Have you ever tried to start something and found you couldn’t keep up with it? Or have you tried to start something new, but didn’t actually understand what you were trying to accomplish? It probably fell to the wayside. That has been me with this blog. When I started it, I thought I would just think of some new, exciting material every week. No specific theme was necessary.
So I thought.
But considering I’ve only posted three blogs throughout a span of about seven months, I think it’s safe to say that “no theme” is not the best theme for me.
No, I think it’s time for a new direction.
What Is Our Purpose?
As I prayed about what God wanted me to do with this blog, He began burdening my heart with one little phrase: The set-apart worshiper. That has been my heart’s ambition since Jesus saved me when I was 12 years old. Better yet, that has been His heart’s desire for me. And for you, too.
And so we have the new theme of this blog. Here, we’re going to discover more about what it means to truly worship Jesus as He has called us to. I want us to inspire one another to worship God with absolute abandon, forgetting everything else but the beauty of God and His amazing character.
It’s easy to know how to worship God. Many of you may have been in the church atmosphere long enough to know that there are different styles of worship. We know we can use our bodies and our minds to glorify God through song. And we also know that there is only one way to truly engage in worship: with our hearts.
But living it is another story. After all, we all have tough days and dry seasons. At the end of the day, it’s not about showing up to church, singing a couple songs, or even raising your hands and jumping up and down (or standing reverently in your pew). If it were, then all we would need is an information download and—BOOM BABY!—we’re instant worshipers. It’s like making instant coffee, but it’s faster and not quite as close to the real thing.
Being a Set-Apart Worshiper Is Living a Set-Apart Life
Look at what God told Moses when it was time to deliver His people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt:
“Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me’ ” (Ex. 8:1).
Or consider our purpose as born-again believers in Christ:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Pt. 2:9).
Jesus said the Father actually seeks out worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). God is looking for people who will set themselves apart to worship Him! Distinct from the world around us, freed from our former slavery, separating the holy from the common—this is how we are called to worship Him.
Our lives as Christians revolve around worshiping the God who saved us. The God who loves us and never gives up on us. If I think I can live a decently good Christian life without allowing the praises of God to permeate my day-to-day existence, I’m deceiving myself. Which I’ve done. My mom always tells me that worshiping God is as vital to the Christian life as food and water are to survival.
Worship Is Perseverance
The set-apart worshiper is one who lives to praise and worship God alone, no matter what.
Even when they don’t feel like it. Even when everything is going wrong and they just feel really irritated. Even when the worst heartache rips them open, leaving them wounded and vulnerable. They still worship.
Worship is more than merely a method to keep ourselves emotionally healthy as it adds bits of color and hope to our lives. (Sure, it does that, but if that’s all it is in one’s life, what’s the point? Those who do this are really just worshiping themselves and their needs.)
Worship is more than an expression of our feelings. Notice I said, “more than.” Worship can often be the outward expression of inward emotions. There are many times when our hearts are so full of happiness, when joyful and grateful emotions are so easy to conjure up, that all we can do is sing praises to our benevolent King.
But worship is also a choice. It’s a choice we make moment by moment. Will I worship God for His worth? Or will I base my worship on my emotions? There’s a difference. Emotion-led worship will cease when circumstances dictate so. But persevering worship is a choice to be grateful whether we feel like it or not. It’s a choice to adore God even when it’s hard to see beyond our own deferred desires, frustrations, mental attacks from the enemy or emotional wounds.
In that place of chosen worship, we meet with God. We truly meet with God.
And that’s why we’re here. We want to meet with God. We want to be set-apart worshipers. Through this blog, I want to explore what it looks like to be a set-apart worshiper from as many angles as possible. Here, we will delve into our purpose in worship, different types and styles of worship, ways to grow in “playing skillfully” for the Lord—check out Psalm 33:3!—and anything else God lays on our hearts.
So, if you have any specific topics you want me to write about, or if you have any God-honoring thoughts you would like to share, please leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!