Last week, I shared with you the idea that the best way a church can grow in worship is for the individual members to grow in the area of their private worship. This is certainly not a truth that only applies to worship. Churches grow in prayer, in serving, in truth, in all good things when the members individually focus on those areas in their own personal lives. But while it might be easy to figure out how to grow in our personal prayer life, it’s less clear how we grow as a personal worshiper. Do we get by ourselves and sing? Play the guitar? Maybe – but the singing or playing isn’t the important part. You can be a private worshiper even if you don’t play an instrument or carry a tune.
Worship at its core is simply showing honor, adoration, and praise to God. Our weaknesses in private worship are usually traced back to one thing: we fail to see God’s presence in every aspect of our daily life. Quite often, it is a matter of being too busy to notice or remember God’s presence. And when it seems that God isn’t present, we know that it is not he who has grown distant, it is us who have gotten too wrapped up in our own little world.
So from the book “The Worshiping Artist,” by Rory Noland, here are three things that we can do to grow as private worshipers to God:
One: Make ourselves increasingly present to God.
God is with you in every aspect of your life: at your office desk, in the car as you drive, while you are doing the laundry. More often than not, however, we are oblivious to his presence. Like Jacob in Genesis 28:16, who said “Surely the Lord is in the place, and I was not aware of it,” we are too preoccupied to notice or praise him in these moments. Personal worshipers have an awakened heart and are tuned to God’s presence in their lives.
Two: Set aside time regularly for private worship
Spending time in the Word each morning is a great way to develop this awakened heart. Meditate on the passage throughout the day, praising God for something that speaks to you in that scripture. One idea is to read a Psalm each day and pick out a name or an attribute of God that you recall throughout the day and praise God for or pray that the particular attribute be applied to some circumstance in your life presently. For example, “God, I praise you for being mighty and strong. Please show your strength and power in this area of my life: ______”
Three: Offer ourselves completely to God
Romans 12:1 says “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” What areas of your life are you holding on to rather than giving to God? We say no to sin as an act of worship. We give of our resources as an act of worship. Hopefully, we turn over more and more every moment of our lives to him – this is what worship is truly about.
When you grow as a private worshiper by doing these three things, you become extremely aware of God’s work in your life in every situation. And when that happens and you come to church on Sunday to worship, you can’t help but worship him powerfully for all he is and all he has done for you. There’s no way you can become more aware of God in your life and only make a halfhearted attempt to sing a few songs on Sunday morning as your “worship” time. It’s impossible. So I encourage you to cultivate an awakened heart.
And finally, one more important word: Go Panthers!