How God Works Through Worship by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

What kind of worshiper are you?

Ten years ago I was embarrassed to raise even one hand in church during a powerful hymn or worship song, but today I lift my hands as high as they can go in all-out praise. Psalm 63:4 says “So I will bless You as long as I live. I will lift up my hands in Your name.”

So why are some of us timid about praising God?

I think the Holy Spirit refines us and shows us where we can improve. We are all in a different place on the journey. He is the One who can draw us out of half-hearted praise into a more vibrant worship life.

Just recently, my eyes were opened to the fact that worship may not be one-directional. I used to think it was only about humbly showing Jesus or God praise for His greatness and goodness. However, longtime pastor Jack Hayford, in his book Majesty: God Enthroned in Our Worship, believes worshipping God results in benefits for us as well. He thinks in the midst of worship, we can receive recovery, restoration, reviving, redemption and refreshing.[1]

So when we worship God it opens up a flow of gifts from God back to us—it’s biblical.

When Jehoshaphat and his army faced their enemies. They came into battle praising, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his loving devotion endures forever.” In the midst of their adoration, God set ambushes against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir who had come against Judah and they were defeated.

When Paul and Silas were imprisoned, they prayed and sang hymns to God. While they were worshipping, “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26, NIV).

Why can’t our emotional chains also fall off when we worship?

The Israelites learned that praise was the key to success. “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span” (Exodus 23:25, NIV).

So if you’re a little shy about an all–out display of worship, maybe you’ll reconsider.  

Psalm 22:23 says God inhabits the praises of His people. The more we open up a heart of praise, the more room there is for Him to work in our lives.

After this I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. And they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-11)

[1] Jack Hayford, Majesty: God Enthroned in our Worship (Southlake: Gateway Press, 2016), 41.

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