|The Weekly Overview|
|This week we’ll spend time breaking down the individual components of First15 by sharing God’s desire for each of them. The majority of First15 is dedicated to encountering God and learning about his character, but every now and then we will cover some teaching and tools that will help in pursuing God to greater depths. This week we will get back to the basics and learn some spiritual disciplines that will help us encounter him in deeper, more transformative ways.|
|“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.”|
|- Psalm 59:16|
|The Worship Experience|
|Artist: Brian and Jenn Johnson|
|Song: Only Jesus|
|What is worship through song? When we go to church or gather with other believers, why do we sing? Clearly not everyone finds singing or music to be their greatest passion, so why do we do it?|
Worship is first and foremost about the longing of God for unfettered relationship with his people. In authentic worship we can touch the heart of our Creator—satisfying the desires of he who payed the highest price simply to have us. Scripture is clear that God loves when we sing to him and about him. Ephesians 5:18-19 tells us to “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” John 4:23 states, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”
God loves worship. He longs for it. Think of that! You have an opportunity every day, through worship, to satisfy the heart of the one who paints sunsets, breathes life into dust and forms mountains, galaxies, animals, angels and humankind with just the power of his voice. You bring your Creator immense joy and satisfaction when you worship through singing.
You see, God is after your heart. He’s after direct connection from his Spirit to yours. Music has this profound ability to reach past our limited understanding and help our heart connect with he who is limitless and eternal. It serves as an avenue for this cyclical, reciprocal act of love and devotion between the Creator and the created. In worship we discover the reality of God on a level different than reading Scripture or spending time in prayer or community. In worship we can sing to God songs of adoration, thanksgiving, high praise, and unadulterated love in response to his character, nearness, and devotion. Simply put, in worship we give and receive that which is most important—love.
Whether you normally engage in personal worship right now or not, know that you were created to worship. You were made to connect directly with the heart of God. As you engage in the act of worship you will discover the nearness of a God so filled with steadfast love and devotion for you that everything changes. As you consistently touch the heart of the Father your life will be transformed by his limitless grace and passionate pursuit. Engaging in worship will result in an overflowing, unquenchable joy, as there is no greater experience than that of a perfect God meeting with an imperfect person.
Take time in guided prayer to reflect on the importance of worship and connect directly with the heart of your heavenly Father. May your time be marked by a greater revelation of his nearness and love.
1. Allow Scripture to fill you with a longing to connect directly with your Creator through worship.
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord
, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:1-4
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us Worship
and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Psalm 95:1-6
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” Psalm 29:2
2. Ask God to show you how much he loves your worship—to give you a revelation of his great love for you. May his desire for worship be the foundation of your devotion.
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:23
“That you, being rooted and grounded in Love
, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!'” Revelation 4:8
3. Spend some time resting in the presence of God. Ask him to reveal his love to you in a fresh way and worship him in response.
“But for me it is good to be near God.” Psalm 73:28
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
|If you feel the weight of the world resting on your shoulders at any point today, take a few minutes to engage in worship. A small time of worship has the power to reprioritize our lives and make the stresses and burdens of life diminish in light of God’s eternal love. May your day today be marked by the peace and joy of one who knows the love and nearness of the Father.|
|CRAIG DENISON is the author and founder of First15, a daily devotional guiding tens of thousands of believers into a fresh experience with God's presence every day. He writes, speaks, and he and his wife, Rachel lead worship to help believers establish a more tangible, meaningful connection with God.|