Last week I was reminded of the importance of maintaining a heart of worship. Each of us, created so uniquely and gifted by God, were created foremost to love Him and worship Him. Worship is the essence of who we are.
To understand your destiny, you must be a worshiper at heart.
I was attending our Global Awakening network’s (ANGA) Pastors Advance last week as I began to encounter God through worship. I found myself bowed before Him in worship, reminded of the reality that I came into the world with nothing, and I will leave this world with nothing. Everything in between is my worship to God. The chorus of the 90’s Matt Redman song, The Heart of Worship, began to echo through my mind:
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
Our world is full of distractions. It’s easy, even as a committed follower of Jesus, to lose perspective and focus on Him. But when we return to the essence of our being, our life in Christ, we begin to rise to where He is. True worship is far more than our worship on Sunday mornings, it’s the attitude and posture of our hearts toward God daily. We live and move and have our being in Him.
David was a Worshipper at Heart
The last couple of weeks, I’ve been examining Destiny Discovered through the life of David. David was being trained to reign as the next king of Israel, but it wasn’t clear to him at first what was occurring in his life. However, David was a worshipper at heart—his elevation began with a heart to worship.
David consciously worshipped a living God—it became the underlying force in his life. He wasn’t perfect, but he consistently worshipped God throughout his life.
Let my whole being bless the Lord! Let everything inside me bless his holy name! Let my whole being bless the Lord and never forget all his good deeds: how God forgives all your sins, heals all your sickness, saves your life from the pit, crowns you with faithful love and compassion, and satisfies you with plenty of good things so that your youth is made fresh like an eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5 CEB)
Worship elevated David, long before he was king, to where God is—exalted, majestic, all-powerful. It gave him the confidence to go against Goliath and fight valiantly against Israel’s enemies.
Worship is one of the ways God elevates us to where he is. We are united with Christ, positioned with Jesus in heavenly realms. God’s Spirit is with us, but worship helps us to focus on God and stay aware of God’s perspective from His elevated place.
Then Jesus said …, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” (Matt. 4:10 NASB)
We worship God first, serve him second. Service apart from worship is religious activity. Be careful of the Martha Syndrome, where service prioritizes worship. I’ve discovered that it is easier to teach people the mechanics of service than to create a heart of worship within them. A heart of worship is developed within each of us through our love encounters with God—our worship is a response to the recognition of the depth of God’s love given to us.
Worship isn’t just what takes place on Sunday mornings—worship is a lifestyle. Worship is not what we do, but who we are. Worship proceeds from every action on a daily basis. Worship involves sacrifice and consecration to God.
Worship is the act of being faithful to your purpose. It’s the act of sacrificing everything else for the glory and honor to his name and advancing God’s kingdom.
David was confident in God, because through his worship and intimacy with the living God, David witnessed God deliver and protect him as he guarded the sheep. You see, when you are faithful to follow Jesus, you can be assured of God’s protection and strength to surround you. David was confident in God because his life was one of worship and obedience to God.
Our lives are an expression of worship to God. Paul exhorts us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, which is our reasonable service of worship.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Rom. 12:1 NIV)
As we begin to worship God in Spirit and truth, we begin to walk in the reality of the elevation that is ours in Christ. We begin to become more aware of the dimension of his Spirit and glory. Through worship, he gives us new insights into the mysteries of the kingdom and sets us on a course that leads to elevation or promotion in our lives. David became a great man in God, despite his flaws and mistakes, because he was a worshipper at heart.
David the worshipper exhibited a heart of worship through the highs and lows of life. He worshipped God when he was successful, and he worshipped God when he sinned and failed miserably.
Consider David’s adultery with Bathsheba. She becomes pregnant, then David has her husband Urijah sent to the front lines of battle, calculating that he will die, and he does. Several months pass and God sends the prophet Nathan to David to confront him of his sin. Nathan declares that there are consequences to his actions, including the death of the child born from his union with Bathsheba. The child becomes ill, and David begins to pray and intercede for the child, but the child dies. When David hears the news of the child’s death, he washes, anoints himself, and goes before the Lord to worship (2 Sam. 12:20). David’s love for God was greater than the pain and shame of his past—he was a worshipper at heart.
Worship Elevates us in the Spirit to where God is!
Isaiah declares, “I saw the Lord high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” (Isa. 6:1 NKJV) John further testifies in “I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven … behold a throne in heaven and one sitting on the throne … Holy, Holy … Worthy, Worthy…” (Rev. 4:1 NKJV) Both Isaiah and John were faithful to God’s call upon their lives and God elevates them, in the Spirit, to where He is. They began to see from an elevated perspective, from heaven toward earth.
God’s desire is for us to “come up to” where he is—to live from our new life in him. When we learn how to wait on the Lord through worship, recognizing we are ascended with him through Christ, God will give us instructions regarding the path he has set for our destiny. To understand your call and destiny, you must be a worshipper at heart.
Worship is our act of service, it’s who we are. It’s through the act of obedience that God orders our steps day by day and elevates us to where He intends us to be.
Unfortunately for many, they never reach a place through their worship where they are elevated from one state of grace to another. Understand that we are being changed from grace to grace—from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). Many live below the level of their destiny: perhaps feeling defeated and without hope, or reason to have hope because they have lost their resolute worship of God.
Perhaps life circumstances or low self-esteem has hindered you. But, that reality is not where God wants you to be, because God is a God of elevation and He invites you and me to walk in a state of divine promotion. It begins by understanding your identity and adoption in Christ.
If we will follow the path that David walked, then you and I will understand that through Christ we are presently elevated to where God is, destined to fulfill purpose.
Keep in mind that elevation doesn’t have to be about a place or position, but more importantly about a state of mind or state of being. For when we truly understand what God wants to do in our lives, then our state of being transcends recognition or visibility.
I had the opportunity to pray a blessing over a young married couple with twins last week. As I looked into the eyes of those infant twins, I saw God’s face and His deep love for them. I was in an elevated place. I wasn’t on stage, wasn’t before a crowd, but on a street corner, stopping to pray a blessing with a pastor friend over this young family. When we finished praying, the young father said to us, “You made my day, this was such a blessing! Thank you!” You see, worship elevates us to where God is, and we can then live and move and have our being in Him. That’s elevation, that’s divine promotion!
Consider how Paul lived from his life in Christ:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20 NKJV)
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks into your heart. Come back to the heart of worship, it’s all about Him! Know you are an ambassador of Christ—walk as His royalty—you are elevated in him. Live from Christ, this is true worship!