A heart of worship. A complete and total surrender of it all. Giving it all up, laying it all down. It’s out of a heart or Worship, flow the praises of His people. It’s out of a heart of worship, that God’s peace flows freely into our lives.
Worship has to come first. It’s the complete surrender of our lives and our hearts. The internal bowing down before our God. It’s the heart posture that replicates falling on our face before the Majesty and Glory of God Almighty, knowing full well that He could end us, but because of His endless and abounding love for us, He continues to pursue us. He continues to invite us into the ‘Life Abundantly’ that is our birthright. Please hear this and do not mistake it: ‘Life Abundantly” is our birthright given to us by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the acceptance of that gift; it is not our human right, not given to us by social status.
It’s the life we were created for in the Garden. Walking side by side in God’s presence. Totally naked-fully exposed. Totally vulnerable. Unashamed. Basking in His glory, the richness of His Love.
‘Life Abundantly’ is not a life of abundant wealth, prominence or a life free of afflictions. In fact it is quite the opposite. ‘Life Abundantly’ is a life that actually invites afflictions in, but does not give way to the despair that our humanness and self-righteousness would be overcome by. It’s a life that, regardless of our external circumstances, is grounded and firmly rooted in the supernatural, counter cultural, freedom that comes from the resurrection. A life of Abundant Peace. Abundant joy. A life Unwavering. Firmly secured in who we are because of who He is to us. Our Father. Our Rescuer. Our Redeemer. Our Protector. Our Lord.
It’s out of a heart of worship that flows the praises of His people. Worship and praise have two, very different meanings. Worship is the internal glorification of someone or something, while praise is the external approval or adoration of something. By definition: to worship, is to ‘treat (someone or something) with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity;’ to idolize, revere, admire, esteem, glorify. To praise is to: express warm approval of or adoration. A heart of worship is the total surrender of our hearts, our lives, to the Creator of it all. Out of that heart posture, then we offer our praises. We Raise a Hallelujah. Our worship becomes our weapon. Our praises become our anthems.
This is the part where I become convicted. I can praise God but worship myself. It’s all about the heart posture. You can raise your hands and praise Jesus, but be worshiping yourself. It’s the times in church, when I feel disconnected during worship. You know that feeling? When you feel the disconnect from the power that actually turns simple words into weapons of spiritual warfare, but instead become hyper critical of the worship ‘performance.’ Anybody else able to relate to that? It’s why over and over again, in the Bible, God talks about the positioning and aligning of our hearts. He knows the devastation that follows a heart that is not aligned in relation to Him.
A heart of worship transforms our praises from uttering a melody, to encapsulating all the Authority of Heaven, as we sing, “You’re Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done!”
A heart of worship transforms a mere melody into a weapon that pushes back the darkness that tries to keep us from experiencing the Love of the Father.
I don’t know about you, but these past couple weeks have become increasingly hard. I find myself teetering between falling into the depths of despair, and raising a hallelujah. I feel my soul longing and aching for the return of human connection without a presence of fear. I desperately long for the renewal of community and collective worship. I find myself in the same seat as David, asking my soul, “why so downcast? Why would you be depressed? Why would you sink into despair?”
“Pour into me the brightness of your daybreak!
Pour into me your rays of revelation-truth!
Let them comfort and gently lead me onto the shining path,
showing the way into your burning presence,
into your many sanctuaries of holiness.
Then I will come closer to your very altar
until I come before you, the God of my ecstatic joy!
I will praise you with the harp that plays in my heart,
to you, my God, my magnificent God!
Then I will say to my soul,
“Don’t be discouraged; don’t be disturbed,
for I fully expect my Savior-God to break through for me.
Then I’ll have plenty of reasons to praise him all over again.
Yes, living before his face is my saving grace!”
Psalm 43:3-5 (the passion translation)
“When the music fades, All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring, Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart
I'll bring you more than a song, For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within, Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart
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 it
When it's all about you, It's all about you, Jesus”
A prayer of Surrender:
To You I come, before Your throne I fall. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Restore unto to me the joy of my salvation. Deliver me from the depths of despair as I wait in Your Presence. My Father. My God. My Sustainer. To You I completely surrender. I surrender it all. All to you my blessed Savior, I surrender all. “Your peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind.” (Philippians 4:7)“You have disarmed the powers and authorities that stand against us to condemn us. You triumphed over them by way of the cross.” (Colossians 2:15)“We have been raised by Christ to triumph with Him over the powers and authorities that stand against us.”(Colossians 3:1) “Let the peace of Christ rule our hearts. Let the message of Christ love and sacrifice dwell among us. Restore us to our right standing in You”(Colossians 3:15) Renew the songs in our hearts. Songs of surrender. Songs of praise and adoration. Songs of thanksgiving. Songs of deliverance. Songs that erupt out of the intimacy between the Creator and His Beloved Creation. The pursuer of us all. May we fully surrender to Your authority over our hearts, so that we can bask in the wonders of Your love and affections for us. Quench the thirst that overwhelms this dry and parched land. Restore the valleys of the shadows of death, to green pastures overflowing with Your blessings. Deliver us O God! -Amen