(Image Courtesy of Barbara Jackson – Pixabay)
The most organic way to worship is to develop a sense of 'Awe' in The Creator
[–My goal here is to give you a thought provoking perspective on worship. It’s necessary to briefly describe how our admiration of others can result in a better grasp of worship. Stay with me; this may seem like it’s not relevant, but I assure you that it’s extremely relevant–].
Is there someone that has won your admiration? An athlete? A singer? Maybe someone who has overcome great odds?
Why do you admire this person?
I admire Drew Brees – the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.
Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
The main reason that I admire him: the New Orleans Saints were a fledgling ball club for many years. They made some progress before Drew came on board, but they were not a championship team, nor were they a play-off team.
Drew Brees joined after overcoming a bad injury, and was teamed up with coach Sean Peyton. Together, they led the team through a few seasons of play-offs and then onto the 2009 Superbowl where they beat the Indianapolis Colts.
I also admire Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, and Mac Powell of Third Day (as well as many other singers) who have inspired many with their worshipful songs of praise and worship.
Have you ever heard of Charles Blondin, a tight wire walker from France, who crossed Niagara Falls on a tight rope? He was greatly admired by the people of his day (and even people in our present day – even though he died in 1897).
If you heard of him, it was probably from a pastor that recounted how Blondin crossed Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow. The story is riveting, because as it goes, he asked the crowd if they believed he could do it again, and excitedly they shouted a unanimous “Yes!”, because they were so inspired to witness such an amazing feat – one more time!
The group fell to a hush though, when he said, “Whoever of you believes that I can do it again, get in!” (Can you see now why a pastor would want to use this story?)
His captivated audience (surely holding their breath as he risked certain death with one false move), no doubt admired his talent and unmatched courage to perform this very historic feat.
Isn’t it natural to admire athletes, entertainers and daredevils because of their achievements brought about by focused discipline?
If I had to guess, I would say that you have spent time listening to or watching the person that you admire – right?
And it is not uncommon for someone who admires another to honor them with some form of praise. Although as christians, we think of the word praise in spiritual terms, it means, in it’s most basic form, to honor someone for an accomplishment, talent, or characteristic – like perserverance or courage.
We do it all the time – with phrases like – “Good job”, or “I admire you for your persistence” or “You sure kept your cool in that situation”.
So That's Admiration; now What does Worship Mean?
Worship is on an entirely different level than praise. While it includes admiration, it focuses on the divine, for only The Divine is worthy of worship. (This probably is tedious for you, but stay with me – we’ll soon arrive at our destination, and I’m confident that you are going to appreciate how it unfolds in it’s outcome, Okay? : )
Worship bows down in reverence and submission to another, seeing that He – the Object of our worship – is Perfect, Flawless, and Capable of things that no one else is capable of.
It’s very important to connect this – that devoting time – listening to or observing “accomplishers” – naturally results in admiration.
So, this is also true for our Heavenly Father. As we focus on Who He Is, and His accomplishments through listening and observing, we no doubt begin to greatly admire Him – we become inspired by His Love for us, His Selflessness, and His Sovereign Power.
As we ponder what He has accomplished in history – things like saving Israel by parting the Red Sea, and creating a wall of water on each side so they could walk through to escape their ruthless enemy, or daily feeding those one million souls wandering through a dry and barren desert. Or working through a teenager to kill a towering 9 foot giant, or foretelling events with amazing detail – centuries before they happen, and then working countless and staggering miracles on earth as Jesus – (there’s virtually no end to His Accomplishments!)…
…So as we ponder and focus on His Achievements, is it possible to not grow in awe of This Amazing, Un-Caused, Gracious, Holy Being? Can you see that worship will come naturally to we who spend our time meditating on His Marvelous Ways, Characteristics, and Miraculous Accomplishments? As I ponder This Supreme, Majestic, Powerful, All Knowing God, how could I not be in awe and search for the best ways to proclaim Him in His Awesome Attributes?
So if worship naturally follows our admiration of The Sovereign Lord God, the question that we should be trying to answer is “What types of things can I do to become in awe of Him?” What can I do to best spend my time to ensure that my reverence and admiration of Him grows organically and automatically?
Don’t allow yourself to think that it’s some big mystery, because it isn’t; it’s just that we live in an era of overwhelming distraction. It’s required of us who really want to become genuine in our worship, to consistently and persistently push distractions aside and focus (observe and listen) on Jesus and The Father. (If you don’t believe me, take a quick look at Luke 8:14 – Jesus speaks of this person being so distracted that he/she brings no fruit to perfection).
In taking time to read this article, it’s apparent that you want more, want to learn more. So here are 3 suggestions for you.
- Read/study scripture daily (my blog ‘Bible Study for Beginners’ may be helpful for you. Many of you may already be a ‘Word person’, but this has to be addressed).
- Grow your ‘in awe-ness” – On my home page (www.waterfallworship.com), click on ‘blog posts’, and watch the video ‘Indescribable’. You will really enjoy Louie Giglio as he speaks of HOW BIG God Is. Using humor and amazing facts from our galaxy and the universe, you’ll be impacted by The Overwhelming Immense-ness of God.
- Consider my ebook ‘To The King Who is Worthy’ – the first section is dedicated to becoming in awe. Here’s a portion of it:
“We are told in Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth – lights, plants, trees, creatures of the sea, every winged bird, animals, insects, and man. According to google, there are 9956 species of birds, 30,000 species of fish, 950,000 species of insects, and 100,000 varieties of trees.
AND? (you say)……
Let’s consider these ‘creature’ varieties in light of the 6 days that the bible calls creation. When we do a little math, this is what we find:
-There are 86,400 seconds in each day. To create one bird would take 8.678 seconds. To create one fish would take 2.88 seconds. To create one insect would take .09 seconds, and to create one tree would take .864 seconds.
–A pelican’s pouch-like beak can hold up to 2.5 gallons of water at a time. The beak will shrink to squeeze out the water before the pelican swallows its food.
–A bird’s feathers often weigh more than its skeleton –STOP and think of THAT!
–Bar-headed Geese fly across the Himalayas, the highest mountains in the world. They fly nearly 5 miles up in the sky, (almost as high as jet planes)”.
Did you know that there is such a thing as a square Tree?
(Image Courtesy of PearceOnEarth.com)
The second section of ‘To The King Who is Worthy’ is dedicated to “Ascribe Worship“. This is a very simple process of worshipping God in His Attributes; in it I list over 400 Attributes. Remember I said earlier “how could I not be in awe and search for the best ways to proclaim Him in His Awesome Attributes?” How would you like to learn to effortlessly and fluently flow in worship? to not be hindered by silence because you aren’t exactly sure how to proclaim The Almighty God with plenty of content . People like Chris Tomlin, Brooke Ligertwood, and Pastor Dr. S. M. Lockridge (Do you know Him?) incorporate Ascribe Worship into their praise.
If you would like to quickly experience a change in your natural ability to worship, begin these 3 steps.
Be amazed at how much progress you can make to become an engaged worshiper with these simple suggestions.
In James, we read that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. In our culture today, there is far too much distance between the average person and The Father. Those of us who make a determined effort to worship Him will be those who long for Him, are in awe of Him, and partake of His Refreshing Presence!
God’s Richest Blessings to you and those you cherish!
Charlie, a former worship leader, now creates content on the website WaterfallWorship.com to assist today’s worship leaders – to increase their understanding and depth of worship. Also find his music instruction at Udemy Online Courses Part 1 (Basic/Foundational guitar), and Part 2 (Intermediate Level)
[*Note: excerpts used do not necessarily endorse the author or publication]