!