How to Worship God Part 1 – Create Atmosphere
An Interesting Thought.
I have written about this before but I thought what I would do is start a series on some practical, “how to’s…” The first of these centred around how to worship God. This will be less about, “go to church and lift your hands,” and more about the approach we need to take with our hearts. The thought in and of itself is interesting enough because it really doesn’t have a direct definition. It definitely DOES NOT have a requirement or a 12 step program but what it does have is practical pieces to it that help us in our journey of creating an atmosphere of worship and then stepping into it with our hearts and connecting with the father.
First for some philosophy
The first thing that I want to do in this post as a set up for the next series of posts it to start with some thoughts to get us in the right frame of mind. The first of those is that we need to start worship with an understanding of who God is…or at least His position in the relationship as the source. David said it this way…
You, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. (Psalm 3:3 NiV)
It is important that you start your day and your ongoing worship relationship with Jesus knowing His position. As a friend, brother, confidant, even king or Lord we can dilute the position that He holds when we worship Him. Worship adds a level of glory, honour and reverence that many of those other titles do not. It also removes the distance and very much requires intimacy. We enter with our hearts open and our trust fully engaged to honour and glorify him. Our position must be as the worshipper and Him as the worshipped. This is about Him being recognized… in its primal essence it is giving worth to Jesus…ascribing glory.
It is at this moment where God’s true nature is revealed. You see the real nature of God is that it is all about Him, but it is that way so that He can lift our heads. In worship, we find that God never leaves us wanting. As we lift Him up and worship Him we are never left feeling empty and incomplete. His nature is to be our shield and lift our heads.
William Temple (1881-1944) said this…
“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of the will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin”.
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The thing about creating the right atmosphere is finding out what sensory stimulants you need to draw you in. Once you have the purpose in your mind right it is then about acting. Philosophy is great and needed for a foundation but the reality of worship is that it is an action. You need to know the direction and the purpose, but then you need to step.
In order to help us with the stepping God has created these really great things called the senses. I have written in the past about them and the bear fruit here. finding things out about yourself is critical in this part of the experience. It makes no sense to try and engage with God when the room you are in is ugly, cold, smelly and empty. Unless of course, that’s your favourite place to be. The idea is to find things that make you happy, things that inspire you, things that engage with your senses.
One of the coolest things that I have found is visual stimulation is so incredibly strong. I wrote a bit about this on my Facebook post called an atmosphere of worship and used a picture of a room that just looks amazing. It is the same picture that is attached to this post. The idea is that you create a space in your home or area of life that invites you instead of making it harder for you. Its the same with smell, taste and touch…have things around that invite you in.
There is natural in supernatural…
God didn’t make us as spirit only. Yes the spirit is at the center and is the most important part of who we are, and the part that needs to engage the most with Jesus. However he also created us with a body and a mind and did so for a reason. It is up to use to use the natural, biological systems that he created in order to enhance and sometimes initiate our spiritual experience. Most people will tell you that being in the presence of God is associated with a feeling…a physical feeling. These are great, it also helps us understand that He is interested in our whole being and wants to be a part of it all. So use that as a launch pad for your experience. Allow the things that make you happy to help you engage with God.
How To Worship God Part 2 – God’s Favourite Song
So we all get into music right? I mean its one of those things that touches everyone and elicits the strongest opinions. At the Jesus Muse we love music, and more than that we love the idea of what music can do to help people, and inspire people. I have found it funny that people get so worked up about musical styles and genres and some sense of achievement based on finding THAT new band first.
Whats your favourite song…?
So if I was to ask you what your favorite song was how long would it take you to come up with and answer…and how long would it take to give the answer. Most people have a really hard time getting it down to one. It seems to be a lot easier to identify the songs that are NOT you favorite.
What is Jesus’ favourite song?
You ever wonder what Jesus’ favourite song is…? selah…
I asked the worship team what their favourite worship song was and it was interesting to hear their responses. Most of them were connected to a heart moment or heart connection with God. ”This is my favourite worship song because it really helps me connect to God…” those were the answers.
Christian inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes, but I have found that it comes so much easier when we are listening to our favourite music. And even more so when it is our favourite worship music.
I then asked them, “What do you think Jesus’ favorite is…” and got some varying responses.
1. All of them. 2. Shout to the Lord. (couldn’t resist) 3. Doesn’t have one.
I actually think HIS favourite song is the same as your favourite song, not because HE likes it but because of what the song does to your heart. God is in the heart business. HE rarely focuses on much else because HE knows how important it is. So when a song moves you to him faster and harder then any other song…that song becomes HIS favourite.
I’m not trying to present some form of biblical truth, in fact, I can’t even find scripture where the above thought about HIS favourite song is presented. I do know this however…HE is desperately in LOVE with us, and when something pulls our hearts closer to HIS click on repeat one.