As a singer and worship leader for many years, worship and music were intertwined in my life. They still are. I love how music can be used to worship the God of this universe. But one thing I had to clear up in my own life is that worship is not music. Whaaaaaat?!
There is so much depth and power that we forget to attribute to worship. We limit worship to a moment in the week, a specific genre of music, and a particular way that it should look or be. God tells us differently.
We can be intentional about our worship by making sure that our intentions are followed by action.
How to be Intentional in Your Worship in 4 Steps
Step 1: Know what worship is
Worship has more to do with your heart’s condition than any one particular action you take. In John 4:23-24, Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Jesus tells us that God the Father seeks “true worshipers,” which also means there are untrue worshipers. The untrue worshipers are those who worship without the Spirit and without truth. They are people who have decided to worship anything else but God. And that’s the thing about humans: we all worship something.
God was so wise to create us with eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that we long for more than the temporary. But all too often, we fill that longing for eternity with the temporary things of this life. We do the things that might look like worship of God while focusing on worshiping ourselves, our jobs, our positions, our titles, our degrees, our bank balance, our children, our cars, our spouses, our friends, sometimes even our enemies. We focus on everything except God Himself!
The first step to being intentional in your worship is knowing that worship starts in the heart. The rest is just an overflow.
Step 2: Commit to worship God
Since we all worship something, we are faced with one choice every second of the day: to worship God or to not worship God. If we’re being intentional in our worship, we will try and choose to worship God every day. However, there will be days where our emotions, our circumstances, or anything else in our lives will want to change that choice to something other than God. This is why we must not just choose to worship God every day, but commit to making that choice every day.
When you commit to worship God, you are stating that your choice to worship Him will not be affected by the constant changes in your life. You are agreeing to raise God high in your life even when you’re feeling low.
The second step to being intentional in your worship is committing to worship Him, no matter what.
Step 3: Make time to worship
We spend our time doing a lot of things. For example, we spend time going to a birthday party, volunteering, cooking for our families, reading, getting a manicure, blow drying our hair, or shopping. We might spend time on social media, or spend time watching series after series and movie after movie on Netflix.
Many, if not, all of these activities can be opportunities for us to worship God in our lives. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” But do we actually worship God when we go to that birthday party? Or when we cook that meal? Or when we watch those movies?
The answer varies. Did we do all those things for God’s glory? Did we focus on Him, and thank Him, and praise Him, and reflect on Him when doing those things? If so, then we have just been able to expand our schedules to include times of worship every single day. We have just added times of worship in the little things and in the big things.
If the answer is no, however, then we just wasted our time being busy for the sake of being busy. We just wasted our time doing whatever we wanted to do for the sake of doing whatever we wanted.
The third step to being intentional in your worship is making time in the current schedule you have. You do not need more time to worship, you just need to make time to worship.
Step 4: Depend on Jesus and His Holy Spirit for worship
We cannot worship God without Jesus and His Spirit. Jesus has made it possible for us to pray to and praise God, and have God actually hear us! Without Jesus, God the Father – the One who seeks true worshipers – would not consider us true worshipers and would not hear anything we had to say to Him. What a gift that Jesus has given us by dying on the cross in our place, resurrecting on the third day, and giving us His Holy Spirit to transform us and help us live for Him. Philippians 3:3 says, “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.”
The fourth step to being intentional in your worship is depending on Jesus and His promised Holy Spirit to work in you every time you worship. If you are ever unsure about how to worship, call on Jesus. Call on His Spirit. He is faithful to lead the way.
Worship does not have to be complicated or overly-planned. It starts in your heart, which then overflows into actions that honor God. My prayer for you is that you would experience the goodness of God as you worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and that by your testimony, others would come to experience that same goodness.
Click here for all the rest of the posts in the Intentional Life Series.
Sandra is passionate about all things Jesus. She is eager to respond to God’s call on her life to encourage and serve the people around her. She calls Refuge Church her second home (it would be her first if she slept there) where she has the opportunity to serve as music director, worship leader, and a servant in the women’s ministry. She currently resides in Miami with her family and one-year-old Lab mix named Ranger. You can find her sharing her heart over at http://www.grasplove.com