The foundation of the life of a believer is intimacy with God. We were made for it, specifically designed for it. That requires us to know what it means to truly worship him. It requires us finding our true place in ministry, which is ministering TO God.
Some people think worship is defined as the 4 songs at the beginning of a church service. Believe it or not most people’s definition of worship is just that. Most of the time in churches that is not worship. That is called entertainment.
Some in church have come to this place where we describe worship as an event that took place instead of a lifestyle we live. Look at the life of King David, he was known as many things; Shepard, a fugitive, a mighty warrior, and a King. Most importantly and most often he was known as a worshipper. When you look at David’s life, you can’t help but see his heart of worship to God. David was one of the greatest earthly kings because he knew first how to be a priest ministering TO God. He was a man after God’s heart, he is known for that not because of all the battles he won, but because of his affection for God. A psalm that has one of the best pictures of the heart of David toward God is Psalm 132. Listen to his heart,
He swore an oath to the Lord and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not enter my house or go to my bed-
I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids,
till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
His heart above all was to find a resting place for the presence of God. One of his first recorded acts in scripture after taking back Jerusalem from the Jebusites, before he conquered any other land or any other cities, he brought the ark representing the presence of God into Jerusalem, and established the Tabernacle of David which had worshippers that would continually minister TO the Lord day and night. David was a man after God’s heart, because he was a worshipper whose heart, whose desire, whose passion was to create a place where the presence of God could not just come and visit but a dwelling place, a place where God would rest. Worship is not an event or a church service, it is a lifestyle that shifts the atmosphere around you and prepares a dwelling place in your heart and a resting place over your life for the King of Glory. It expands your awareness and capacity to carry the anointing as a lifestyle.
A great example of this lifestyle; The disciples, they bring to Jesus this demon possessed boy that they were unable to cast out. Jesus immediately casts it out. The disciples ask why they couldn’t do it, and Jesus responds with this kind only comes with prayer and fasting. Now Jesus didn’t run out and pray and fast for hours then come back and cast it out. What he was demonstrating was that he didn’t fast and pray to perform a miracle; he fasted and prayed into a lifestyle that allowed that level of breakthrough and anointing to rest on him. Now because a lifestyle of the secret place was established, everywhere he went he could release “that kind” of breakthrough on demand. If you fast and pray for a breakthrough, you are trying to twist God’s arm into doing something; that is manipulation, which is the root of witchcraft. If you fast and pray into a lifestyle you demonstrate to God you are mature enough to carry and to steward the anointing that breaks yokes. It’s the same thing with a lifestyle of worship, if you worship because you feel obligated to complete your one day a week Christian checklist, it has no more value in your life than paying a bill. But if you cultivate a lifestyle of worship, circumstances won’t affect your worship; your worship will actually affect your circumstances. Your faith moves mountains, but your worship will move heaven. John 9:31 says that if anyone is a worshipper of God and does his will, God listens to him.
This all isn’t something that will fall into our laps. We don’t wake up one day carrying a great anointing or a heart full of worship. As Jim Baker says: “Grace is opposed to earning, but it’s not opposed to effort.” This lifestyle requires effort. Worship requires something from us, at its very essence it is an offering or sacrifice, if it doesn’t cost you something, you probably can’t call it worship. It requires your thoughts, your time, your emotions to be spent on him, to dedicate and honor the King. Worship requires an inner humbling, a surrendering of self-will, a repentance of sin, and trust. It requires cultivating the presence of God. Worship ascribes to Him the supreme value of who He is and acknowledges His worthiness or worth-ship in words, actions, and the way we live our life.
We get the word “worship” from “worth ship”. It means to ascribe worth to something, in some places the word literally means to prostrate one, to lay before something prostrate and kiss its feet. Some view worship as an extra curricular activity. That’s why many people in churches consistently show up 15 to 20 min after the service has started, because they know that worship will be wrapping up. Worship is not an extra curricular activity, it isn’t an add-on to a service that you can like or dislike. Worship literally strikes the core of who you were created to be. You were born to be a worshipper. That is the reason you were created.
Your unadulterated worship to God is the one thing you can offer to him that he couldn’t get from someone else. Think about it. If you raised 100 people from the dead, someone else could too, If you are a prophet to a nation, someone else could be too, If you are the best teacher, the best preacher, the most successful evangelist, the greatest healing revivalist the world has ever seen, God can raise up anyone else to do those things, because the power to do all those things comes from him. Anyone in the world, he could raise up. Jesus said he could raise up descendants of Abraham from stones. He can do that, but He cannot make you worship him.
