John 4 exhorts us to worship in spirit and in truth, and the Psalms command us to sing praises to our God; but, worship is clearly one of the most misunderstood and even maligned components of Christianity today. It is infinitely more than singing your favorite songs on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning. Worship is an attitude, a mindset, a lifestyle. It demands total focus and complete surrender; it offers incredible intimacy and even a glimpse of eternity. Here are a few insightful observations to prayerfully consider:
"The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God." - Rick Warren
"....there is no other enemy of true worship besides self." - Louie Giglio
"Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth." - John Piper
When the congregation assembles for worship at Hilltop, our hope and prayer is that your servant/leaders never slip into the trap of entertainment seeking, and that we always keep two genuine objectives in mind as we prepare to lead you into the throne room, into the very presence of the Risen King:
Will our worship glorify God?
Will we strive for excellence, not perfection?
Common differences in musical tastes, song variety, and sound volume continue to be divisive tools within the body of Christ, and we covet your prayer support in all of these ares. Please pray for single-minded unity, true joy, clear vision, and complete humility every time we lift our voices and join the heavenly choir. Warren Wiersbe clearly summarizes these potential distractions:
"We're too prone to judge a worship experience by our feelings rather than by the fact that we have obeyed God and tried to please and glorify Him."
God is the focus of our devotion in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. In Exodus 20:2-3, God says, "I am the LORD your God..You shall have no other gods before me." In Matthew 4:10, Jesus says, "Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." So, worship is not merely a natural instinct, it's a command from God.
Praise and Worship - Why Should We Do It?
God alone is worthy of our devotion, praise and worship. He is God, our Creator, and we are commanded to praise and worship Him. Psalm 96:9 says, "Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth." Psalm 29:2 says, "Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
A.W. Tozer said, "Without worship, we go about miserable." God doesn't want us to be miserable -- He has a perfect plan for our lives. He has done so many things to show us that He loves us and doesn't want us to be miserable. He wants us to have hope for a future with Him -- He wants us to have eternal life in heaven with Him.
A life of praise and worship fills our deepest needs, and amazingly, it also brings great joy to God. Zephaniah 3:17 states, " The LORD your GOD is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Praise and Worship - How Do We Do It?
God tells us how to praise and worship with Him in His Word. John 4:23 says,. "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." In order to worship God in truth, we need to know that Jesus said " I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." So, before you can worship in the way that God desires, you have to develop a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus, His Son.
The best way that we can praise and worship God is with our every thought and action. Romans 12:1-2 states, " Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will."
Praise and Worship - Love from the Heart
Many people think that praise and worship is only singing songs at church, but it is so much more! It is also a condition of the heart -- a willingness to exalt God and yield to His will. Worship is an expression of love and awe to the God who gives us more than we deserve. Whether you express your worship by singing, playing music, dancing or in some other way, remember that you are called to worship God with your every action, every day of your life. God is holy, loving, and worthy of all our worship and devotion.
"Love the LORD your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5).