I have been reading a book entitled Beyond All Limits by James O. Davis. James will be one of the speakers at Redemption Ministries’ Activate Summit in March of 2014. In a chapter entitled Committed to God James shares some rich insight on worship. I am aware that there are many different perspectives on worship today. What it is, what it looks like and what it is to accomplish. Please take a few moments and read some of the excerpts I am sharing from this chapter.
“…it is important to realize that our worship of God is not just confined to fifteen to thirty minutes of singing at the beginning of each service. True worship is more than listening to the current best-selling music CD. Our entire lives should be lived as an expression of true worship to God. (Romans 12:1) Paul was saying that our lives are a total expression of worship. … True worship goes beyond the limits of song or time and pours into every aspect of life. Unlike previous decades of church growth techniques or distinctives, praise and worship is near and dear to the heart of God.This is more than a niche idea; it is the way God desires for us to live and move in His presence. As we glorify Him in all we do, we will find He continues to conform us to the image of Christ.
The people who exalt the name of the Lord on Sunday in song but do not live lives of holiness the rest of the week are not worshiping; they are just singing. We must engage our whole being- heart, mind, and soul- in our worship to God.
True worshipers, extravagant worshipers, are not concerned about form but about the object of their worship, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, true worship has little to do with style or music form. Many people are convinced that a certain style of music is why God is moving today. These people have missed the point. God inhabits the praises of His people, regardless of style. He inhabits praise, not tempo. A theology of worship that glorifies only one worship style is a narrow view of Christ’s inexhaustible riches. If we limit our expression of faith to God by only our preferred means, we will never fully grasp the vastness of God’s presence and work in our lives. It is often from others that we see and learn more about God.”
James Davis goes on to say, and I paraphrase, ‘we do not need to argue whether a form of expression is or is not worship. Everything we do in life should be done as an expression of love and adoration (worship) to our Savior and King.’
I am stirred by these few words on worship. It challenges me to be more passionate about the object of my worship rather than the form and vehicle of my worship. Therefore, even though my form of worship and my style of worship has value, it cannot have a greater value than the object of my worship. There is no doubt that music and tempo play an important part in setting atmosphere and opportunity to connect with God. But I need not allow them to limit the transactions that God wants to carry out during that focused time of loving and adoring Him.