When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive the beautiful gift of eternal salvation and are brought into the family and kingdom of God. In participating in life as a part of the family and kingdom of God, we have submitted our lives and all of our ways to Him and are choosing to take His ways on as our own, which is a transformation process.
As children in His family and citizens of His kingdom, we are commanded in Deuteronomy 6:11 to "worship the Lord, and serve Him alone," and in the New Testament, in Matthew 4:11, Jesus quotes this verse when Satan is tempting Him. As the Son of God, He submitted to this commandment and lived His life on the earth in worship to the Father—how much more should we seek to carefully obey this commandment!
Drawing Near of the Heart
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says,
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain they do worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men" (Matt. 15:8-9).
This verse, to me, has served as a deep expression of the Lord's heart for us when we worship—to draw near to Him from our hearts and not just give Him lip service or just show up but not sincerely. I have to continually ask the Lord to alert me when I am doing this, and I repent when I find myself showing up to worship, but not truly drawing near to Him in my heart.
Sing the Truth
"Yet the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such to worship Him" (John 4:23).
I have found that one of the greatest gifts in seeking to obey the command to worship the Lord, and in seeking to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, is the Scriptures. If we feed our hearts on His Word and come to Jesus through it, He will train us and teach us how to walk out worshiping and loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
The book of Psalms paints a beautiful tapestry of ways to worship the Lord, from bowing low in submission to Him as King to trembling before Him as a righteous Judge; from singing to Him as the King of all of the earth to honoring Him as the Father of the fatherless. And the list goes on.
Here are some of the ways the writers of the book Psalms entreat us to worship.
- Psalm 2:12 speaks of responding to the Lord in three specific ways: "serve the Lord with fear, rejoice with trembling and kiss the Son."
- Psalm 29:2 instructs us to worship in the beauty of holiness.
- Psalm 45:11 says, "Because He is your Lord, worship Him."
- Psalm 95:6 adds, "Oh come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker."
- Psalm 96:9 exhorts us, "Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, tremble before Him all the earth."
One side note, a couple of practical tips on how I engage with the Psalms: I sing them, phrase by phrase, throughout the day or during worship times at church.
- Start with praying "Lord, I thank You for this truth," or simply turn the phrase into a prayer. For example, take Psalm 95:6 from the above paragraph. I would say, "Lord, I worship You as my Maker, I thank You that I am the work of Your hands—I kneel before You, honor You and worship You."
- Then sing and repeat short phrases from the verse, for example, "I come to You" or "I worship You" or "I bow before You" or "You are my Maker." I have personally found that slowly singing the shorter phrases helps my mind to slow down and my heart to connect with the truths that I am singing.
Another aspect of worshipping the Lord and using the Scriptures as a guide as you do so is that I continually discover new truths about the Lord when I draw near to Him or understand who He is in a different way. Had I just been reading the truths, they might not have awakened my heart in the same way as when I sang them. So in this aspect, I have found worship, and the singing of the Scriptures, to be a place to grow in and discover the knowledge of God.
Grace to you as you discover more and more of Him as you give yourself to Him in worship today!
"So that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power" (Eph. 1:17-19)
Sada Rogers and her husband, Nate, live in South Kansas City. Sada has been on full-time staff at IHOPKC for the past 18 years, primarily serving as a worship leader and giving oversight to the worship teams and prayer room during the night hours.
This article originally appeared at ihopkc.org.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.