Worship is the intimate adoration of God. Moreover, being passionate about worship is another vital part of being a strong, stable, mature believer. There are many ways to worship our heavenly Father. This lesson will focus on the most common form of worship, lifting our voices in praise to God. When we worship God, He literally inhabits our praises, bringing His glory to meet our every need.
He wants us to worship Him freely with our mind and our spirit.
The lessons in this study of 10 Ways to be a Stronger Christian are based on a study I worked through by Rick Renner Ministries. The precious Word of God states in Romans 8:1 (MEV): There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Therefore, do not allow the Adversary to bring condemnation for areas throughout this study series where you may be weak. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you become stronger and He will!
Scriptures Referenced in this Lesson
- 1 Corinthians 14:15
- 2 Timothy 2:11-13
- Acts 16:25 25
- Acts 2:46-47
- Colossians 1:15-20
- Colossians 3:16
- Ephesians 5:14
- Ephesians 5:19
- Hebrews 2:12
- Matthew 26:17-29
- Matthew 26:30
- Philippians 2:9-10
- Psalm 133:1-3
- Psalm 22:3
God Is The Creator Of Music
God is the creator of music, and He absolutely loves it! Few things touch His heart like the worship of His people. In fact, worship is extremely important in the plan of God. Moreover, it is an integral part of the Church as well as of individual believers. To be all God has called us to be and to do all He has called us to do, we need to be passionate about worship in our lives.
Worship has been a very important factor in the life of God’s people throughout the Bible. David a serious worshiper taught the people of Israel with his psalms how to worship the Lord. His influence can be seen in the life of Christ, Paul, and in New Testament believers. Where there is sincere worship, there you will find the very presence of God inhabiting the praise of His people.
The Practice of Worship Passed From Generation to Generation
In the Old Testament, David and Solomon put forth their best efforts into praising and worshiping God. From the praise and worship that accompanied the Ark of the Covenant’s return to Jerusalem to the dedication of Solomon’s temple, these two leaders developed a whole system of expressing gratitude and adoration to God.
Their efforts became a model for the Jewish people to follow. Consequently, it became ingrained in their hearts. What they developed was eventually passed on to the early New Testament Church and beyond.
Jesus was Passionate about Worship
Jesus Himself was a worshiper. Moreover, everything He learned and put into practice had been passed down from the generations that preceded Him.
Jesus had just finished serving His disciples the last Passover supper. Furthermore, He explained during the meal that He would be betrayed. (see Matthew 26:17-29). Yet even in their distress, Matthew 26:30 states:
“Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.”
Before the greatest time of testing in Jesus’ life, He took time to worship the Father, and the disciples took note and joined Him.
Jesus taught His disciples by Example how to Worship.
Remember, Jesus’ followers were called “disciples” before they were called apostles.
“Disciple” is the Greek word mathetes, which describes a student who is totally committed to his master’s authority.
The disciples’ job was to observe their Master and replicate everything He did. And that’s exactly what they did for three years. They were avid learners, which is actually a better translation of the word “disciples.”
During their time of training under Jesus’ leadership, the disciples learned to:
- travel the way Jesus traveled
- speak the way He spoke
- cast out devils the way Jesus cast out devils
- heal the sick the way He healed the sick
- worship the way Jesus worshiped
By the time the New Testament Church began after Christ’s resurrection, they were already worshipers — like Jesus — and were teaching new believers how to praise and worship through their own example.
The Early Church was Passionate about Worship
The New Testament Church was a worshiping Church! Acts 2:46-47 states:
“They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”
Early believers were worshipers from the outset, and all that they were doing, they had learned from Jesus.
What It Means To Worship
“Worship” is the Greek word proskuneo, and it means to adore or to fall forward upon one’s knees and kiss.
This is the depiction of intimate adoration, a time of deep intimacy with God. It literally means to fall on the knees as an expression of reverence; to prostrate oneself either physically or mentally in front of God to worship or to make supplication.
Think about your times of worship. Are they intimate moments when you in your heart are falling before God and blowing Him kisses? Worship should be a time of intimacy with the Father that is special and cherished.
