worship as a pillar

by Jen Manning

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. (John 4:23-24 MSG)

In order to worship, we must first and foremost, come. We must enter into corporate worship with our mind and heart fixed on God.

Do you come to church to worship? What does it mean to worship?

As the verse describes, we must come as our true selves. We are to come exactly as we are, without pretense. Don’t just throw on your Sunday best without preparing your heart and mind. Your outward appearance is not as important as your inward focus.

So what do you set your mind and heart on?  Where should you focus your attention? One way to find it is to read the verses outlined as the scripture lesson. Another way is to simply pray for God’s help to worship Him and lay aside anything that is contrary to fixing your eyes on Him.

When you stop basing your worship experience on whether your coffee has enough creamer, if what the pastor preaches is in line with your own way of thinking, or if the worship team sang your favorite song, that’s when you start to truly engage in worship.

Don’t come for your personal viewing pleasure. This is not your favorite soap opera or made-for-TV movie or sporting event. God wants you to be active and receptive, not passive. Worship is not something you sit back and watch.

Come in adoration, which is defined as deep love and respect.

God wants you to make a joyful noise. Yes, you. It doesn’t matter whether you can carry a tune in a bucket. Sing, sway, clap. Get involved. Lose yourself in the music. Remember, it’s about giving God praise. You never know when one of the songs might just be the balm you need in the coming week.

When you are listening to the sermon, focus on what is being said. Be active about searching out truth as the verse says we must worship in spirit and truth. Take notes in your worship guide when something raises a question or requires further thought. When you are truly engaged, it won’t be hard to find something that stands out.

Then, carry your worship experience past the FLC’s doors on Sunday morning. During the week, go back over the sermon in your mind. It’s much easier to do if you took notes. Read the Daily Water to reinforce what you heard in worship and go further in depth. Try to look for how you can apply what you heard or read. This way worship is so much more than an event that takes place an hour or week…it becomes a pillar that helps hold up your daily life.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being a good, good Father. Help me to lay aside my desire to sit back and critique. Instead, guide me as I compose myself to actively worship. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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