I help with worship every Sunday at my church.
Before I began this ministry, I assumed that leading the service for others would diminish or even block my own personal worship of our Lord. I convinced myself that I would have to stay mindful, in charge, “on top of things” so I wouldn’t lose my place or mispronounce a word or appear foolish in front of others. Notice: my expectation about leading on Sundays focused on me, my ego, and my façade or disguise.
Welcome to Tending the Holy Thursday. Each month on my Thursday posts, I pick one theme (or person of faith) to explore deeper. This month, let’s explore the spiritual practice of worship.
I am so excited too about this month’s free download, a beautiful printable called “Worship the Lord.” I compiled 10 verses from the Bible into a one page, easy to refer to guide for your personal study about the topic. You can get this free resource by clicking on the button at the end of this post.
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The Spiritual Practice of Worship
In worship, we remember who God is and who we are in God. Worship embraces the mystery without words and the wonder beyond imagination. These special times with God becomes moments where two hearts beat as one with eyes only on each other.
God sees us.
We see only God.
Worship is not about us, what we need, or a time to show off our singing or preaching ability. We need to raise our expectations about the gift of worship – our present to God’s presence. Worship focuses on God’s majesty, his immeasurable greatness with awe, wonder, and reverence.
The word “worship” originated from the “Old English” word, “worthscipe” meaning worthiness and conveys the desire of an individual to give worth to God.
As I enter the presence of God, whether at home, on retreat, or at a service in my church, I pause and remember the abbreviation MIA.
M – Majesty
I – Immeasurable greatness
A – Awe, wonder and reverence
MIA brings my attention to the great God I am there to worship and takes my eyes from my ego and emotions. Repeating the acronym of MIA reorients our hearts and minds to focus on God and sustains the fire of faith.
That is exactly what I repeat during the prelude – “MIA” – before I get up to begin worship. I silently acknowledge God’s majesty, immeasurable greatness, and awe and wonder.
Worship moves my mind from myself to my Master.
[Tweet “Worship moves my mind from myself to my Master. Jean Wise”]
M -Remembering God’s Majesty in Worship
Worship begins with remembering who God is. We consider his gifts, promises, forgiveness, and unbelievable all-encompassing love for us, his creation. Our only response is adoration and praise.
Unable to fully comprehend God’s majesty and being, we bow in reverence before God. Worship is for God, about God, and we strive to worship the Lord for all that he is and what he has done for us.
Worship begins with the mindset that this moment is about God, not us.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Mark 12: 30
God is above all and worthy of our praise. We see, experience, and know God is more than we can comprehend and great beyond words. When we worship, we are not acting, we react. We respond to God’s greatness.
Our hearts turn and remember the majesty of God, the one who walks with us in the past stories, ours and others, who he is now in the present in his presence, and how he holds our future in his hands. We try, but cannot fully grasp how stunning, how grand, how glorious our God is.
I – Remembering God’s Immeasurable Greatness in Worship
After we try with our tiny human brains to take in the majesty of God we come to the reality his greatness is immeasurable. This mystery of God is he is always more, always More.
Worship is our response to the Almighty God, our minuscule offering of love into the never-ending source of all love. With hearts turned to this wonderful God, our egos retreat from trying to be in control and return to its true meager calling of protecting the vulnerable self.
We remember who we are, our sins and mistakes, and we bow before the God of forgiveness and love. We are not God. We are not the center of the universe. Yet God continues to seek us, invites us closer, adopts us as his children, and loves us without restraint.
Remembering God’s immeasurable great love and forgiveness brings us into worship. This love from God exceeds our understanding and comprehension. We come as mere humans into the powerful presence of God and leave transformed by his presence, his spirit.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
A -Remembering God with Awe and Wonder in Worship
Look at God
Looking at you …
Anthony De Mello
When our spirit touches God’s spirit in worship, the spark of awe and wonder ignite. Our only reaction is praise and adoration. We hear the psalms in new ways. Our songs reverberate deep in our hearts.
Wonder encourages us to stand humbly
before the unfathomable mysteries of human life,
trusting that, in them, we encounter God.
The original meaning of the word “awe”, is “fear, terror, reverence.” Awe is holy terror of a magnificent God. The word terror certainly carries new meaning for us in the 21st century, but with God there is no fear, alarm, nor panic.
Fear of God is to stand in awe and wonder of the divine. This is not dreadful fear of a tormentor or dangerous authority figure, but a respectful, healthy worship and reverence for a father in heaven who loves us as we are.
Remembering God and plunging into the freedom of his majesty and immeasurable greatness, reminds us we are sharing in something better than us, beyond us.
Awe prompts us not to cheapen God or diminish his glory or his work. We draw near God on holy ground. This is not an ordinary moment nor an ordinary God. This. Is. God. And we worship him.
Don’t miss the awe of worship – this wonder intensifies the fire of faith.
The ingredients of MIA acts like propellant for the fire of our faith. God’s spirit and love stokes the embers of spirit and love within us. Worship helps us see outside of ourselves and bow before Someone majestic.
How can we not worship God?
What do you think? I would love to hear some conversation about how you get your heart and mind open for worshiping our Lord.
I am excited to dive deeper into this topic. Next Thursday I plan to share some quotes to expand our thinking by reading what others have written about worship.
I expand on this concept plus other spiritual practices in my newest book, Fuel Your Faith, which should be available on Amazon in early July. Here’s a sneak peek of the book cover. Watch for that announcement coming soon.
Don’t forget to click on the button before to get your free printable: “Worship the Lord.” In this resource, I share 10 verses to prompt your self-reflection about worship on a one page sheet you can add to your journal, Bible, and worship space.
Please leave a comment below. What does worship mean to you?