Worship Releases God’s Glory
When the glory of God comes into a congregation or an individual believer’s life, it is amazing. Why? With God’s glory comes everything good that one could ever need in life! Psalm 22:3 declares:
“Yet you are holy enthroned on the praises of Israel.”
Psalm 22:3 indicates that when a church or a person enters into a time of worship, that worship creates an atmosphere so wonderful and welcoming to God that He shows up. His supernatural presence is magnetically drawn to the worship, and He literally sits on top of the praise and the worship of that congregation or individual. And when He does, He brings His glory with Him.
Experiencing God’s Glory
In the Old Testament, the word “glory” is a Hebrew word that denotes the idea of heaviness and weight. It actually describes the heavy and weighty presence of God — a presence that is loaded with everything good that we need to change and transform us.
In the presence of God’s glory are miracles, healings, deliverance, peace, joy, personal inward changes, and everything else we need. His glory is heavy and weighty with goodness. That’s the meaning of the word “glory” in the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, the word “glory” also describes the heaviness and weight of God’s presence, but it also includes the idea of discernment, judgment, and splendor.
In this case, when an individual or congregation begins to worship God, He comes and sits enthroned on top of their praise. Additionally, the fullness of His glory, or the heaviness of His presence, is with Him. In the midst of His glory, the Holy Spirit is present, and He begins immediately to discern and judge all the needs of those who are present.
Then supernaturally, the Spirit begins meeting each and every one of those needs. People begin to receive what they need from God out of the overwhelming heavy, weight of His glory.
All of this happens when you sincerely worship God.
Unity Is the Point of Glory
Psalm 133:1-3 states:
“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.”
Within these verses, God’s glorious presence is depicted as anointing oil and dew.
What does dew have to do with God’s glory?
Dew is the moisture that is in the air. It is always present, but it is not seen unless the atmospheric conditions are just right. If the criteria are met, and the air cools enough to reach the dew point, suddenly the moisture in the air that was once invisible becomes visible. It begins to appear as droplets of water on everything. Eventually, everything is covered by dew.
David said that when we worship God and get into a place of unity or harmony (NLT), suddenly we meet the criteria necessary to release the divine “dew” of Heaven. The atmosphere changes, and the anointing or glory of God that is in the air we cannot see, suddenly begins to show up everywhere.
The entire church begins to experience a corporate anointing. Consequently, everywhere you look, people are being touched by the presence of God. Again, this is the result of meeting the criteria of unity or harmony (NLT) in worship.
Worship Songs in the New Testament
Worship was such an inseparable part of the Christian life that the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers incorporated song lyrics directly into the text of Scripture. Some scholars estimate as many as 30 songs are recorded in the New Testament. Below, are four specific songs worth noting.
A Song of Worship in Ephesians 5:14
Paul, writing to the Ephesians reminded them of these lyrics:
“For the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper,rise up from the dead,and Christ will give you light.”
Apparently, the believers at the church of Ephesus, the largest and most influential church in Asia, were familiar with these words. They had sung them in their church. Paul used these lyrics to communicate truth in a way the Ephesian congregation could easily understand.
A Song of Worship in Philippians 2:9-10
Paul incorporated worship lyrics while writing the community of believers in Philippi:
“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth…”
A Song of Worship in 2Timothy 2:11-13:
This is a trustworthy saying:
If we die with him, we will also live with him.
If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.
If we deny him, he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is.
What kind of people would sing these kinds of lyrics? Undoubtedly brave people who had a solid understanding of their identity in Christ.
A Song of Worship in Colossians 1:15-20
These wonderful verses describing the divinity of Jesus were also a song sung by believers in Colossae.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Can you imagine this passage being sung by believers? There is no fluff to be found here, only powerful truth. And Paul worked these words right into his epistle.
Songs like these reflect the mentality of the Early Church. They were brimming with teaching and doctrine, and it showed up in their worship. It is no wonder the Church experienced so many signs and wonders.
Passionate about Worship to God Anytime, Anywhere, any Situation
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas had been arrested while ministering in the city of Philippi. After being beaten and placed in stocks in the prison, these two men began worshiping God.
