I have mused about worship quite a lot today. It is such an interesting phenomenon. People of all nations and races seek a worship experience. It seems to be an inborn hunger for us all. Worship encompasses so much and is such a huge and unfathomable thing that I have trouble even beginning to grasp it at all. But here are some of the meager thoughts that were wandering around in my head today.
There is the emotion that is tied up in worship. I typically picture raised hands and warm fuzzies. And often it is exciting and awesome and amazing but sometimes worship is painful and heart breaking and hard. Some of my most incredible worship experiences and most intimate encounters with God have been very dark and very messy. Sometimes worship flows easily and is not containable and the joy is contagious and beautiful and sometimes worship is an act of obedience and discipline because God is worthy of worship, even on the days that I don't feel worshipful.
I frequently connect worship with music, but there is so much more to worship than just a few songs here and there during the week. Worship is about seeking and finding God throughout the week. Loving him intimately and being surrendered. I guess that's the one word that I tie into worship the most often - surrender. Worship is all about God and realizing as much as I possibly can just how big and amazing He really is. I cannot grasp God's character and qualities and power when I am busy trying to focus on me. It is only after I am emptied, that I can be filled with Christ and worship him completely.
I am interested in how differently people are wired into worshipping. Some of us most easily find God through music....and there are thousands of styles of music on the planet that people are using to enter into worship. But many people find God most easily through Bible study or through experiencing His creation. I am curious about why God did not necessarily make it easy for us to lead people into worship. It would be easy, (but probably stale) if everyone found intimate connection with God through the same avenues. It would make leading worship a piece of cake if the same formula worked every time.
Ps. 89:1-4, "Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love- how you built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in it. Your love has always been our lives' foundation, your fidelity has been the roof over our world...." I love those first words of this Psalm...."Your love, God, is my song." It is not some famous songwriter's song that leads me into God's presence. It is knowing God's love song that allows me to enter his throne room in worship. Sometimes I am guilty of being so caught up in the latest trends in worship that I forget that the only necessary ingredient for worship is knowing the right love song. The great love song that was written before time began and that God sings over my life (Zeph.3:17) like a lullaby.
There is so much more in this Psalm about God and who he is and how he has acted in the past. Such as, "The holy angels are in awe before him......God put the arrogant ocean in its place.....God owns the cosmos and made everything in it."
Then check out this description of a worshipper, vs. 15-18, "Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long, they know who you are, what you do - they can't keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us - you've been so good to us! ... All we are and have we owe to God, Holy God of Israel, our King!" Yeah, that does kinda make me want to dance and sing just reading about it!.....What a beautiful verse....."Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us." How true....anything within me that is at all beautiful is from God. And it is cool how he continually works to weed out the darkness and replace it with beauty. Beauty from ashes, hope from despair....seems like I know a song about that.
Let's be the people this verse is describing, "delighted, they dance all day long, they know who you are, what you do - they can't keep it quiet!" Come on....I dare you to live life like that! Chase the lion!