Written by: Dawn Stewart
Worship. Merriam-Webster defines it as “admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem”. We all worship something. Most of us worship many things. All we have to do is look at the priorities in our life.
Before I knew Jesus as Lord, I worshiped myself. I know it sounds crazy, but I did. I was my highest priority. My emotions and state of mind were more important than anything.
I worshiped happiness – always striving to achieve it. I worshiped status – always wanting others to assign me worth. I worshiped the dollar – always looking to have the things that would make me look valuable. I certainly knew how to worship, I just worshiped the wrong things.
Once I came to my breaking point in life, and the gift of desperation allowed me a glimpse of our beautiful God – my priorities began to shift. God was changing me from the inside out and I became hopelessly devoted to Him. (Come on, Grease fans – I know you’re out there!)
Worship began to flow from my lips through song at first. I would become so wrapped up in singing to God that I’d lose track of time. It was as if I was wrapped in a bubble, just God and me. I’d find myself lifting my hands to Him (which I thought I would never do) totally dependent on Him. A worship pastor told me once, “When you lift your hands to the Lord, it’s as if you are a child reaching for your Daddy.”
What I have come to understand, as I’ve grown in my faith, is that music is a starting place, but true worship has less to do with what I am doing, and more to do with Who I am focused on. To worship Him means to make HIM your top priority, giving Him the first of your day, your emotions, your finances, your devotion, your thoughts, your time. Often times, music is a way that draws us into worship – but the way we chose to walk out our days is what keeps us there. God is to get the first and best of our days, not the exhausted left-overs.
We must start asking ourselves what God is worth to us. Is He worth giving up sleep for? Is He worth taking risks for? Is He worth stepping out of our comfort zones for? As soon as we start putting God before these other things, we find ourselves truly worshiping Him.
When I think of a true posture of worship, I am drawn to one woman in the Bible. She can be found in Luke, chapter 7.
“One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.” (Luke 7:36-38 NLT)
This woman exemplifies what it means to truly worship our God with abandon. She entered into that home without permission, against all odds of being welcomed. She didn’t deserve Jesus’ attention, nothing she had done in her life warranted His love. She gave everything she had to Him, holding nothing back. It was as though He was literally the only thing that mattered to her. She let herself pour out to Him. This is worship – a life lived from a heart posture of total dependence upon God, giving the best of everything I am and everything I have, and willing go to any length.
- What does worship look like to you?
- When you look at your priorities, where would you say God really falls? (Not where He should fall, where He actually falls.)
- What helps draw you into worship?
- How can you become a true worshiper?