Monday, November 26, 2007
WORSHIP IS A LIFESTYLE
by Darlene Zschech
We often hear the phrase "Worship is a lifestyle". What does this really mean? It simply means to live a life of love. To love extravagantly. The first commandment, to LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with your entire mind, means exactly that. You make a heart and mind decision to continually seek first the Kingdom of God, and to OBEY the Spirit of God in your life, as He calls you on to a greater and deeper knowledge of Himself.
Worship requires something of you, and that is OBEDIENCE.
Why do people cringe away from obedience? I believe it is because it requires a response. John 14:12 says, "Whoever has my commands and OBEYS them, he is the one who LOVES me. My Father will love him who LOVES me, and I too will LOVE him and show myself to him."
And verse 23 says, "If anyone LOVES me, he will OBEY my teaching. My Father will LOVE him and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not LOVE me will not OBEY me. These words you hear are not my own, they belong to my Father who sent me." LOVE and OBEDIENCE are tied together.
Every time you open up your heart in obedience to God and worship Him with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul, our beautiful Lord responds with His magnificent presence. You need to continually be in the presence of God. Not only on Sundays, in a corporate place of worship, but in that secret place that maybe only you and the Lord will ever know about.
It's in this place of worship that you find yourself needing to respond to the Lord, to whatever He is asking, as WORSHIP PULLS BACK THE LAYERS OF YOUR HEART – TO EXPOSE WHAT'S REALLY THERE.
In Isaiah 6… when Isaiah caught sight of God he was moved to confess his sin.
When your humanness is confronted by the magnificence and holiness of God, you are made SO aware of your need for God’s grace and his cleansing power in your life. If you have unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, bitterness… ask God to forgive you. Romans 12:1 teaches us how to live this life of worship and love.
Psalm 51 says it so well, that when you are in the presence of the Lord, you become totally transparent and honest and your heart and soul cry out to pray "create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me". Read the Message Bible translation – it will inspire you to greater heights.
As you simply and wholeheartedly LOVE and ADORE your God, you receive revelation and understanding of your kingdom purpose. Romans 8:28 reveals that "… in all things God works for the good of those who LOVE Him, who have been called according to His purpose". Many Christians spend their lifetime frustrated at never knowing their Kingdom purpose. I challenge you to get in the presence of God, have an open heart to hear His voice, for He desires ALL He has planned for you even more than you do!
Another heart response is that your hunger for the things of God, your hunger for His Word and His truth increases. John 7:37! If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scriptures have said, streams of living water will flow from within him. Say YES to the Lord calling you to know Him more through his Word. It is LIFE to your soul.
Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty."
Joy and strength are found in His dwelling place, in His presence. If you feel like you are continually running on empty, then again, you need to respond and obey the Spirit of God and GET IN HIS PRESENCE. If I have learned one thing, it is that we were never meant to live this supernatural call, with purely natural ability. You will not make it… BUT if you take God at His Word, live in His presence, life a life of love, and respond to His voice, you WILL live your entire lifetime growing in the knowledge of Christ, always fresh and strong in the Word, and living a life that people will want to follow.
... And you thought worship was all about songs!
This article was originally published in the Hillsong Magazine. For free copies of this magazine, please go to www.hillsongtv.com