He cannot put words of praise and thanksgiving to him on your lips. That can only come from you, from your heart, from your mouth. You are the only one that can release your praise to him. Its your only offering no one else possesses, Its all you have to give. You have been given free will and you are free to do what you will. But if you freely choose to do his will, if you freely choose to honor him and exalt him, something happens inside. You find the reason, the purpose in which you have been placed on this earth. Voids will be filled, you’ll begin to attract the favor of God like never before. It’s your worship that makes the Father’s heart beat fast. Heaven responds to worship. It’s not that we are conjuring up something or striving to get God’s approval, it is honoring His presence. You have His spirit in you, He lives inside of you. Think about it this way; if you have a guest in your house and you ignore that guest, you don’t talk to that guest and you don’t acknowledge Him, saying “Hi, nice to see you”, when He enters a room. Do you think that guest is going to feel welcome? The Holy Spirit is a guest in you. A man or woman after God’s heart, just like David, lives to make their lives a dwelling place and a resting place for God. Worship is about giving honor where honor is due. Its about your time, your energy, your thoughts and prayers, everything honoring him.
You enter into that lifestyle of worship with thankfulness. Psalm 100:4 says it like this “enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” It is entering into that place of worship by being thankful, thanking him for what he has done. God I thank you for protecting my family, I thank you for healing me, I thank you for blessing our family. I thank you for providing for me. Praise is moving from the acts of God, to the person of God. God I thank you that not only do you heal but you are the healer, not only do you provide, you are the provider.
Your ministry TO The Lord is more important than any ministry you do on earth. You are called first to be a priest unto The Lord. Many people don’t understand that evangelism is an overflow of worship. It’s a natural reaction to experiencing God’s goodness.
Your identity, who you are deep inside, that person God sees you as, it is only fully realized when a believer has found their place of ministry to The Lord. There is just nothing more important. God does not need your worship. He is not up in heaven feeling down because His love tank is running on E. He is all sufficient, all knowing, all powerful and in need of nothing. He says to worship him, but it is not because of what it does for him, but what it does for the believer. Bill Johnson says it like this, You always become like the one you worship. And be careful of your fears, because your fears infect your worship, until you actually begin to worship what you fear.
What does God do when our worship hits his ears? Something in the heavens begins to shift when a believer enters into true praise. That’s because all of heaven and earth is groaning for the revealing of the sons and daughters of glory, when a believer finds there place of ministry to God what they did was just step into the reality of being a son and daughter of glory. You see we can only respond to God. He designed it that way. He loved you before you ever had a chance to earn it. David Jonas says this, our only response to His glory is worship, and His response to our worship is more of his glory. You see there is this great exchange that God desires, but few ever respond. Few ever answer his beckoning. He initiated this great exchange. He has done what any person madly in love does. He makes himself vulnerable. He lays it all out before you and says this is who I am, this is what I have done for you and this is what I will do regardless of your response. Because He loves. His desire is this great exchange.
Worship is the key to pulling down more of heaven over your life. You respond to him, and enter into this great exchange. When you respond, He can’t help but respond back with more glory and presence than before, it’s this ever increasing exchange that is the key to keeping the flames of passion alive in your heart, and walking with a mantle of authority and anointing that empties hospitals and transforms cities.
Worship is the way to the next level and a weapon in your hand for breakthrough. I read this book years ago that talks about these ancient Greek battles where they would line up in a formation and basically say “charge”, attack each other and fight all day. At dusk it was understood that everyone went back to the camp to prepare for the next battle when daybreak hits. One strategy that was used was as the warriors got back into formation, marched back to their camps, they would sing joyful songs. They would sing loud enough for the enemy to hear them. They found that it totally demoralized the enemies when the side they thought they whooped up on started singing. In many instances they found it would totally shift the momentum, and change the dynamics of the battle.
Your worship in the midst of adversity totally demoralizes the enemy. If there is a cloud over your life, if you are depressed, stressed out, burnt out, worship until that thing breaks. That cloud wants your life. That cloud wants to steal your joy. Worship in the midst of adversity. Paul said over and over, rejoice, again I say rejoice. What’s the hardest thing to do when you are in the midst of adversity? Maybe rejoicing? But most times it’s that rejoicing that brings the breakthrough.
Many people don’t express worship because they feel it is uncharacteristic for their personality. They say, “I am just not a passionate person”, or “I’m not an expressive person”. Worship is the womb that passion is birthed from. Worshipping is actually what stirs the passion up. Passion does not stir the worship. Passion is a outcome of a lifestyle of worship.
Worship breeds expectation. Worship helps you magnify your expectations. When you worship, you have to take your eyes off of your problems, off of your circumstances and onto Jesus. When your eyes are on Jesus, you will only see expectation! He only knows increase, He knows the good plans and thoughts He has toward you and as we look and Him, we see our potential. The bible says in 1 John 4:17:
“By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”
We become like what we behold. Beholding Him sets us on a course to experience the fullness of what God has for us!
How has your worship changed you?