Worship as a Lifestyle
By Samantha Mc Queen
Staff at YWAM Perth
God’s deep and powerful love for us compels us to find an appropriate way to respond. Worship can be one of those ways as we respond to our knowledge of who God is. But worship is more than just an allotted time to sing songs of praise. We have been called to a lifestyle: living in a way that glorifies our heavenly Father, worshipping Him at all times and in many ways. Through this life of worship, God is welcome in all aspects of our lives. But what does that actually look like? How do we worship a God that is so worthy of all that we are?
Richard is one of the worship leaders here at YWAM Perth. We sat down to talk about the worthiness of God, personal and community worship, and how we might build our lives as places of praise.
Through this life of worship, God is welcome in all aspects of our lives. But what does actually look like?
Worthy of worship
In order to live a life of worship, we must know who we are worshipping. And even through the act of worship, we come to know God more. There are so many amazing things about God that lead us to want to worship Him: He is good, holy, faithful, and loving, among so many other qualities. Here are three aspects of God’s character Richard highlighted, that compel us to respond to Him: God is exalted, He is sacrificing, and He is relational.
God is exalted. “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible … all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (1 Colossians 1:16-18) God is exalted above all else, meaning He is superior than anything and everything. God isn’t on the throne because we worship Him; we worship God because He is on the throne. When we worship, we are affirming that He is the King.
God isn’t on the throne because we worship Him;
we worship God because He is on the throne.
God is sacrificing. Jesus gave up all to come to earth and then gave up that life to die for our sins. His sacrifice wasn’t only in His death but in His life on Earth. Through that sacrifice, Jesus gave us an example of a life lived with our heavenly Father. Through His sacrifice in death, He gave us a way to that relationship with Him. We worship God through taking the opportunity He has given us to be in relationship with the Father.
God is relational. From the beginning of Genesis, we see how much God loves us through the intimate act of creation. First, He creates the world – plants, animals, land. “He speaks all these things, but when it comes to making us, He gets down in the earth and He gets his hands dirty and then…beyond comprehension, God breathed into man, into his nostrils, a living spirit.”, Richard commented. That requires a physical closeness, showing the intimacy that our Father desires to have with His children.
Creating space for God – the appropriate response to knowing Him
“To think that the creator of the universe, the one who spoke the stars into being, that dreamed of me in eternity, that created me, and made me – my creator would actually give me the opportunity to create a space for him.”, Richard emphasised that the appropriate response to knowing God’s character is worship, and in that, He shows us more of Himself.
By praising God through all areas of our lives, He is truly Lord of all. We can be the dwelling space of the living God. How amazing! It is such an overwhelming thought to remind ourselves of: God inhabits the praises of His people. This space created is not just for a particular place or time, but for all areas of life. When we integrate worship into our lives, it transforms our perspective, choices, and relationships.
Here are a few practical ways that worship can manifest in our daily lives as we live a lifestyle responding to God’s character.
Love for God. Our knowledge of God’s love should bring us to love Him in return. The foundational reason why we worship needs to be out of understanding His love for us. If it comes from somewhere else, say, power or fear, our response would not be to live a life worthy of the love we have received. God’s love for us is active, so our love for Him will inspire action as well. God’s love for us is overwhelming! It is a love that breeds confidence. As Richard said, “Never have I been so confident as when I have heard ‘I love you’ from the Lord.”
Purity. As we develop a close relationship with God, we learn more and grow in our desire to live in holiness. The way we choose to live is based on what we value. When we worship as a lifestyle, we are giving God value above all else in our life. As we value God and our relationship with Him, we value holiness as it is our way to intimacy with God. When we choose not to live in holiness, it means we are putting something else higher than God, and we cease to worship Him.
Love for others. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” God’s love for us and our love for Him are our motivation to live a holy life, worthy of who He is. From this intimacy with our heavenly Father, we have all confidence to be able to give of ourselves in love for others. This is what makes it possible for us to love even the hardest of people. It is said of love that it hopes and believes all things (1 Corinthians 13:7); as we love people that God created in His likeness, we honour Him.
Worshipping in community
Individuals represent God. The Israelites, though individuals, were also called to represent God through their lives as a nation. Their individual and corporate identity were found in God, becoming a country defined by the One they worshipped. “That’s what makes God’s people, God’s people – that they worship Him.”, said Richard And every nation around them knew it – not just from the way they spent time in worship, but the way they were called to live differently as a nation.
Psalm 133 says,
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity … for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” God has called us to unity, and worshipping together in agreement of His character is an effective way to reach unity. A unity that would honour God is one that extends beyond the “time” of worship into how we relate to one another.
God has called us to unity, and worshipping together in agreement of His character is an effective way to reach unity. A unity that would honour God is one that extends beyond the “time” of worship into how we relate to one another.
From the overflow of worship, a community flourishes in its relationships.
As we hear God speak to us in unity, we grow in our ability to see the needs around us, loving and caring for one another in a way that God would.
Worship is to reflect Jesus. As we take that into our everyday relationships, work, and choices, the whole world will benefit from that reflection. We worship out of God’s character, which causes us to love Him, live in holiness, and extend our love to the communities and people around us.
Time to reflect:
- What do I know to be true about God that inspires me to worship Him?
- How can I expand my worship beyond set worship times each week?
- Have I created a space in my life where God can inhabit my thoughts, emotions and difficulties?
- Is there anything that would hinder my worship of God as a lifestyle?
- How do I grow in my love for the Lord so that my worship would increase?
Watch the full interview with Richard Blake at:
Read the other articles from this edition: