I just returned from attending a Christlikeness training conference in Iowa. A huge highlight for me was the shared praise and worship time with believers from many parts of the world! With adoration and abandon we entered his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise to give glory to our God.
God created us to WORSHIP him. As I seek to become like Jesus, my life can’t be separated from worship, which the dictionary says is “adoring reverence or regard for God.” Some days I don’t feel very reverent; I feel let down and forgotten. Yet worship does not depend upon how I feel–my praise to God must overwhelm how I feel.
At the core of worship for me is belief and trust in the steadfast LOVE God has for me. God is Love, and his love is unyielding and jealous for me. Song of Solomon 8:6-7 says: Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If I even once catch a glimpse of a love like that, how can I not adore him in return?
Believing that God loves me compels me to THANK him in everything, even when I feel overwhelmed and discouraged by what life throws at me. David wrote in Psalm 100:4: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. It would appear that thanksgiving is a requirement, not an option.
Worship does not depend upon how I feel–it’s about how awesome God is. When I seek things for which to thank God, I begin to feel thankful, and that compels me to PRAISE him with words and songs. Praise doesn’t belong only to Christians. David says, Everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6). God is so worthy of my praise every day, everywhere, all the time.
When I don’t lose my voice of praise in the midst of trouble, my problems have to back down, and I am able to enter into a place of true worship–beyond the veil to the very PRESENCE of God. In that place, I find real freedom and help. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:7, 8)
Worship is also not just for my own benefit. In Acts 16:25 [in prison], Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Many were freed from their chains that day. When I worship God, my voice can set others free too!
A speaker at the conference challenged me with this thought and I pass the challenge on to you: If you were the only person on earth, would God be worshipped?
Prayer: Awesome Lord, we shout for joy to You. We worship You with gladness. We come before You with joyful songs, not only when we feel joyful, but at all times. You give us our very breath, and You are so worthy of all the praise we can give back to You. We know that You are God. It is You who made us and we are yours. We give thanks to You and praise your Name. Amen.
The song You Won’t Relent, by Misty Edwards, is from Song of Songs 8:6-7. I hope it will encourage you as it has me:
Contributed by Cheryl Cote