They desperately needed the presence of God to come. They needed His glory to sit enthroned above them, bringing all of His goodness to meet their needs. So they began to sing, offering God a sacrifice of praise. Acts 16:25 states:
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”
God was moved, and His glory arrived in the form of an earthquake, which broke their chains and opened the prison doors to set them free.
Interestingly, when the Bible says they sang “praises,” these were not memorized hymns. In this case, the Greek indicates they sang songs that came straight from their hearts to their lips, and the prisoners were listening.
Roman prison cells were deep and isolated. Therefore, for the prisoners to be able to hear Paul and Silas, they had to have sung loudly. Furthermore, these men of God needed a miracle. They needed the presence of the Holy Spirit to show up in all His glory. They knew that if they worshiped God, He would come and manifest His glory, and that is exactly what He did. He showed up and shook the prison to its foundations. Their chains fell off, and the prison doors were opened.
But What If?
What if Paul and Silas had not worshiped? What if they had just sat there and said, “Oh, it’s just so pitiful what has happened to us. All we did was obey God in telling others about Jesus. And look where it has gotten us — beaten and thrown into jail!”
If they wouldn’t have praised and worshiped God, their deliverance would likely not have come. Paul and Silas knew they needed to bring the presence of God into their situation. So they began worshiping, creating songs with words that emanated straight from their hearts.
They were worshiping so loudly that the other prisoners could hear them. The glory of God manifested, loaded with everything they needed. Out of that glory came an earthquake that shook the prison. Consequently, Paul and Silas are set free!
When you praise and worship God, His glory will begin to manifest and meet your needs.
Worship with the Mind and the Spirit
Throughout the New Testament, believers were encouraged to sing praise and to worship God, using both their mind and their spirit. In 1 Corinthians 14:15, the apostle Paul said:
“Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.”
Paul offered similar instruction in Ephesians 5:19. Again, he stressed the value of worshiping with the mind as well as the spirit. He wrote:
“singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.”
- The word “hymns” is very similar to the word we just looked at in Acts 16:25. It indicates composing songs right on the spot — singing straight from the heart.
- “Spiritual songs” in Greek refers primarily to singing in tongues.
- “Making music” in the Greek means to pluck the strings of an instrument.
Colossians 3:16 gives the third word of instruction to the two previous directives. Here Paul said:
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”
Notice Paul said we are to “teach” and “counsel” one another through worship. That is, through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we are to teach something specific. In other words, music is not just to express feelings — it is also to teach us something about God.
Once a Worshiper, Always a Worshiper
Remember, Jesus was and still is a worshiper. He worshiped the Father while He was here on earth, and He still worships the Father in Heaven. In Hebrews 2:12 Jesus said:
“…For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.”
In other words, when we sing and worship God, Jesus joins in and worships along with us!
As we conclude this lesson, if you want to experience Jesus’ presence moving powerfully among you, begin to worship the Father with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing praise with your mind, and sing also with your spirit. Compose songs of worship on the spot with words straight from your heart. Every time you sing, Jesus joins in and sings right in the midst of the Church. How awesome is that?
Questions for Consideration
David had some interesting insights about what is so amazing about God’s presence. Read what he said in Psalm 16:11 and Psalm 27:4-6 and write your thoughts.
In 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 we see an amazing story that demonstrates the power of praise and worship. King Jehoshaphat surrounded by the armies of Moab and Ammon had nowhere to turn. Take a few minutes to read this account the answer the following questions.
- In verses 6 through 12, Jehoshaphat prayed openly to the Lord. What did he focus on and emphasize in his prayer?
- What was God’s response to Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah in verses 14 through 17?
- What happened when Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah took their position in worship (see verses 21-26)?
- What does this story speak to you personally?
Worship of God is to be a personal, intimate time of connection. Take a moment and describe what your time of worship is normally like. What makes you feel closest to God?
Look back over your life. Do you have one or more praise and worship songs that are extra special to you? If so, which ones are they? What makes these songs so unique and help you connect closely with Christ?
Can you remember a time when you experienced the glory of God? A time in which you were praising and worshiping God and the atmosphere of the room became heavy with His presence? Take a few minutes to briefly write down the experience. At that moment, how did God personally impact your life with His glory?
Until we meet again, I am passionately loving Jesus, the Anchor of my soul!
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