My purpose in this devotional is to really share with you the reader (Worship Team, Pastor, Leader, Musician, Study Group, etc.), what God continues to remind me of day after day, week after week and is what I believe to be a foundational reason that all of us are created to be worshippers.
What is the foundational purpose or reason WHY we WORSHIP? Why do you worship? Individually, Corporately, as a Worship Leader or part of a Worship team or Band? Write down your answer(s) here.
For so long I was convinced that I was supposed to worship God for all of the things that He’s done: Goodness, mercy, grace, loving-kindness, salvation, family, health, jobs, financial provisions etc. These sound really good and the act of praising and worshipping Him for what He has done by providing us these things along with all the other things he does for is not wrong, in and of themselves. However, these things are not the primary purpose for which we were created to worship our creator. These are all things God has done, is doing and will continue to always do for us because He never changes.
Ask yourself these Questions:
What is the greatest gift that God has ever given us? What is the greatest thing He has ever done?
Hopefully you’re a Christian and you’re answer was: “He gave His son’s life for us and gave us a free choice to accept Him as our personal Savior.” Or something along those lines. Now think about this:
Almighty God, NEVER would have given us that gift and He NEVER would have done that act of love or any other act for that matter…If He wasn’t WHO HE IS.
Read the following phrase a couple of times and really let it soak in:
“God never would have done for you, what He did….if He wasn’t Who He is!”
Try and really wrap your mind around the fact of who God is. “He was, He is and He always will be!”
Our number one purpose in this life and the reason WHY WE WORSHIP God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is because of WHO HE IS! We were created to Worship Him for Who He is.
Read Psalm 40:3
Often times, our fervency for worship (in the natural), acts as a barometer of what’s going on in our lives. It’s so easy to walk into our weekend gatherings of corporate worship and fellowship and be excited about worship when life is grand. It’s especially easy for us Worship Leaders (and by Worship Leaders, I mean everyone involved in the service: the audio guys, the band, the media team, the song leader, the Pastor, the volunteers etc.), to get into our flow and be “all systems go” when life outside the walls of church is in our favor and especially when we are ahead, financially.
Remember, It honors God when we bless Him with our mouths. Our praises and thanksgiving are huge vehicles of worship. It’s important to honor God and be constantly aware of His presence that’s in and around us and not wait for a tragedy or crises to go running to or cry out to Him. The more we recognize His Spirit and His presence and not just wait for Sunday morning to roll around, the more of an understanding we’ll have for true worship. We can actually become worship beings. We can BE worship, not just do worship.
It’s usually evident in people’s attitudes, countenance and in the general way they carry themselves; when tragedy , persecution, financial crisis and hardship are at hand.
I believe that It’s in these situations and trials of life that we find ourselves in, where we have the best opportunities to honor God in our worship. When we reach the end of ourselves so He can take over through our worship. Our weakness is made totally perfect in His strength. Be it in song, prayer, crying out to Him, reading His word, soaking in His presence…whatever it is that get’s you into a place where you are totally and 100% reliant and focused on Him. It is impossible to do this based on a feeling or gauged by emotion. The act of choosing to magnify God’s name and declaring his goodness and mercy and his love in these times…this is worship, personified. When you choose to command your soul to praise Him, the breakthrough has to come.
As leaders we have a higher road to take and a bigger responsibility to choose to worship through our circumstances, trials, tests and situations while at the same time dealing with the very raw feelings of emotion.
This is much easier said than done, I know. And believe me, it is usually right after I talk about this topic at a conference or write a bout it in a journal / devotional; that I am tested to put my money where my mouth is and actually walk this out.
On a Personal Note:
Recently, I fully ruptured my Achilles tendon, twice…the same tendon within 6 weeks. The average full recovery time from tearing an Achilles tendon and then having It surgically repaired is 6-8 months. It has been almost 6 months for me now and let me tell you that if there has ever been a time in my life where I have felt like giving up on my job and career of leading worship it has been in these last 6 months. This injury has messed with my head in SO many ways it’s ridiculous, not to mention what it has done to me physically. I’ve pretty much been home at my house in Tampa Bay, FL the entire time.
Not being able to travel for me = not playing conferences / gigs and not leading worship which in the long run = not making money. You want to talk about stress? Mortgage & car payments, insurance & cell phones bills along with all the other household bills that add up to thousands of dollars a month has allotted me SO much anguish, a few sleepless nights, and caused me to worry about not being able to provide for my wife and our long-term future, BUT...God has provided so many opportunities for me to worship him sitting right at my piano at home with no one watching, no kicking sound system, no lights, reverb and no crowd. He has given an opportunity for me to show Him that I will still worship Him when all those other things go away and when I am at the end of me. There have been a few days in these past few months that emotions have ruled over and gotten the best of me. I’ve said things and acted ways that I regret but not without recognizing I need to will myself to take the high road. I choose to worship through my thoughts, attitude and my emotions. My love for Him and this walk far outweighs a little “self-pity party,” that creeps in every once in a while.
Taking the high road is a choice. Everything we react to in this life is a choice. God gave us emotions. He designed us to feel things, that’s why they are called feelings. He designed us in His image and He made us to be like Him. He was tempted, so we WILL be tempted but just like He did, we have the ability to call on our Father’s strength and allow Him to pull us through and be made perfect in His strength.
Q: Why do we worship God?
A: Because and for Who He IS.
Remember to find ways and make conscious choices to recognize God’s Presence away from Corporate Sunday morning times.
Use negative situations (whether you fall victim to them or you have made choices and put yourself there), to draw close to Him. There’s nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Absolutely nothing.
Worship is a choice. Choose to take the high road. Choose to worship in everything and through everything.
Dave is a worship leader, songwriter, and Kingsway artist. To find out more about Dave Fitzgerald, visit www.davefitzgerald.com