Worship that Yields

Worship is an essential part of the Christian life as it orders our beliefs and priorities with Christ at the top. Worship lifts our thoughts and heart affections above the things and relationships of this world and attaches them to God. Without God-centred worship, we quickly regress to man-centred  religion with self in the middle. Therefore, worship that focuses on God is critical to a healthy and resilient walk of faith.

At the heart of authentic worship is a yielded attitude that confesses failings and inadequacies while proclaiming the majestic character of Christ. As Paul explained to the believers in Phillipi, believers in Christ worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). A self-elevated heart attitude disqualifies worship as it fails to recognise the supremacy of Christ, compromising Jesus’ Lordship with self-importance. Confidence in our fleshly desires, abilities, and achievements can only distract us from confidence in Christ.

Holy Spirit enabled worship always glories in Christ at the expense of self. Spirit motivated worship is permeated by awareness of God’s mercy which inspires real world sacrifices. This was Paul’s understanding when he instructed the Roman believers to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). No part of our lives, no relationship, and no desires or expectations are excluded from the prioritising effects of worship motivated by God’s mercy.

Recognising that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… (James 1:17), believers redirect the accomplishments of this life to worship of the giver. God’s worthiness for whole-hearted worship rises above the difficulties caused by the pains of life. Amid life’s complexities and the difficulties of leading a rebellious nation, Moses’ song of worship reflected his heart’s attachment to the LORD. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He (Deuteronomy 32:3-4). Moses was looking far above the imperfections of the nation God had called him to lead, and he saw the multifaceted glory of Yahweh.

Like Paul, our worship begins by surrendering to the truth of God’s Word, which is God’s revelation of Himself. From God’s Word our beliefs and affections grow and develop, equipping us with the truths needed to offer accurate and God honouring praise. I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God… (Acts 24:14-15).

Scripture refines our beliefs and fuels worthy worship which blesses both God and the church. This is the Holy Spirit’s intension, because God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Religious loyalty to set patterns or expectations, fail to express a changed heart and life. Our changed affections rise in praise because if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). And the new person in Christ longs to worship Him, to speak well of Him, and to sing His praises.

A yielded worshiper seeks the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. They set their minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:1-2). For there, in the presence of God, we find salvation, cleansing, security, Godly perfection, and hope of eternal life.

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