Following on from yesterday’s blog about worship being our response to encountering the living God, today’s blog will look a bit more into living a lifestyle of worship.
I always used to wonder about the piece of scripture in Luke 13 vs 18-19, where Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God being like a mustard seed:
“Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds come and find shelter among its branches”.
I think there’s a useful parallel that we can take from this scripture regarding worship becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, as His presence starts to pervade everything that we do. Worship becomes more than just songs on a Sunday morning in church; as our understanding of God and His perfect character sink-in, worship starts to invade and grow into every area of our lives, changing us to become progressively more Christ like.
To be honest, this doesn’t often automatically just happen for me, but is something I aspire to. I like to think of the phrase “practicing the presence of God” as a goal that lends itself to developing worship as a lifestyle. What do I mean by this?
I try (nowhere near as often as I should), to bring God into every situation that I’m facing. It may be a difficult meeting that I’ve got at work, where I might be desperate and say a quick prayer for God’s help and presence through the meeting; or I’m on the train and I’m listening to worship music; or I’m in the car and I turn the radio off to talk to God about my day; or I’m asking Him to give me a dose of patience when the kids are pushing me to the brink! I think practising the presence of God means drawing near to, and encountering and involving God in the everyday of life. The more we encounter God throughout our day, the more we gain His perspective on things, which should influence and change our behaviour in a way that brings Him glory, and achieves His will in each area of our lives.
The more that we practice this, the more we start to tune-in to God’s voice and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. For example, one of God’s characteristics is that He is holy and perfect in every way. As we are drawing nearer to Him more regularly and encountering more of His holy nature, we might start to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, where there are things in our lives that are in opposition to His holiness, and need to be changed.
I believe that as we seek to bring God more and more into our daily lives, we will naturally encounter Him more. The more that we encounter God and grow in our understanding of Him, the more natural the response will be to worship Him in every situation and be changed for the better. The more this happens, the more people will see Jesus Christ living in us and will be attracted to the authentic lives of worship that are being lived.
This is something that I strive for, but very rarely succeed in. I, like everyone reading this, am a work-in progress, and we are all on that journey of becoming more like Christ.
I want to encourage you to bring God into every area of your life. Even finding God in the mundane things of life, can change them into vibrant and dynamic experiences that can bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Tomorrow, I’ll look more at the fruits of a life of worship, before starting to focus on what happens when challenge and crisis start to rear their heads.