One Sunday we were in the service at Church of the Foothills in Cameron Park, and heard Brian Long give his last message in a series of the life of David called “Following After God’s Heart.” Brian graciously let me use his notes for some of the best teaching on worship I have heard.He talked about how David’s life is a testimony to how far God can take imperfect people like you and me when we remain surrendered to him. David went from shepherd to King. God did more through David than David ever asked or imagined. I’m sure each and every one of us would desire to become a “David-type” of Christian. I’m sure you would desire, as I do, to be known as a man, or woman after God’s own heart.
As we think back over David’s life he models a number of important attitudes and attributes each of us would do well to learn and practice. In his message Brian highlighted four key practices for a life that is “after God’s own heart.” For my purposes in this blog, I want to highlight one – that of worship, for building God’s heart into your life.
Embrace worship as a lifestyle
David was a life-long worshipper, pouring his heart out in good times and in bad. He sought to honor God in his worship and stay connected and in fellowship with God. Worship was central to David. He cultivated a gift of song writing. Of the 150 Psalms we have in the Bible, David wrote 75 of them. We used a few of his greatest hits that morning in our worship.
Worship means magnifying God
This is done through our actions, attitudes, and words. For example, think of your life-in-total being a magnifying glass that brings God into clearer focus, allows him to be seen more clearly, and presents his majesty in a big deal in your life. Living a life of worship means people look at you and think, “Man, God’s a big deal in that person’s life.”
Classic actions of worship
Of course, the classic actions of worship are what we commonly do during church service, such as reading and teaching the Bible, prayer, singing, observing the sacraments of communion and baptism, and the presenting of our offerings.
But worship really involves everything we do, and everything we say. Every word, attitude, and action either magnifies God to the world around us, or reduces him. In other words, the world can observe how big God is and how much he means to you through your actions, attitudes, and words—through your worship.
The purpose of the classic actions of worship in our lives—singing, giving, being in God’s word, interacting together—all these work to:
- Bring God in clearer focus in our hearts and minds.
- Magnify God for the observing world around us (The Church).
- Provide ways we communicate our affection, gratitude, and trust in God.
- Give the Lord access to our souls for his divine formation – worship can realign our attitudes.
- Prepare our hearts and minds for God’s work through his word.
Worship: Live this out; build God’s heart in!