Living a Life of Worship
Featuring Tom Kraeuter Posted on February 6, 2010
I am convinced that we will never fully enter into worship as God desires us to until we learn to live out a lifestyle of praise and worship. We need to teach this concept to our congregations, but more importantly, we as worship leaders must live it. 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. If we really understand and walk in the grace of God this statement is a bit strong. Nevertheless, it has merit. 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.
I find it very interesting to note that John 4:23 tells us that God is seeking worshippers. It does not say He is looking for worship but worshippers. Occasional worship is not enough. The Lord desires people who emanate worship, people who live worship—worshippers.
I love the story in Acts 16 about Paul and Silas in prison. Verses 22 through 24 tell us that they had their clothes torn off of them, were beaten, were thrown into prison and were fastened in stocks. Once when I read this account, I wondered what I would have done in that situation. It says that Paul and Silas “prayed and sang praises to God.” My immediate reaction was, “Lord, if I was confronted with a situation that extreme, would I react like that?” I was not sure.
Several years ago I read a number of books talking about the need to praise God in difficult circumstances. I recall that they discussed the necessity of doing this, but I do not remember any of them telling how to do it. Praising the Lord in a crisis situation is not a natural response for us. When we find ourselves in any type of crisis we will react in one of two ways. We will either panic or we will respond out of that which has been built within us. Paramedics, for example, when confronted with a serious automobile accident are prepared for the situation. They do not panic because this is what they have been trained for. It should be the same way with us. If we cultivate praise and worship into our everyday lives, we will have the proper response when we find ourselves in a crisis circumstance—worshipping God. But this will only happen if we build the daily-ness of praise and worship into our lives.
The Bible exhorts us again and again that our praise and worship is to be ongoing. “I will bless the Lord at all times“ (Psalm 34:1). “From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3). “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
We must realize that worshiping God really is our reason for existing. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1Peter 2:9). We were made and redeemed for the purpose of proclaiming His excellencies. This is not just singing songs. If God wanted music we could just play a tape for Him. He is not ultimately interested in music per se; He wants our lives. The Lord is looking for lives which proclaim His excellencies, lives which are completely given to Him and His purposes, lives of worship unto Him.
This life of worship must permeate everything we do and say. Mother Theresa was once asked what worship meant to her. Without hesitation she said that Jesus had told us how to bless the Lord: “`In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.’ Find the least,” she said, “and treat them as you would treat the Lord.” If we were to regularly start our day with a simple, sincere prayer like, “Lord, be glorified in all that I do and say today,” would it influence our lifestyle and ultimately our corporate worship? Undoubtedly.
If we will grasp and walk in this concept there will be an automatic difference in our corporate worship gatherings. Consider the following scenario for a moment: you and everyone within your congregation live a life of worship from Monday through Saturday. The heart attitude of everyone involved is to be given unto God and to His purposes. Daily there are songs of praise going forth, acts of kindness toward a hurting world, hearts communing with the Lord. Then, on Sunday morning, everyone comes together to worship the Lord corporately. In doing so, their worship becomes simply an overflow of what they had been doing in their daily lives for the last six days. Do you suppose that the corporate worship experience would be any different than that to which you are accustomed? Of course it would! It would not necessarily be more acceptable to God because we have been “good,” for only the blood of Jesus makes us acceptable. But the entire attitude and atmosphere would be changed to match God’s heart for our worship.
God desires us to continually have an attitude of worship in all that we do and say. This, in turn, will enhance our corporate worship.
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