Meaningful Personal Worship – Part 1
A few months ago I was asked to give a workshop on personal worship – what does it look like and how do I do it. We had some great discussions and many joined in with their own personal stories. One of the things I learned though, was no matter how old you are and how long you have been on your journey with God, it’s always good to circle back around to remind us how important our personal worship times are.
Before you can get into any practical aspects of personal worship, I think it’s best to set a foundation.
WHY IS WORSHIP IMPORTANT TO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
1) Worship is the pathway to freedom
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
What has a hold on you? What weight are you dragging around? Fear. Worry. Anxiety. Pain from the past.
Freedom only comes from the Father. As we sit in His presence we can allow His love and grace to bring freedom from the things that hold us. Run to your Father and allow him to show you His grace.
2) Worship is the pathway for the Holy Spirit into our lives
Genesis 1:28 – Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
God give us dominion over the earth, but He never intended for us to rule without relationship with him. Without worship we will never manage life the way God intended (Genesis 1:28), because God never planned for us to have dominion over the earth without His help.
God gave us worship as the pathway for the Holy Spirit into our lives. If we unplug from the Holy Spirit, we end up making a mess of life — just watch the news. (i.e. unhealthy conflict, sky-high divorce rates, poverty, etc.).
On the other hand, when we spend time in God’s presence and are transformed into Christ’s image (Ps 115:1-8), we begin to make decisions based on God’s Word and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Then, when we find ourselves with relational conflict, for example, we now approach that conflict with a Christ-like heart. That is how we were intended to rule.
3) Worship crowds out doubt and releases vital faith
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book Manifest Presence, by Jack Hayford. Here’s a secret: In life sometimes we will struggle, have pain and be pushed to the edge. Ok that’s not a secret — everyone knows that! However, here is something not everyone knows or practices. When doubts seem to creep in, worshiping God can bring a sense of balance back to our soul, as we are reminded of God’s faithfulness and His ability to overcome any obstacle.
For example, if you have a glass of water and you place red food coloring in it, the food coloring will spread out and eventually the whole glass will become red water. If you place that cup under the faucet and fill it up with water, eventually the red water will be displaced and will return to clear normal tap water again.
When we worship God, doubt, fear and anxiety are displaced by His love, compassion, grace, and acceptance, to name a few attributes, as we sit in His Presence.
4) There is power when we sing
In the Bible we find that singing brings forth life (Isaiah 54:1), overcomes obstacles (ACTS: Paul & Silas in the jail in Philippi), and releases victory (2 Chronicles 20 – worshipers walked before the army into battle).
When you find ourselves in an impossible situation, begin to sing to God and watch Him work.
5) Our personal worship time will affect our corporate worship time
What we do in private will impact what we do in public. I love these two quotes:
“Worship, at its best, is when we do publicly what we’ve been doing privately” – Paul Baloche
“I have heard it said that the worship of the sanctuary is meaningless unless it is preceded by six days of worship as a way of life…We cannot go out and live in a manner contrary to what the Lord wants for us and then come in on Sunday morning and expect to fully worship God. It simply does not work. In reality, our Sunday morning experience of worship should be the by-product of an entire week of worship unto the Lord.” – Keys To Becoming An Effective Worship Leader, Tom Kraeuter
A few things to remember…
- We have to practice being in God’s presence. Its like a muscle that needs exercise to grow. If you’re new to personal worship, your attention span may be small, but as you do it more, you will find it easier to worship for longer periods of time. We need God to expand our capacity to be in His presence.
- BE AUTHENTIC/HONEST – I love what Bill Dogterom says about this, ”Bring what we have in worship, not what we ought to have.” There’s no point in trying to fool God. If you’re mad, hurt, or fearful, it’s impossible to hide it. God is not scared of your feelings. Bring what you have and worship Him.
In my next blog I will talk about some practical ways we can have personal times of worship. You can read it here.
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