Friday, December 30, 2011

Worship in 2012

Worship of Jesus/God is by far the highest and most important thing that we do. By that I do not just mean singing songs or attending services. That is really just a small part of it. As a matter of fact "singing" is not mentioned very often in the New Testament. What I mean by worship is orienting all of life towards glorifying Jesus Christ. His fame should be the motivating factor in our lives (family, work, church, leisure etc). Several years ago I wrote this definition of worship:

Valuing God above all things with all that we are by responding to all that He is in all that we do.

We value what what we love. We love what we hold dear. What we hold dear we deeply know and trust. So the question for us as followers of Jesus is what are we doing to make sure we are valuing, holding dear, deeply knowing and trusting Jesus? What I have learned about me is that the more I learn about Jesus the more I realize I don't know much at all about truly worshiping Him. He is so vast. So Big. So beautiful. So glorious. So mysterious. So much more than me.

I always need to grow in loving and worshipping Jesus.

Several years ago I started a new years tradition that helps me in my worship. It is called the 31 Day Journey. I learned this at a conference I was attending in 1997 and have done it every year since then. I have adjusted it a little over the years but the purpose remains, worship. Here it is: Set aside the month of January as a month to grow in your intimacy and worship of God. Here is what I do each day in the month in January.

1. Pray: Father teach me something new about You or remind me of something that You need me to remember.

2. Read and Listen: Begin reading in Psalm 1 and read slowly listening for God to say something about Him that you need to hear. You may read 2 verses or 5 chapters. It doesn't matter. But as soon as something stands out to you about God (ie. that He is strong, faithful, providing etc) stop.

3. Worship: Spend some time in prayer worshipping God for that part of Him. Take your time. Tell Him you love Him for that. Tell Him how you have seen that part of Him or how you need to see that part of Him.

4. Write: I know that not everyone journals but I recommend it. Take a moment to record what you saw in God's Word.

5. Remember: Think about this part of God during your day.

It is that simple. Do this every day for 31 days. It is quite probable that you will not get all the way through Psalms and that is ok. It is about God and knowing Him and worshipping Him.

The important thing to remember is that the worship of God is the most important thing you can do in 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post, Doug. I often lament the music-centered idea of worship so commonly promulgated. It's great to hear someone who leads music and takes music seriously not adopt this prevailing perspective.

    I read a wonderful book on worship this year by David Peterson entitled "Engaging with God" ( In it he defines worship as, "an engagement with God on the terms that he proposes and in the way the he alone makes possible." He fleshes out this definition thoroughly and beautifully.

    He also has a wonderfully provocative insight regarding why the church gathers. Based on his exegesis, he believes the church does not gather specifically to worship, although of course worship will takes place because worship should be the back-drop of everything we do. Instead, he points to "edification" as the specific reason that the church gathers.

    His exegesis and reasoning are sound throughout and convinced me of his major theses. It got a bit dry at a few points, but overall I highly recommend it.