I am so excited that I wish I could shout this from my rooftop: I have an Internet connection!!! Imagine this: since July, I haven’t had access to this blog, email, my school’s website with our classes’ websites, guitar music, iTunes music store, etc. For some, this may not sound that monumental, but for a 2o year old in this day and age, that’s huge! With this small victory, I write to you from the comfort of my couch with a cup of coffee in my hand and a great story of worship on my heart…
This past Monday night, I lost myself in a night of worship. The Hillsong- New York City’s pastor cried out, “Don’t leave this place the same way as you were when you walked in here tonight!” And I didn’t…
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:
take your everyday, ordinary life
–your sleeping, your eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–
and place it before God as an offering…
Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”
Romans 12:1-2 (the Message)
What is true worship?
It is this…
…surrendering to God.
Some may be reading now and say, “Oh, but I’m not one of those enthusiastic believers that breaks out into dance, waves my hands in the air, etc.” And honestly, I haven’t been. I lacked courage to raise my hand even above my heart as if doing the pledge of allegiance.
But we have so much more to offer God than a pledge of allegiance.
While standing at the foot of the stage, I listened to songs like “With Us” and felt the words sinking into even the deepest places of my heart… “There’s no end to your love. There’s no end to your love,” they sang, “You’re with us. You’re with us.” With closed eyes, I relished the sweetness of those words, the truth of them even sweeter than last week’s Thanksgiving dessert. “…There’s nothing in this world/ That could take you away/ You’re with us/ You’re with us…” In that moment, I drew near to God, and just as James promised in James 4:8, God drew near me.
What I learned Monday night is this: worship isn’t just listening to Christian radio in the car, nor is it just going to church and enjoying the solo during the offertory. Worship–true worship of the Father and Creator of this Universe whose Son, Jesus Christ, lived as a human, died on the cross and overcame the world when he defeated even death itself–is encountering God and responding to Him. It’s the crying out of your heart after casting your burden on Him and feeling Him not only take your burden onto His back, but take you up into His arms, as well.
Today, my prayer for you is that you offer up your everyday, ordinary life to God and ask Him to meet you in every moment. Whether it’s a prayer that He helps you be patient with a coworker or customer, a prayer to have a greater desire for Him, a prayer to give your life over to Him, God is able. God is able…
So what is worship? It’s the proper response to an encounter with the One that knitted you together in the womb (Psalm 139:13), the Son that has gone before you (Hebrews 6:20) on your behalf.
Worship is surrender.