"Praise is not only devotion but also testimony, both an exalting of God and a proclamation that seeks to draw others into the worship of God."
-Samuel E. Balentine
For the past few weeks now, I've been reading a book titled The Mission of God's People, by Christopher J. Wright. Earlier this week, I discovered my favorite chapter of the book. It's chapter fourteen, and it focuses on living a life of worship. I want to share with you some of Wright's, as well as my own insights in regards to the true meaning of worship and what it looks like to praise God in full.
To start, I want us to recognize that our lives are an act of worship. Now, I want us to reflect on who we worship. In other words, are the lives that we're living- right here, right now- reflections of God, or of self?
My dear sisters, no other name is to be lifted high but His. No other name is worthy of our worship but that of our Almighty Father. And when we praise Him, we should go all out. Not just every Sunday when we show up to church, but every day, for all of our days as He continues to breathe life into our hearts.
Here's the thing: A song has already been written just for you, and if you tune your ears to the Composer's voice, you'll hear it; He'll sing it to you. We are to live our lives out of worship alongside the glorious melody of this beautiful song. Your song.
But it doesn't end there!
We are called to sing our songs together. The melodies of our songs are harmonious. They were written for each of us to be sung in unison by each of us as we keep our eyes on the Director. God not only wants the praise of individuals, but also that of His whole orchestra in unison. Imagine what it would look like to tune the people of God's kingdom to hear their songs. Imagine what it would sound like to sing our songs together.
We were created for praise.
"...everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made," (Isaiah 43:7, NIV).
"...my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise," (Isaiah 43:20-21, NIV).
We were redeemed for praise.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory," (Ephesians 1:3-14, NIV).
And finally, we are witnesses through praise.
Our call to worship is an invitation to be passionate, loud, vigorous and harmonious as we sing in adoration to our King and celebrate His mighty works and supremacy. We must take advantage of all we have and utilize these things so that we may love louder, live brighter and sing at the top of our lungs to the world of our sovereign God and King!
Every aspect of God's creation is directed to praise the Lord. Look at all He has done and all He is doing. Reflect on what's yet to come. This is why we praise Him. This is why we live for Him; because He is the source of life, and He invites us to be a part of this story; His story.
Sing to the Lord, for He is good.
Ladies, our lives of praise here on earth give us tiny glimpses of the celebration in Heaven that awaits us. It's time to tune in to God's voice so that He can sing your song and you can dance your dance. Welcome Him with praise.
May our hearts sing Your anthem, God. May our words be a sign. We are here for YOU.