Tag : worship-2
Tag : worship-2
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”
(Psalm 105:1, NIV)
I love worshipping God. Every morning, after I brew a cup of coffee, I sing along with my favorite worship tunes on YouTube and start my quiet time by entering the presence of God through praise.
But for many years I thought worship was a one-way street. I was a dot on the map in God’s world—worshipping Him for giving me life, salvation and for helping me overcome childhood dysfunction. I am truly grateful. However, in my study of respected Pentecostal Leader, Jack Hayford, who is also the founder of my school, The King’s University, I have discovered that worship is a two-way street.
When we enter a place of worship, Hayford says that God gives us kingdom authority and gifts in his presence. In his book Majesty, He says, God has given worship as a means for man’s:
I have a spiritual daughter and her two boys are my godchildren. When they come over to the house, I always have a little gift for them and they expect it. They come into the house and the first thing they ask is: “Lele, do you have a present for us?” And my answer is always yes. In the same way, when we enter God’s presence through worship, he has beautiful gifts waiting for us in his presence as well because He loves us so much. We should expect it!
David understood the power of worship and this concept of receiving kingdom authority. We see evidence of this in Psalm 103 where he says, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103: 1–6, NIV).
David confirms that worship is a two-way street. God blesses us when we bless him.
So today, if you are not already doing this, will you consider daily worship? God has some presents waiting for you at His house.
 Jack Hayford, Majesty: God Enthroned in our Worship, (Southlake: Gateway Press, 2016), 41.
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.
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)
 Jack Hayford, Majesty: God Enthroned in our Worship (Southlake: Gateway Press, 2016), 41.
It was a mammoth task.
Over five years after moving into our house, I finally took on the household job of going through boxes of books, stored in our attic. I was missing some of the books, but I also knew that I did not need all of the hard-bounds and paperbacks that had been gathering dust for half a decade. It was time to release them to others.
But this is not the kind of work I love. It is tedious, heavy and dusty. I am allergic to dust mites, so I expected to be sick afterwards. Maybe that’s why I put it off for so long. However, here is how I turned this task into an act of worship. I put on Christmas music and praised God while I went through book-after-book. The weeding out became more enjoyable because the LORD was with me as I worked on an overdue project.
But at one point I wasn’t sure I could get through it. I was tired and there were still books everywhere. I did not know what to do with them but I didn’t want to leave the clutter, so I prayed and asked God to give me His supernatural energy and wisdom for what to keep and what to give away. It worked.
Hours after I began—when all books were either on a shelf or boxed away—I praised God again. I could not have done it without Him.
Yesterday, I attended Marcus Lamb’s funeral. Lamb was the founder of Daystar. I did not know him, but out of respect for his legacy I served as a greeter at the service, and was blessed to attend.
The final speaker at the service was a well-known preacher based in Georgia, Jentezen Franklin. He spoke about the garments Lamb left his children, one being the “garment of praise.” I thought, Will my children see me as a woman of praise, not afraid to openly worship God at all times? That is my hope, and we can all start by praising God in the most mundane of tasks like going through boxes of books, or praising him through the most difficult of times, as I witnessed yesterday at the celebration of Marcus Lambs’ life. The service was filled with praise for God who built a television empire through Lambs’ obedience.
Psalm 103:1 says, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name” (NLT). When and how will you praise God today?
This week at school, I added two new words to my vocabulary—“keva” and “kavanah.” They are terms that originated in Judaism and are used in connection to a worship service or prayer. “Keva” represents the routine and structure of the prayer or service. “Kavanah” refers to the heart connection or devotion that occurs within the structure—it’s breaking out of the repetition and regularity to a place of devotion to God. It’s when you feel the Holy Spirit overtake you in the midst of a service. Those chills that come over you while worshipping. The “aha” moment that happens during a sermon.
I will admit that I’ve gone through the motions more times than I want to admit, especially when I am in charge of an event. I am more concerned with the details and find it difficult to put the heart wires together. My husband calls it “sergeant mode.”
For example, we held our monthly POP Chat on Wednesday night and my thoughts were Who’s next to speak? Are they running on time? My intentions were more about making this a good experience for others and keeping things moving, than about basking in the presence of the LORD.
Maybe you’ve also had trouble connecting to God at times.
But what I’ve learned from Judaism is that you must be intentional about finding that heart tie, whether it’s at a service, in a holy place like the Western Wall, or in your morning quiet time. Jewish people pray: “Vetaher libaynu le’ovdekha be’emet, Purify our hearts to serve Thee in truth—with Kavanah.” According to Eveleyn Garfiel, who wrote the book Service of the Heart “Devotion, intention, spirit too, are essential to a religious act, if it is to be properly carried out and religiously acceptable.” I think we can learn from our Jewish brothers and sisters.
I am intentional about reaching kavanah when I begin my morning quiet time with worship, if I am distracted or don’t feel a heart connection, then I keep playing worship songs until I am centered and in the presence of God. During my Bible reading, I pray for God to speak to me. I am often like Jacob who wrestled all night with God, saying, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:27).
The LORD desires whole-hearted devotion from us.
In Isaiah 29:13, He expressed his disappointment with the Israelites who had fallen away when he said, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (NIV). The Israelites apparently had keva but not kavanah.
So I am now on a mission to experience kavanah whether I am the one creating the routine or not. I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me stay focused on God and make the heart connection every time.
In his book Practicing His Presence, Brother Lawrence says, “If a Christian is to truly practice the presence of His Lord, and do so properly, then the heart of that Christian must be empty of all else. All. Why? Because God’s will is to possess that heart, and He wills to be the only possessor of that heart, and the only possession in that heart.”
I want to give God all my heart, what about you? Every time. 24/7. I desire to be intentional about finding kavanah in my life. It’s time to break out of the mindless routine.